Nathalia Dukhan, Feb 15, 2017
The Central African Republic (CAR), a country that has seen more than four years of deep political crisis and unprecedented violence against civilians, is undergoing a process of de facto partition. In February 2014, then-U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the international community that CAR was at risk of splitting apart, stating that, “[T]he situation continues to worsen. Both Muslims and Christians have been murdered and forced to flee their homes. The sectarian brutality is changing the country’s demography. The de facto partition of the CAR is a distinct risk.” Despite his warning, CAR did not escape this fate. In 2017, more than 14 armed groups compete for the control of the territory and its natural resource wealth.
Weapons of Mass Corruption: How corruption in South Sudan’s military undermines the world’s newest countryEnough Team and edited by Jacinth Planer, Jan 26, 2017
“Weapons of Mass Corruption” is the fifth in a series of in-depth, field research-driven reports on the dynamics of profit and power fueling war in the Horn, East and Central Africa. Violent kleptocracies dominate the political landscape of this region, leading to protracted conflicts marked by the commission of mass atrocities by state and non-state actors. Enough's Political Economy of African Wars series will focus on the key players in these conflicts, their motivations, how they benefit from the evolving war economies, and what policies might be most effective in changing the calculations of those orchestrating the violence–including both incentives and pressures for peace.
Sasha Lezhnev, Nov 29, 2016
Testimony of Sasha Lezhnev, Enough Project Associate Director of Policy, given on November 29, 2016 before the U.S. Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on “Democracy and Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Peter Harrell, Nov 17, 2016
Economic sanctions, the steps a government takes to prohibit certain types of economic activities with a foreign country, company, or individual, have become a preeminent tool of U.S. foreign policy. They are used to combat threats ranging from nuclear proliferation in Iran or North Korea to civil strife and mass atrocities in Central Africa. In past decades, sanctions were typically “comprehensive,” in which the United States would ban nearly all trade and economic activity with an adversary. This approach is rarely taken anymore, with only a few countries, like Syria, Sudan, and North Korea, subject to these types of comprehensive embargoes. Today, most U.S. sanctions programs are “specific” or “targeted,” in which the United States will freeze the assets of specific, named individuals and companies overseas and ban U.S. citizens and companies from doing most business with them. For example, targeted sanctions might freeze the assets of specific government officials, who commit human rights abuses in a country and prohibit U.S. companies from dealing with businesses they own, while still allowing most trade with the country that the government officials control.
: Adapted from Peter Harrell, Nov 17, 2016
Economic sanctions, the steps a government takes to prohibit certain types of economic activities with a foreign country, company, or individual, have become a preeminent tool of U.S. foreign policy. They are used to combat threats ranging from nuclear proliferation in Iran or North Korea to civil strife and mass atrocities in Central Africa. In past decades, sanctions were typically “comprehensive,” in which the United States would ban nearly all trade and economic activity with an adversary. Today, most U.S. sanctions programs are “targeted,” in which the U.S. will freeze the assets of specific, named individuals and companies overseas and ban U.S. citizens and companies from doing most business with them without discontinuing trade with the countries they are located.
A Criminal State: Understanding and countering institutionalized corruption and violence in the Democratic Republic of CongoSasha Lezhnev, Oct 27, 2016
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
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.