• Sasha Lezhnev, Oct 27, 2016
    A Criminal State

    The Democratic Republic of Congo is not a failed state—for everyone. It is a failure for the vast majority of Congolese who suffer from abysmal security, health care, and education services. However, it is an efficient state for ruling elites and their commercial partners who seek to extract or traffic resources at the expense of Congo’s development. 

  • Enough Team, Oct 27, 2016

    If international policymakers are to have a real impact in helping Congolese reformers actually transform the system of violent kleptocracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they need to shift lenses. Policies should focus on creating significant consequences for those most responsible for the system of violence, corruption, and undermining of democracy. This can be done by creating new leverage using tools of financial pressure normally reserved for countering nuclear proliferation and terrorism aimed at isolating certain leaders from the international financial system, and increasing support for Congolese civil society organizations and journalists to hold the government accountable.

  • John Prendergast, Oct 18, 2016

    Millions of people have suffered and perished in the ongoing wars in East and Central Africa, including Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. The big prize in these deadly conflicts is the control of a hijacked state and the natural resource wealth of the country.

  • Enough Team, Oct 18, 2016

    What is a Violent Kleptocracy?
    Enough defines violent kleptocracy as a system of state capture in which ruling networks and commercial partners hijack governing institutions for the purpose of resource extraction and for the security of the regime. Ruling networks utilize varying levels of violence to maintain power and repress dissenting voices.

  • J.R. Mailey and Jacinth Planer, Oct 11, 2016
    Bankrupting Kleptocracy

    Fighting corruption must become a cornerstone of U.S. engagement with countries that have been plagued by violent kleptocracy. The U.S. government should expand its support for the development of robust oversight institutions and accountability mechanisms and redouble its efforts to create and protect space for civil society and the press to act as watchdogs and articulate public concerns. However, in hijacked states, efforts toward this end are typically thwarted by elites who co-opt, sideline, or bypass institutions designed to restrain their ability to loot with impunity.

  • Enough Team, Oct 11, 2016

    The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was passed in 1977 and prohibits U.S. persons from bribing foreign officials. The law was developed after an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found that in order to secure business opportunities overseas, over 400 U.S. companies had paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to foreign officials. The same investigation found that these firms were using “secret slush funds” and falsifying corporate records to disguise illicit payments to foreign officials (as well as illegal campaign contributions to U.S. politicians).

  • Enough Team, Oct 11, 2016

    Corruption and money laundering go hand in hand. Money laundering is the effort to legitimize wealth obtained through the commission of a crime, often known as a “predicate offense.” Fraud, theft, bribery, and other acts associated with corruption are considered to be predicate offenses in most jurisdictions. A wide range of anti-money laundering provisions have come into force over the past century that can be used to combat corruption. However, numerous loopholes that remain in place allow ill-gotten gains to enter the United States with ease and prevent efforts aimed at tracing and seizing the proceeds of corruption.

  • Enough Team, Oct 11, 2016

    Sanctions are well-suited to countering violent kleptocracies because of their ability to impact the target regime’s wealth. Sanctions can alter kleptocrats’ problematic incentive structures, which favor continued conflict over peace due to the prospect of financial gain from war. To be most effective, however, sanctions must be strategic in both design and implementation.

  • Brian Adeba, Sep 7, 2016

    Testimony of Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations' hearing on “The Growing Crisis in South Sudan,” given on September 7, 2016.

  • Brad Brooks-Rubin, Holly Dranginis, and Sasha Lezhnev, Sep 7, 2016

    Political tensions are building in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where sitting President Joseph Kabila is attempting to subvert the country’s constitution, hold on to power, and reduce political space ahead of the scheduled end of his second presidential term. During the past 18 months, the situation has worsened, with multiple attempts to significantly delay elections; peaceful protesters arbitrarily arrested, beaten, or killed;  and the expulsion of several key international researchers or officials, including those from the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office, Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, and the Congo Research Group.