International Institutions

#FF: Sudanese on Social Media

A new tide is rising in Sudan. Breaking down geographic barriers, Sudanese groups and individuals are using social media to share their struggles, culture, and stories.   Read More »

Report: Coming Clean: A Proposal for Getting Conflict Minerals Back on Track

Although substantial progress has been made in supply chain reform and demilitarizing mines in the DRC, gaps in the mineral certification process threaten to undermine these advances, a new Enough Project report argues.   Read More »

Conflict Minerals: Companies May Stop Buying Unless Certification is Sped Up

Date: 
Nov 11, 2013

Enough Project Press Release

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Conflict Minerals: Companies May Stop Buying Unless Certification is Sped Up

NAIROBI, KENYA and WASHINGTON, DC - Critical gaps in the minerals certification process in eastern Congo, Rwanda, and the surrounding region threaten to undo the development of a clean minerals trade in Central Africa, argues a new Enough Project report released today.  Minerals certification, a key component in building a transparent regional minerals trade, faces setbacks that could hinder global market access for minerals extractors, traders, and exporters in the Great Lakes region, unless regional governments implement the process. The report, “Coming Clean: A Proposal for Getting Conflict Minerals Certification Back on Track" is based on recent field research in the region.

Enough Project Field Consultant Aaron Hall, said:

“Certification is the most critical component of the entire conflict-free minerals system. If minerals from the Great Lakes region cannot be certified as conflict-free, then efforts to trace and audit become moot. Without functioning regional audits or an Independent Mineral Chain Auditor, minerals cannot be credibly certified according to regional and international standards."

Tremendous strides have been made in recent years to cut the conflict minerals trade in eastern Congo. In the past four years, governments, nonprofits, and private sector actors in Africa, the U.S., and Europe have built regulatory frameworks and stimulated the global market for responsibly sourced minerals. Additionally, a certification process, under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR, was established to ensure that minerals sold and exported from the Great Lakes region do not fund conflicts. Progress on reforming supply chains and demilitarizing mines has addressed many negative elements of the conflict minerals trade, as armed groups are much less present in mines.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

"Minerals can be a boon for peace in Congo and the region, not a conflict curse.  But if Rwanda, Congo, and regional states do not take urgent steps to complete the mineral certification process in the next few months, multinational companies may stop purchasing many minerals from the region that cannot credibly be certified as conflict-free. U.S. Special Envoy Russ Feingold and the World Bank should work closely with Rwanda and Congo to speed up the certification process, so that the system provides assurances to companies." 

Progress in certifying minerals from the Great Lakes region as conflict-free is at a crossroads. States are starting to issue certificates for easy-to-certify mines using ad hoc measures, but interim steps will not work for all mines. Rwanda issued its first conflict-free certificate on November 6, and Congo plans to begin issuing certificates for mines and exporters soon.

The report explains that the ICGLR governments have not yet fulfilled their commitments to the process designed to ensure transparency and accountability, and these gaps undermine the credibility of the system. The ICGLR certification process requires four components: mine inspection and traceability, a regional mineral tracking database, audits, and independent monitoring. The key components of accountability—auditing and independent monitoring—lack operational mechanisms to ensure that minerals are fully certified.

The report explains that existing "bag and tag" systems, used by tin and tantalum industries sourcing in Rwanda and in some locations in Congo, have been a brave first step but do not provide full conflict-free assurance because of the lack of the independent oversight mechanisms of the ICGLR certification process.  

The report calls on the U.S., E.U., and World Bank to focus energies on helping to complete the ICGLR certification process. These measures include setting a deadline for Rwanda, Congo, and the ICGLR to meet the four components of the certification process and formalizing interim measures to certify minerals to meet international standards. If the Great Lakes states fail to meet these standards, they may be deemed non-compliant with international due diligence standards.

The report also recommends that the World Bank and/or electronics companies should help digitize the traceability system in Congo, so that data is transparent, and that the U.S. and E.U. should urge Rwanda to publish minerals production data as soon as possible.  Finally, the U.S. and E.U. should offer incentives to source fully certified minerals from the region, such as offering a high-level award for companies that help build a clean trade and purchasing clean minerals. 

Read the report, "Coming Clean: A Proposal for Getting Conflict Minerals Certification on Track": http://www.enoughproject.org/files/ComingClean-Getting-Conflict-Minerals-Certification-on-Track.pdf

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Coming Clean: A Proposal for Getting Conflict Minerals Certification on Track

Tremendous strides have been made in recent years to cut the conflict minerals trade in eastern Congo. In the past four years, governments, nonprofits, and private sector actors in Africa, the U.S., and Europe have built regulatory frameworks and stimulated the global market for responsibly sourced minerals. This report explores how to get the certification process on track in order to bring peace, security, and regional economic growth to the region. 

Five Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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A weekly roundup of must-read stories, posted every Friday. 

