Eastern Congo

Brad Brooks-Rubin Testifies on U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

On Wednesday June 8, Enough's Brad Brooks-Rubin, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, convening for a session on “U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

On Wednesday June 8, Enough Project Policy Director, Brad Brooks-Rubin, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, convening for a session on “U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Read the blog on the testimony here and watch the video below. (Brooks-Rubin’s testimony begins just after the 53:17 mark)

Enough Project’s Policy Director Brad Brooks-Rubin Testifies before Congress on U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Brooks-Rubin testifying on June 8

On Wednesday June 8, Enough Project Policy Director, Brad Brooks-Rubin, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, convening for a session on “U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa.”  Read More »

Enough’s Brooks-Rubin to Senate: Modern Sanctions Policy Could Disrupt Violent Kleptocracy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Date: 
Jun 8, 2016

In today’s Foreign Relations hearing, former State and Treasury official details current failures, challenges, and a new approach for U.S. sanctions policy to target leaders and facilitators profiting from corruption, atrocities and armed violence

A modernized approach to U.S. sanctions policy would create real consequences for kleptocratic leaders and their international facilitators responsible for mass atrocities and armed violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Enough Project’s Brad Brooks-Rubin testified to the Senate today.

“As the Panama Papers revelations and our the work of our investigative initiative The Sentry investigations show,” Brooks-Rubin stated in his testimony, “the networks involved are using many of the same types of transactions that narco-traffickers, terrorist networks, and corrupt regimes in other parts of the world are using, and against which we have deployed the full array of tools of financial pressure. The violent kleptocracies in Africa all come back to money, and as a result, we have the power to use sanctions and other tools to disrupt them.”

In the Foreign Relations hearing on “U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project and its new investigative initiative The Sentry, reviewed successes and challenges in current sanctions policy, and presented recommendations that would unleash more effective and targeted financial pressures and enforcement measures for countries caught in the nexus of corruption and violence like Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A former official at the State Department and the Department of the Treasury, Brooks-Rubin joined Ambassador Princeton Lyman and other distinguished witnesses in a dynamic discussion before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Senator Jeff Flake presiding.

Selected excerpts from official testimony by Brad Brooks-Rubin:

  • “Men, women, and children across sub-Saharan Africa pay a price every day for the unchecked violence and resource theft committed by leaders who do not believe they will face real consequences for their actions.”
  • “Quite simply, we do not approach sanctions with respect to sub-Saharan Africa the way we do other critical national security and foreign policy crises.”
  • “Sanctions can and do have beneficial impact when they are carefully designed and strongly enforced.”  
  • “The simple fact is that we can do so much to modernize our sanctions approach for greater impact. But we need to choose sanctions and other financial pressures that will have the greatest economic impact on the particular networks in the area we’re targeting. We need to look beyond the pressure measures to the broader foreign policy goals and diplomatic engagement that promote good governance. And we must do more to mitigate different types of unintended consequences.”
  • “Regimes from Sudan to Zimbabwe have blamed sanctions for all manner of economic problems, many of which have nothing to do with sanctions at all but instead result from the authoritarian leaders within these regimes and the catastrophic economic decisions that they have made. But when we fail to explain how the sanctions work and show that they can evolve and be nimble over time, rather than become permanent forms of punishment, we give the likes of Bashir and Mugabe easy wins.”
  • “Sanctions have become the non-military tool of choice of the U.S. government to try to deliver those types of consequences across the globe, but sanctions in sub-Saharan Africa have thus far generally failed to achieve the desired impact. This is in large part because we repeatedly use the same types of tools.  We do not target key decision makers and their international facilitators. We rarely follow up or enforce sanctions with further actions. We do not integrate sanctions with other tools designed to promote improved governance. And we do not sufficiently mitigate the negative consequences associated with sanctions.”
  • “The failure has not been with our choice to use sanctions. The failure thus far, which can be readily addressed for the future, is in the limited way in which we have viewed the problems and use sanctions as a tool with sub-Saharan Africa. We have not yet approached these countries with the serious economic lens they deserve, especially before situations become crises. As a result, we have thus far deployed only a limited selection of sanctions measures or approaches in sub-Saharan Africa.”
  • “As of today, at least with respect to addressing conflicts and violent kleptocracies across the continent, sanctions and financial pressure are under-leveraged.”
  • “Too often we underestimate or misunderstand the sources of violence, thinking of them simply as brutal conflicts between rival ethnic groups or strongmen seeking power. At the Enough Project, we analyze five countries—Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic, and Somalia—through the lens of what we call “violent kleptocracy.” We view these violent kleptocracies as systems in which those in power and their networks of facilitators and enablers engage in grand corruption and foment violence. The state is completely hijacked to these purposes.  And there is little to no meaningful governance or public service provision to benefit the people.  Violence and mass corruption are not aberrations of the system; they are the system itself. The particular structure, actors, and specific means of implementing violent kleptocracy may differ between countries, but they all feature these hallmarks, as do many others on the continent.”
  • “In my experience, as a former attorney at the U.S. Treasury Department advising the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and as an officer in the Economic Bureau of the State Department focused on natural resources and conflict, I have worked on many such sanctions efforts related to the continent. I have seen, when a crisis emerges, from Zimbabwe to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to South Sudan to Burundi, we almost immediately look in the sanctions toolbox. But despite the existence of good examples and incredible expertise within the interagency, we too often end up resigned to using the same necessary but insufficient tools: limited numbers of asset freezes, travel bans, and, on occasion, an arms embargo. These tools tend to be long on message and short on financial impact. When these sanctions measures are not flanked well by other efforts, they frequently fail.”
  • “Clear information about which parties are and are not subject to sanctions designations can help mitigate many unintended and unnecessary consequences for sanctions.”
  • “We have not yet brought to sub-Saharan Africa the same sense of urgency to counter threats related to terrorism or drug trafficking.”

