Human Rights

Follow the Money (and the Minerals)

This piece first appeared as part of New York Times’ "Room for Debate." Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast and others—including writer Eve Ensler, consultant and analyst Willet Weeks, Kambale Musavuli of Friends of the Congo, Yaa-Lengi Ngemi of the Congo Coalition, and Séverine Autesserre of Columbia University—address the complex question: How to stabilize Congo?  Read More »

Why Eastern Congo Needs a Broadened Peace Process Now: Enough Project Brief

Date: 
Nov 30, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON – Fighting between the M23 rebel movement and the Congolese military escalated last week as the rebel group seized control of Goma, a key city in eastern Congo. To address this growing violence, a broadened peace process including all parties and stakeholders must be initiated that will cease ongoing hostilities and address the systemic drivers of regional conflict, according to an Enough Project policy brief.

Aaron Hall, co-author of the brief and Enough Project Associate Director of Research, said:

“The current conflict in eastern Congo has revealed new evidence of support for armed groups from the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, as well as confirmation evidence of continued mismanagement within the governance and security sectors of Congo. However, the causes and dynamics of the long-standing conflict are unchanged. If the cycle of regional foreign intervention, economic exploitation, and rapacious governance in eastern Congo is not broken, there is no chance for peace in the region.”

The Enough brief argues that regional and international stakeholders must be more directly engaged in supporting a peace process that includes a balance between constructive and coercive leverage to provide the necessary incentives and pressures for compromise between the conflicting parties. The brief highlights the need for a broadened peace process that would be jointly mandated by the U.N., African Union, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR.

John Prendergast, co-author of the brief and co-founder of the Enough Project, said:

"The lack of a credible, effective, internationally mandated and leveraged peace process for the escalating war in Congo is becoming a major reason for that war’s continuation.  The closed-door ICGLR summit between heads of state from Congo, Rwanda and Uganda—without the involvement of political parties, civil society elements, and armed groups representing the diverse voices of eastern Congo—resembles all of the failed deals that came before it through similar processes. A deal between just the biggest guns is unlikely to address the root causes of the conflict in the eastern Congo. Instead, the declaration issued by the heads of state summit at Kampala represents another short-term security agreement that ensures that Congolese President Kabila remains in power while international pressure is removed from Presidents Kagame and Museveni of Rwanda and Uganda, respectively."

The brief outlines considerations for both regional and international actors in creating a framework to work towards peace in eastern Congo. This brief is the first in a three-part Enough Project series on the process, leverage, and substance necessary to create a path towards peace in eastern Congo and the surrounding region.

Read the full brief: “Time for a Broadened Peace Process in Congo

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

Dear President Obama: Congo Needs You Now, Will You Respond?

President Obama speaks at the United Nations headquarters in New York

As we were making our way home to be with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the M23 rebel group backed by Rwanda and Uganda stormed and seized Goma, one of the largest cities in eastern Congo. This is the first time since 2004, at the height of Congo's conflict, that rebels have occupied the city of Goma. A week has gone by, but the U.S. media and government have barely acknowledged this escalating crisis.  Read More »

Video: Former ICC Chief Ocampo Discusses Court with Enough’s John Prendergast

Prendergast and Ocampo sit down for discussion of his work with the ICC

To commend the historic work of the International Criminal Court under the leadership of its first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Jewish World Watch selected Ocampo as the recipient of the group’s 6th annual I Witness Award. Following Ocampo’s remarks, the former chief prosecutor sat down with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast for a public interview about the work of the ICC and the specific cases that the court initiated during Ocampo’s tenure.  Read More »

Thousands United Against the LRA

Ten thousand Invisible Children supporters descended in red t-shirts on the D.C. Convention Center earlier this month for the group’s largest event to date: MOVE:DC. While I walked 15 minutes from my apartment, there were attendees who had flown from Brazil and driven from California, all united in their commitment to ending the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and apprehending now-infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony.  Read More »

Congo: Diplomatic Efforts to End Crisis Set in Motion, as Fragile Calm Falls on Rebel-held Goma

Residents settled into an uneasy calm today “under our new masters,” a day after mutineers from the Congolese army, now leaders of the M23 military wing, forced government troops, or FARDC, out of the city and took control of the lucrative border crossing between Congo and Rwanda.  Read More »

Darfur: Peacekeeping and Atrocity Crimes Don't Mix

The truth is that the U.N./African Union Mission in Darfur is unable to provide security for a host of hotspots being targeted by Khartoum government-aligned militias. So why did UNAMID deploy to evacuate Khartoum's combatants? Professor and Sudan specialist Eric Reeves examines the question in this guest blog post.  Read More »

Field Dispatch: Civilians Under Siege in Goma

On November 20, the M23 rebel group seized Goma, a major city in eastern Congo. This new field dispatch discusses the aftermath of the recent siege and urges the international community to push for high-level committement for a sustainable peace process in the region. 

Congolese citizens look at tank shells after M23 rebel takeover in Goma.

Key Eastern Congo City Falls to Rebels: A View from the Ground

The city awoke to artillery and mortar fire today as rebels with the March 23 Movement, or M23, pushed into the outskirts of town, taking control of North Kivu province’s main airport this morning. By mid-afternoon the rebels claimed full control of Goma, underscoring the lack of resistance they faced from FARDC or MONUSCO by marching down the main road to the “Grande Barriere” border crossing with Rwanda.  Read More »

Congo Crisis: Human Rights Groups Call for Urgent Appointment of Special Envoy and Sanctions

Date: 
Nov 20, 2012

 

WASHINGTON – The Enough Project joined a coalition of human rights organizations—which includes Humanity United, Open Society Institute, Eastern Congo Initiative, and the European Network for Central Africa—urging the United Nations to appoint a special envoy that would work with the African Union in creating a regional peace process to address the escalating conflict in eastern Congo. Earlier today, the M23 rebel movement took control of Goma, a major city in eastern Congo, highlighting the urgency of this unfolding crisis.

The coalition issued a statement calling on the U.N. Security Council and African Union to apply sanctions against all individuals identified in the most recent Group of Experts report as violating the U.N. arms embargo on Congo, including the Rwandan military and political officers supporting and directing the M23. Further, the coalition urged bilateral donors to Rwanda to continue and expand the suspension of all aid programs that are not explicitly allocated for civilian humanitarian needs.

Aaron Hall, Enough Project Associate Director of Research said:

"The U.N., with support from the U.S. government, needs to ensure that a strong international response is brought to bear on this massive humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo. Sanctioning the leadership of M23 alone is not enough. The U.N. should quickly appoint an envoy to work with the African Union that would create a peace process to include all those actors that perpetually fan the flames of conflict in the region. Until the systemic drivers of violence and regional intervention in eastern Congo are addressed, this scenario will just continue to repeat itself."    

Since the onset of the M23 rebellion in April 2012, more than 650,000 people in the region have been displaced by the ongoing violence. The human rights groups stressed the need for a credible internationally-facilitated political process that focuses immediately on a cessation of hostilities, followed by long-term solutions to address the underlying roots of conflict in the region.

Read the full statement.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

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