 

Enough Project Statements on M23 Surrender

Date: 
Nov 5, 2013

ENOUGH PROJECT MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2013

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

GOMA, DR CONGO, AND WASHINGTON, DC – The M23 rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has agreed to end its insurgency says M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa in a statement released today.

Fighting between the rebel group and Congo's army has displaced more than 800,000 people since M23 took over the eastern provinces in 2012.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

"The end of M23 rebellion is cause for joy in eastern Congo. But until there is a peace process that deals with the refugee, economic, and security issues between Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, instability in the region will continue. US and UN envoys Russ Feingold and Mary Robinson should partner with the African Union to help organize these negotiations and ensure that they are inclusive of Congo's civil society."

Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast said:

"The demise of the M23 shows what is possible when the international community unites around a specific objective and deploys the diplomatic and military assets necessary to succeed.  Deeper issues driving violence in Congo remain, so it is imperative that current momentum leads into broader regional negotiations aimed at improving relations, particularly between Rwanda and Congo, as well as a more credible internal political process aimed at improved governance and army reform."

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Report: What Happens to a Dream Deferred? The Case for Immediate African Union Action on Abyei

The fate of the contested Abyei region that lies between Sudan and South Sudan is one of the most important issues left unresolved since South Sudan became an independent state in 2011.   Read More »

What Happens to a Dream Deferred? The Case for Immediate African Union Action on Abyei

On October 31, 2013, residents of the contested Abyei region that lies between Sudan and South Sudan announced the results of a historic unilateral referendum to join South Sudan. This Enough Project report contextualizes the Ngok Dinka community's vote to join South Sudan and calls for the U.S. and the African Union to take immediate action to help determine Abyei’s final status.

Enough Project Urges US and African Union to Act on Abyei

Date: 
Nov 1, 2013

Enough Project Press Release

Embargoed Until:  November 1, 2013, 12:01am

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Enough Project Urges US and African Union to Act on Abyei

Frustrated residents of the contested Abyei region that lies between Sudan and South Sudan announced the results of a historic unilateral referendum on Thursday.  A new Enough Project report contextualizes the Ngok Dinka community's vote to join South Sudan and calls for the U.S. and the African Union to take immediate action to help determine Abyei’s final status.

The fate of Abyei is one of the most important issues left unresolved since South Sudan became an independent state in 2011. The region is home to the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya, nomadic Arab herders, who migrate across the Abyei region twice a year. The two groups have lived there together in mutual interdependence, but a long history of unfulfilled promises for self-determination and the politicization of Abyei’s final status has raised tensions. In 2008 and 2011, Sudanese army attacks left towns burned to the ground, and resulted in the displacement of 120,000 people.

The report,"What Happens to a Dream Deferred" calls on the African Union to carry out its intended visit to the region, report on key findings, outline a clear timeline for a credible and internationally-sanctioned vote as called for in the African Union’s proposal, and hold Sudan to its existing wealth-sharing promises for Abyei.  

Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst, and co-author of the report, says, "The people of Abyei's dreams have been deferred for too long. Unless the African Union makes it clear that it is willing to stand behind President Mbeki's proposal, violence could once again seize the region."

Over 99 percent of the Ngok Dinka who voted on the unilateral ballot expressed a desire to transfer the Abyei territory from Sudan’s sovereignty to South Sudanese control.The Misseriya tribe has now vowed to hold their own referendum to voice their desire to stay with Sudan.

Timothy May, Enough Project Field Researcher, and co-author of the report, says "The Sudanese government already owes both the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya 2% of the region's oil revenues since 2005. While they might not agree on the area's final status, both groups can work together to push Khartoum to turn over those funds, which could help develop their communities."

Neither Sudan nor South Sudan recognize the validity of the vote. The report authors explain that the Ngok Dinka’s unsanctioned vote is an expression of collective will and should be seen as a precursor to an internationally-recognized referendum for the disputed area.

John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-Founder, explains, "Abyei's peace can be secured only by honoring the multiple past agreements allowing its residents to vote on their future.  The UN peacekeeping mission led by Ethiopia acts as a deterrent to armed conflict, but they cannot stay forever. The international community must use this moment to support a lasting resolution."

Read the full report, "What Happens to a Dream Deferred? The Case for Immediate African Union Action on Abyei": http://www.enoughproject.org/files/What-Happens-to-a-Dream-Deferred.pdf

Explore the interactive timeline.

View or download images from the Enough Project’s recent trip to the region.

The Power of Collaboration: Students in the International Movement for Peace in Congo

Special Envoy Feingold and Congolese President Joseph Kabila

Last year, I met Chelsea Strelser when I attended my first meeting for William & Mary’s STAND chapter. Fresh off a summer internship with the Enough Project, I was excited to begin combating mass atrocities and genocide across the globe.   Read More »

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