Sexual and Gender Based Violence

As Young as Twelve: South Sudan's Child Marriage Epidemic

Returnees on the outskirts of Abyei

A recent video published by Human Rights Watch tells the story of Mary. At the age of 14 she was forced to marry, and soon after she attempted to leave her husband. To prevent her from leaving, he beat her so hard that she collapsed to the floor, and then pulled out an axe to continue the beating. Mary held up her arm in an attempt to defend herself as her husband sought to strike her in the head. The axe blade cut her arm deeply, but her head remained uninjured. Had she not raised her arm in self-defense, her husband would have killed her. Had she not raised her arm in self-defense, would have died that night.  Read More »

Most-Wanted Warlord Ntaganda in U.S. Custody While Rwandan Authorities Detain Other Key M23 Officials

In a startling development yesterday, Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda turned up unannounced at the U.S. embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, asking to be transferred to the International Criminal Court. Ntaganda's decision to surrender is a consequence of a profound crisis within M23.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

Congo Activists Deliver Petition for U.S. Presidential Envoy to the White House

When the M23 rebel group seized the city of Goma in eastern Congo last November, a coalition of activists sprang into action. Activists began calling for a U.S. presidential envoy to work with leaders and stakeholders from the region to address the urgent security needs.   Read More »

Congo: Robin Wright Helps Deliver Women’s Petition to White House with 100,000 Signatures

Date: 
Jan 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON – On January 29, actress Robin Wright and Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo Campaign Manager JD Stier joined a group of human rights activists to deliver a petition to the White House calling for a presidential envoy to support a comprehensive peace process in eastern Congo.

The petition, launched by a group of Congolese women and supported by World Pulse and the Enough Project, has received more than 108,000 signatures from around the world.

A group of Congolese women wrote the petition after M23 rebels took over Goma—a key town in eastern Congo—last November, reigniting the region into war. The women feared for their safety and the safety of their families and decided to call on female U.S. leaders to take immediate action in solidarity with the women of Congo.

“The time is now for the White House to respond in support of the women of Congo,” said actress and Raise Hope for Congo activist Robin Wright.  “This is a critical moment for action that could be a turning point for the people of eastern Congo.”

The petition calls for a U.S. presidential envoy to support a peace process in Congo that addresses both the immediate crisis and the underlying economic and political interests of the parties. It also pushes for an inclusive peace process that ensures women a seat at the negotiating table.

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Raise Hope for Congo is an Enough Project campaign that aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists who will advocate for the human rights of all Congolese citizens and work towards ending the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo. For more information on Raise Hope for Congo, please visit: www.raisehopeforcongo.org.

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.  

Enough Project Welcomes Expanded Rewards for Justice Program

Date: 
Jan 15, 2013

Enough Project Press Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Today, January 15, Enough Project Executive Director John Bradshaw and other human rights leaders attended an Oval Office ceremony at which President Obama signed legislation into law, expanding the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program.

"By signing this bill in the presence of leaders of the human rights community, the President has demonstrated his continuing personal commitment to bringing Joesph Kony and other internationally-wanted human rights abusers to justice," said Bradshaw. "This law is also an important step by the U.S. towards a more positive relationship with the International Criminal Court."

Signing ceremony in the Oval Office (White House)

The Rewards for Justice Program has been critical to bringing to justice individuals wanted by specific courts for committing the most serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The expanded program will allow the U.S. government to provide financial rewards for information resulting in the arrest or conviction of individuals sought by any international criminal tribunal for perpetrating genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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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.

Darfur Violence, 10 Years and Counting, Highlighted in Living Sudan Archive

"The words of the government of Sudan representatives, promising further peace initiatives, are undermined by actions on the ground that show an ongoing commitment to crimes against civilians as a solution to the government's problems in Darfur," said ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to the U.N. Security Council last month.

Longtime Sudan specialist and Smith College professor Eric Reeves stresses the same conclusion, without having to conform to diplomatic pressures, in his extensive, recently released archive of state-sponsored violence across Sudan over the past five years.  Read More »

New Report Warns UN and AU Are Failing to Defeat the LRA

Date: 
Dec 5, 2012

Joint Press Release (PDF)

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

Nearly six months on from the launch of a U.N. strategy aimed at ending 26 years of violence by the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, a joint report by a coalition of non-governmental organizations reveals today that the strategy has failed to make meaningful progress toward its core objectives. The report is released ahead of U.N. Security Council consultations on the LRA set for December 18th.

Tepid political commitment from regional governments, lack of urgency from the U.N., and an under-resourced African Union mission are the key causes of the failure.

For too long, the people of the central Africa have suffered from unspeakable atrocities committed by the LRA. Their children have been abducted and murdered. Their families have been forced from their homes and their livelihoods destroyed. The UN has shown great leadership, and invested a great deal, in developing a strategy to support these populations and respond to the horrors of the LRA. It must not fall short now. There is too much at stake and too much to lose,” Ben Keesey, Chief Executive Officer of Invisible Children, said.

The report comes as violence is again escalating in the Democratic Republic of Congo and amid reports that the Sudanese government is harboring the LRA. Both of these developments could give the LRA the opportunity to reassert itself in the region. The evidence of ineffective U.N./African Union collaboration is also of concern in the light of a likely military intervention in Mali.

