In the wake of U.N. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios’ briefing to the U.N. Security Council on May 16 concerning Sudan and South Sudan’s compliance with Resolution 2046, Khartoum remains, in many respects, defiant. In an effort to track these and other developments, the Enough Project has updated its timeline and chart that track Sudan, South Sudan, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North’s compliance. Read More »
Despite being wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity, Omar al-Bashir remains comfortably in power as the president of Sudan. In an effort to boost international pressure to have him arrested, the House Appropriations Committee recently adopted an amendment which would cut off all non-humanitarian aid to countries that allow Bashir to travel within their borders. The amendment was offered by Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) who has a longstanding history of championing Sudanese issues on the Hill. Read More »
On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council received its first briefing regarding Sudan and South Sudan’s compliance with Security Council Resolution 2046. In the closed meeting, the U.N. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, briefed the council on the events in Sudan and South Sudan since the passage of the resolution. Read More »
As the saga of Dodd-Frank section 1502 drags on, last Thursday, May 10, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade held a hearing to debate the following questions: What are the costs for American businesses to start disclosing supply chain details for minerals sourced from Congo and its neighboring countries? How would this industry change affect people in eastern Congo? And, most importantly, what are the consequences for people in eastern Congo if the provisions are not implemented? Read More »
The capture of Caesar Acellam, a high-ranking LRA commander, is a significant development in the effort to bring an end to the rebel group. His survival and safe capture should serve as a model for future encounters with LRA leaders and can be a real game changer provided that the U.S., Uganda, and other partners utilize this opportunity fully. Read More »
Over the last few months, conflict has ignited across the border between the two Sudans, with the potential to escalate even further. A new Enough Project report, “South Sudan and Sudan Back at War: The View from Juba” reflects on these last few months and evaluates the causes and implications of the deteriorating relationship between Sudan and South Sudan. Read More »
Allegations have recently emerged that Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, is in the Darfur region of Sudan and receiving support from the Sudanese government. These rumors have sparked threats of military intervention by Uganda, which could escalate the existing low-level border conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. Read More »
WASHINGTON – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to issue regulations to tackle the trade in minerals fuelling conflict and human rights abuses in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a group of non-profits, investors and companies said today. A provision directing the SEC to publish rules on conflict minerals by April 2011 was passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The law includes a disclosure requirement that calls on companies to determine whether their products contain conflict minerals by carrying out supply chain due diligence and to report this to the SEC. For over a decade, rebel groups and senior commanders of the Congolese national army have made millions of dollars through the illegal control of mines and trading routes, while inflicting appalling human rights abuses on the local population, including gender-based violence such as rape and sexual slavery.
“The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act has led to positive developments in eastern Congo to demilitarize mining areas,” said Corinna Gilfillan of Global Witness. “The Congolese government recently adopted a law requiring all mining and mineral trading companies operating in the DRC to carry out due diligence measures. The long delays in the rule-making process threaten to reverse this progress and undermine efforts to develop a clean minerals trade.”
Amol Mehra of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, said: “Armed groups and factions of the Congolese army continue to profit from the minerals trade at the expense of the civilian population. The SEC must come out with rules now to tackle this deadly trade and to provide consumers and investors with important information about companies’ efforts to take responsibility for their supply chains and sourcing practices,”
Industry groups are also spearheading due diligence programs across the global supply chain to comply with Dodd-Frank and further delays in the rules risks slowing this momentum.
“A few industry leaders are ahead of the pack basing their actions on the rules as originally proposed. Unfortunately, most companies have been reluctant to move ahead given the uncertainty of the final wording which will dictate the compliance requirements. This is an unfortunate situation and demonstrates the need for the SEC to act swiftly and issue the final rules.” said Dr. Daniel Persico of KEMET Electronics Corporation.
“Leading companies are moving forward with preparation based on the proposed rules. However, uncertainty about compliance requirements will only continue to grow until finalized regulations are issued,” said Tim Mohin of Advanced Micro Devices.
“We support the timely release of this rule as this issue is too important to delay action,” said Gary Niekerk of Intel.
“Congress has a responsibility to act to ensure that the SEC issues timely rules on conflict minerals. Congress passed the conflict mineral provision to address a humanitarian crisis, and until the SEC issues rules, Congressional intent will continue to be compromised” said Darren Fenwick, Senior Manger of Government Affairs for the Enough Project.
Companies, investors and NGOs believe that getting the rules out is an important step forward in breaking the link between conflict and minerals and that all stakeholders must work together to address the dire humanitarian crisis in eastern DRC.
It is important for the SEC to release strong rules now to ensure all affected companies bring the requisite pressure to bear to incentivize responsible sourcing from the region.
"Investors will benefit by gaining confidence that companies they own-- or may own-- are moving rapidly to ensure that their supply chains and products are free of conflict minerals", said Bennett Freeman, SVP-Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments. "Investors and consumers alike need to know that companies are undertaking appropriate due diligence to diminish this risk," Freeman added.