Six key recommendations, to deliver an effective and modernized sanctions approach in sub-Saharan Africa:

  1. Ensure that sanctions fit within a broader policy approach with clear policy goals;
  2. Develop better intelligence and expertise on a broader set of potential targets that ensure the actions we take will fulfill the policy goals we are seeking to achieve and disrupt the financial flows involved;
  3. Employ modern sanctions tools beyond targeted designations and travel bans;
  4. Build on the actions we take and have the courage to double down at key junctures rather than easing pressure;
  5. Prioritize civil and criminal enforcement actions under these programs to prevent them from becoming empty gestures; and
  6. Take better steps to keep sanctions temporary and mitigate negative impacts.

Types of critical actions recommended to directly increase the impact of sanctions in sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Use the particular kinds of designation criteria that are designed to deliver financial impact, such as for acts of public corruption and looting of state assets, and go after much high-level targets overall;
  • Keep the pressure on designated individuals and entities at key junctures and enforce the sanctions we put forward;
  • Employ sectoral and even secondary sanctions as needed to act specifically on key economic vulnerabilities and pressure banks to take these crises seriously;
  • Push the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to look beyond drugs and terrorism when acting against money laundering on the continent, something it has never done;
  • Develop public reporting requirements for private-sector actors, particularly investors, in target countries, as used effectively in Burma;
  • Integrate sanctions more holistically with broader policy efforts advancing good governance and responsible business;
  • Issue strong messages against de-risking; and
  • Pass the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and allocate to the Department of the Treasury and other U.S. government agencies a greater share of intelligence and investigative resources that can be dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa.

Complete SFRC testimony of Mr. Brooks-Rubin: http://eno.ug/1RWA8MP

Hearing details and video:  http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/us-sanctions-policy-in-sub-saharan-africa-060816

Interview availability: Mr. Brooks-Rubin will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing. For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

About THE SENTRY
The Sentry seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provides information and analysis that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information they require to take effective action. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch (NOOW), with its implementing partner C4ADS. Learn more at TheSentry.org

Testimony of Brad Brooks-Rubin - U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Testimony of Brad Brooks-Rubin, Enough Project Policy Director, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy's hearing on “U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa," given on June 8, 2016.

Enough’s Brooks-Rubin to Testify to Senate on Sub-Saharan Africa, New Approach to Sanctions

Date: 
Jun 6, 2016

This Wednesday, June 8th, Brad Brooks-Rubin, Policy Director at the Enough Project, will testify before the Senate on “U.S. Sanctions Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa,” detailing both successes and significant challenges of current sanctions policy, and presenting recommendations for a modernized approach to sanctions in the region.

A former official at the State Department and the Department of the Treasury, Brooks-Rubin will join other distinguished witnesses before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy.