This report is a wakeup call for the Security Council. Unless they reenergize the strategy and ensure that regional governments are effectively engaged then the whole process could fall apart. The Secretary General must publicly affirm his determination to see the UN Regional Strategy on the LRA implemented in full,” said Ernest Sugule, National Coordinator of Solidarité et Assistance intégrale aux Personnes Démunies (SAIPED), in the DRC.

The international community also has a critical role to play to support the UN and AU’s efforts.

“The UN, in partnership with the African Union and international donors, should vigorously lead the effort to end the LRA conflict. To deliver on the UN strategy will require more troops, access for the troops to LRA safe havens, enhanced intelligence, and improved efforts to promote defections. At this critical moment, the UN must rise to the challenge,” John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project, said.

Read the full report: “Getting Back on Track: Implementing the U.N. Regional Strategy on the Lord’s Resistance Army

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Spokespeople from signatory NGOs and external experts will be available. To find out more and/or to request an advance copy of the report under embargo, please contact: Jake Goodman, +1 917 767-3609, Jake.Goodman@crisisaction.org, James Denselow, +44 793 260-7711, James.Denselow@crisisaction.org

Signatory organizations:

1. African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO)

2. Congolese Action for Access to Justice (ACAJ)

3. Dungu-Doruma Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace (CDJP)

4. The Enough Project

5. European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)

6. Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect

7. Group LOTUS

8. IKV Pax Christi

9. Invisible Children

10. Resolve

11. Solidarity and Integrated Assistance to Vulnerable Populations (SAIPED)

Crisis Action works behind the scenes to enable our partners to respond jointly to conflict and crises. Crisis Action should not be cited in media reports.

 

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Gold Is Now the Most Lucrative Conflict Mineral from Eastern Congo: Enough Project

Date: 
Oct 25, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219
 
GOMA, DR CONGO and WASHINGTON, DC – Gold smuggled from eastern Congo’s war zone is now the most lucrative conflict mineral and is ending up at jewelry stores and banks, according to a new investigative report by the Enough Project. The study found that following a 65 percent drop in profits from  the conflict minerals tin, tungsten, and tantalum, armed groups have increasingly turned to smuggling the fourth conflict mineral, gold, to generate income that finances mass atrocities in eastern Congo. The armed groups use poorly paid miners, who work in dangerous conditions, including thousands of children as young as eight years old. The study maps out how conflict gold makes its way from eastern Congo to consumers worldwide who purchase it in the form of wedding rings and watches, and investment banks that buy gold bars.
 
The study found that over $600 million of gold is illegally smuggled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo every year in a six-step process. Rebel groups such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, are smuggling gold, and the Rwandan-backed M23 rebel group is attempting to retake control of gold mines and trading routes.
 
Sasha Lezhnev, author of the report and Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst, said: 
“The conflict gold rush has hit eastern Congo’s war zone. Armed militias such as M23 and the FDLR are financing their operations with conflict gold. As our investigation revealed, smuggled gold continues to flow through to gold chains, rings, and banks through a six-step process. The Dodd-Frank law on conflict minerals is starting to spur reform in the gold sector, but lucrative gold smuggling continues unabated. It is time for more effective action.”
The report, “From Child Miner to Jewelry Store: The Six Steps of Congo’s Conflict Gold,” tracks the transnational trade from the mines in eastern Congo to end products sold to consumers.
 
The six main steps of the conflict gold trade (laid out in an accompanying infographic) are:
1. Mines operated by warlords in eastern Congo;
2. Congolese smugglers working with armed groups; 
3. Regional smugglers in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania; 
4. Refiners in Dubai; 
5. Banks in Switzerland; and
6. Jewelers in the U.S., India and China. 
At the lowest end of the chain, gold miners in eastern Congo face some of the world’s worst working conditions and include up to 40 percent child miners, as young as eight years old. A handful of exporters in the region work with armed groups and smugglers to control the trade by pre-purchasing gold directly from the mines. A large percentage of conflict gold funds armed groups, many of whom use mass rape and violence to intimidate local populations in an effort to secure control of mines, trading routes, and other strategic areas.
 
According to the report, the majority of conflict-gold mines is located in South Kivu, making up an estimated 40-50 percent of Congo’s overall gold production. Gold from 15 major mines in North and South Kivu is mainly sold to smugglers, who illegally transport 99 percent out of the country to neighboring Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania, and then take it to Dubai.
 
Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:
“Governments and companies need to do more to ensure transparency in the gold supply chain and to hold accountable armed groups and their business partners who profit from conflict gold.  To end the conflict gold trade and create a legitimate market that improves living standards in eastern Congo, companies need to invest in a formalized, traceable, and certified conflict-free gold sector.”
This is the first of two Enough Project papers on the illegal conflict gold trade from eastern Congo. The second will offer recommendations on how to formalize the trade, cut down on smuggling, and create jobs that provide living wages for Congolese miners.
 
 
View or download a conflict gold photo slideshow (credit Sasha Lezhnev/Enough Project): http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157631828402860/ 
 
View or download an infographic mapping out conflict gold’s six-step process: http://enoughproject.org/files/conflict-gold-infographic.png
 
 
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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