International Institutions

European Union Parliament, Student Activists Call for Targeted Sanctions on Kabila's Circle on Elections Issue

A resolution passed on March 10 in the European Union Parliament and a letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from 25 student leaders in the U.S. have called for increased policy action on President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to hold national elections freely, fairly, and on time. The two public notices particularly call on the U.S. and E.U. to place targeted sanctions on Kabila’s inner circle. These statements have come at a time when democracy activists are increasingly being jailed in Congo, for example the arrest of 18 LUCHA activists following a peaceful demonstration on March 15.  Read More »

Jean-Pierre Bemba Convicted of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Date: 
Mar 21, 2016

Enough Project experts available for comment and analysis on landmark case

On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Experts at the Enough Project have been following the case, and are available for comment and analysis.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “Today's verdict is a victory for the women, men, and children who were brutalized by Bemba's forces, particularly victims of rape - this is the first time the court has convicted anyone on sexual violence charges."

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The verdict also means that Bemba won't be returning to Congo to stand in the elections. He would have been a very potent challenger. It's now time for President Kabila to commit to holding the elections as soon as possible.”

Dranginis added, "The court's ruling also breaks new ground on how we judge powerful leaders who commit atrocities from far away. International justice is catching up with modern conflict dynamics, which rarely respect borders. No longer can criminal elites hide atop complex command structures. Though Mr. Bemba was in DRC during the commission of many of his crimes, and a Congolese citizen, the court found he was nonetheless the "Commander in Chief" of forces in CAR.  The next crucial step is to decide victims' reparations - the court should consider drawing those from the accused's own coffers and include specific measures for victims of sexual violence.”

Bemba is a former leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), a rebel group from the Democratic Republic of Congo responsible for widespread sexual violence during a military campaign to help defend the former president of the Central African Republic, Ange-Félix Patassé, from a coup attempt. 

In its verdict today the ICC found him guilty, as military commander of the MLC, on two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes including murder, rape, and pillage.  

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Verdict Monday in War Crimes Trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba

Date: 
Mar 19, 2016

Enough Project experts available for comment and analysis

On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is scheduled to deliver a verdict in the war crimes trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Experts at the Enough Project have been following the case, and will be available for comment and analysis.

Bemba is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity including rape, murder, and pillage allegedly committed during armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002 and 2003. Bemba has denied all charges against him.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The Bemba trial reminds us that atrocities are often inherently transnational. It has examined the use of elite cross-border alliances, and the all-too-common reality that perpetrators can commit extreme brutality remotely, from high up a chain of command."

Bemba is a former leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), an armed rebel group which the ICC prosecution accuses of widespread sexual violence during a military campaign to help defend the former president of CAR, Ange-Félix Patassé, from a coup attempt. 

Dranginis added: "Monday's judgement, now six years in the making, comes at an historic moment as a brand new government takes office in CAR, where Bemba's alleged crimes took place over a decade ago. In Bemba's case, the ICC has broken new ground on critical issues like witness intimidation, and sent a timely message to governments in CAR and DRC [The Democratic Republic of the Congo] that abuse of power will not be ignored."

During the trial, the prosecution has argued Bemba is liable for the alleged crimes of his troops. The Bemba trial began in November 2010. 

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

NGOs Release Joint Statement Today as Angola, Russia Put Hold on Security Council Targeted Sanctions on South Sudan

Date: 
Sep 15, 2015

 

Enough, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty urge Security Council to impose new targeted sanctions

September 15, 2015 - The Russian and Angolan governments today chose to put a hold on the proposed imposition of UN Security Council sanctions on a leading South Sudan government official and leading rebel leader. This blocking action undermines the pledge by the Security Council to impose serious consequences for those obstructing peace in South Sudan.

To reinforce the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for human rights abuses, the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International issued a joint statement today. The statement calls for further targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations of human rights in South Sudan, as well as imposition of a comprehensive arms embargo.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "It is imperative that continued human rights abuses and ceasefire violations in South Sudan be met with real consequences from the international community.  Decisions are being made on both the government and rebel side to undermine the implementation of the peace deal. If there is no cost for that intransigence and for the human rights crimes that result, then we can expect the war to continue, business as usual."

Link to today’s joint statement by the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International: http://eno.ug/1Ko5tZz

Read the full statement below:

September 15, 2015

Dear Ambassador,

We understand the UN Security Council will deliberate this week on the situation in South Sudan.

As you know, although South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar signed a binding agreement to end the conflict in their country, fighting has continued in Unity and Upper Nile states. As our organizations have documented in detail, the 21-month conflict in South Sudan has been characterized by war crimes and other acts that may also amount to crimes against humanity, and it has clearly been fueled by impunity.

Given the high probability of continuing serious abuses against civilians as part of the ongoing fighting, we urge you to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.

Since this conflict began, fighting and abuses have forced over 2 million people to flee their homes and thousands of civilians have been killed, often targeted because of their ethnicity or perceived political allegiance. The likelihood of further attacks on civilians in South Sudan remains high. A well-monitored arms embargo can reduce the flow and entry of weapons and military equipment into the country that could be used to commit further crimes against civilians.

The Council should also continue to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations and abuses of human rights. While the August peace deal may prove to be an important step forward to ending conflict and abuse in South Sudan, it cannot absolve those most responsible for human rights abuses.

Sincerely,

Amnesty International
Enough Project
Human Rights Watch

###

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org  

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

NGOs Urge UN Security Council to Impose Targeted Sanctions and Arms Embargo in South Sudan

The Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International sent letters to the United Nations Security Council, asking them to fulfill their commitment to impose sanctions on individuals who have committed abuses against civilians in South Sudan and calling for an arms embargo. See letter below.

 

Enough Project Joins Other NGOs to Urge Beneficial Ownership Transparency at World Bank

Yesterday, the Enough Project joined 106 other organizations urging the World Bank to take a leadership role in the international community in beneficial ownership transparency.  Read More »

Guest Op-Ed: The Senate must act fast to confirm Gayle Smith

In this May 5 op-ed that originally appeared in The Hill, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Molly Elgin-Cossart urges the U.S. Senate to quickly confirm the President's appointment of Gayle Smith as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Read More »

New Congo Report: Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush and How to Counter it

A trade in illegally mined and smuggled “conflict gold” is fueling both high-level military corruption and violent rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new report by the Enough Project. “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing gold into the legal trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” by the Enough Project’s Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev, offers an in-depth portrait of the conflict gold supply chain, from muddy artisanal mines where gold is dug out with shovels and pick-axes, through illicit transport routes in Uganda, Burundi, and Dubai. Based on seven months of field research at mines and in regional capitals, the report provides an in-depth discussion of solutions to the conflict gold supply chain. The U.S. government, European Union, jewelers, socially responsible investors, the World Bank, and activists all have important roles to play.  Read More »

Dr. Denis Mukwege Pens NY Times Op-Ed on 'Conflict Minerals'

This op-ed originally appeared on The New York Times and was written by Dr. Denis Mukwege, the founder and medical director of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, and founder of the PanziFoundation USA.  Read More »

Congo's Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing Gold into the Legal Trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

A trade in illegally mined and smuggled “conflict gold” is fueling both high-level military corruption and violent rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new report by the Enough Project. “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing gold into the legal trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” by the Enough Project’s Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev, offers an in-depth portrait of the conflict gold supply chain, from muddy artisanal mines where gold is dug out with shovels and pick-axes, through illicit transport routes in Uganda, Burundi, and Dubai. Based on seven months of field research at mines and in regional capitals, the report provides an in-depth discussion of solutions to the conflict gold supply chain.

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