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Where: Room 419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Presiding: Senator Flake

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Sue E. Eckert
    Senior Fellow, Watson Institute International And Public Affairs, Brown University
     
  • Dr. Todd Moss
    Chief Operating Officer And Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
     
  • The Honorable Princeton N. Lyman
    Senior Advisor To The President, United States Institute of Peace
     
  • Mr. Brad Brooks-Rubin
    Director of Policy, Enough Project

Testimony livestream and hearing details:  http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/us-sanctions-policy-in-sub-saharan-africa-060816

Interview availability: Mr. Brooks-Rubin will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing. For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Over 1,200 Companies File Conflict Minerals Reports with the SEC

Elm Sustainbaility Partners LLC has been tracking the 2016 SEC conflict minerals reports.  Read More »

Companies File Third Round of Conflict Minerals Reports, SEC, Government Agencies Must Follow Through

May 31st marks the third annual deadline for electronics, manufacturing, and other companies to file conflict minerals reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as part of their obligation under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. With three years of reporting now completed, the SEC must follow through on its responsibility to hold companies accountable for the content of these reports by ensuring that companies have filed complete and accurate reports that meet regulatory requirements.  Read More »

Number of Certified Conflict-Free Mines in Congo Increases by 31%: 204 Mines Certified

The number of officially certified conflict-free mines in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has increased by 31% since June 2015, according to recent data from the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and Congo's Mining Ministry. Multi-stakeholder teams made up of business persons, government officials, and civil society members have validated that 204 mines in eastern Congo are now free of armed groups, the military, and the worst forms of child labor.  Read More »

Enough Project Statement on May 26th Congo Democracy Protests, Need for Targeted Sanctions

The Enough Project is deeply concerned about the growing political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For over a year, citizens have been calling on President Kabila to indicate his intentions to step down, resulting in dozens of arbitrary arrests and detentions. Government security forces are continuing this trend of violent response to the country-wide demonstrations using tear gas, beatings, and bullets.   Read More »

Companies File Third Round of Conflict Minerals Reports, SEC, Government Agencies Must Follow Through

Date: 
May 26, 2016

 

May 31st marks the third annual deadline for electronics, manufacturing, and other companies to file conflict minerals reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as part of their obligation under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. With three years of reporting now completed, the SEC must follow through on its responsibility to hold companies accountable for the content of these reports by ensuring that companies have filed complete and accurate reports that meet regulatory requirements. 

The reporting requirement impacts all companies publicly traded in the United States with products containing any of the four conflict minerals: tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold.

Dodd-Frank 1502, the corresponding SEC Conflict Minerals Rule, and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance are important transparency measures to help stem the flow of conflict minerals from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo), where over 5.4 million people have died since 1993 as a result of armed conflict. These measures are one part of a comprehensive approach to addressing this issue. Other policy steps on governance are also needed to end the conflict, grand corruption, and wider repression in Congo.

Since the first filing deadline in 2014, there has been steady progress both in supply chain management and impact on armed group funding in Congo. Today, 216 out of approximately 324 smelters and refiners worldwide (67 percent) have passed conflict-free audits and an additional 50 smelters/refiners are in the process of being audited, for a total of 266 participating companies (82 percent).  These audits are a crucial step towards ensuring conflict-free supply chains. Additionally, a 2014 independent study by the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) found that 70 percent of tin, tungsten, and tantalum mines surveyed in eastern Congo were no longer controlled by armed groups, and 204 mines in Congo are now officially certified as conflict-free.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “Dodd-Frank Section 1502 is increasing the rule of law in a previously conflict-rife minerals trade in Congo and the region, helping to make 70% of tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines conflict-free, as IPIS found. Several companies such as Intel, Apple, and Ford are leading the way to implement the law and go beyond, demanding increased transparency from suppliers and traders – a far cry from the pre-Dodd-Frank era of zero supply chain transparency. However, some companies are still choosing to do next to nothing to show that they actually investigated their supply chains to know whether or not there are conflict minerals in them. That must change.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “It is time for the SEC to follow through on company compliance on conflict minerals. Not all companies are doing proper due diligence and taking this regulatory reporting requirement seriously. In order for there to be meaningful industry-wide change, the SEC must take steps to demonstrate that companies will be held appropriately accountable for the content of their reports.”

Annie Callaway, Advocacy & Activist Manager at the Enough Project, said: “Through the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, dozens of schools, cities, and states across the country and internationally have implemented policies that alter their procurement structures to favor companies that are working to become conflict-free. These entities, as well as consumers and investors more broadly, rely on accurate conflict minerals reports in order to make informed purchasing decisions and evaluate whether product supply chains directly or indirectly fund armed violence in Congo.” 

Companies and governments, both in the West and in Central Africa, must take further steps in addition to the SEC reporting requirement to help end the conflict minerals trade in Congo. Companies should urge their suppliers to source from conflict-free mines in Congo, and commit resources to livelihoods support for Congolese mining communities. The U.S. and European governments should provide additional funding to the minerals certification system in the region, in particular to the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); they must also pressure the Congolese government to hold elections on time in accordance with Congo’s constitution. However, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the corresponding Conflict Minerals Rule establish an important baseline for transparency that must be enforced in order to remain effective. 

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Megha Swamy, Media Relations Specialist, +1 202 478 5323mswamy@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Syndicate content