Eastern Congo

Progress and Challenges on Conflict Minerals: Facts on Dodd-Frank 1502

 

Miners in Eastern Congo

Minerals and Conflict

Justine Masika Bihamba

"10 years ago, we were under de facto control of armed groups...today, let's admit we are a long way from that. And if we’re honest, that’s in part because of Dodd-Frank – it came to shine the light on those illicit actors. Today, despite the problems with governance, you can feel more government control.Justine Masika Bihamba, Coordinator of the organization Synergy of Women for Victims of Sexual Violence

Conflict minerals have fueled and continue to help sustain armed violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo), linking them to the deadliest conflict globally since World War II.The four conflict minerals (gold, along with the 3Ts - tin, tantalum, and tungsten) are not the only sources of income to armed groups, but they are some of the most lucrative. The illegal exploitation of natural resources today is a manifestation of the grand corruption linked to violence that has marked successive governments in Kinshasa and the broader region since colonial times.

  • The U.N. Group of Experts on Congo found in 2016 that gold provides the most significant financial benefit to armed groups”[1] and “is the most lucrative and easily smuggled of the natural resources in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo."[2] A study from the Enough Project found that armed groups made an estimated $185 million from conflict minerals in 2008.[3] In 2007 the Pole Institute noted “minerals are a major source of income and of conflict in North Kivu as in the whole of the DRC,”[4] 

  • A mortality study by the International Rescue Committee looking at conflict-related deaths between August 1998 and April 2007 estimated that more than 5.4 million people died as a result of armed conflict in Congo.[5] There has been continuing violence since that study, but no definitive follow up has been conducted on the mortality toll.

 

The Law

Dr. Denis Mukwege

"A conflict-free minerals industry would contribute to ending the unspeakable violence the people of Congo have endured for years.” Dr. Denis Mukwege, Founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital

Section 1502 on conflict minerals of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a transparency measure, one part of a comprehensive approach to Congo’s challenges. Passed in 2010 and implemented by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012, it creates a reporting requirement for all companies publicly traded in the United States with products containing any of the four conflict minerals. This creates a lever to support transparency, security, and the rule of law in the mining sector. Companies must now publicly disclose annually whether any of the gold or 3Ts in their supply chains originated in Congo or a neighboring country and, if so, describe the due diligence measures taken to determine the source of the minerals. Dodd-Frank 1502 does not require companies to divest from Congo or source from conflict-free mines. The law only requires companies to report on their mineral sourcing and due diligence practices.

  • The cost of compliance has been significantly overestimated by industry lobbyists. Claigan, an independent environmental consulting firm with expertise in supply chain management, estimates the total cost of Dodd-Frank 1502 compliance was approximately $140 million for 2014.[6] This is a fraction of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s estimate of $3-4 billion for the first year.[7]​​

“In 2014, we educated suppliers who mistakenly believed that CFSP-compliant smelters are, by definition, not sourcing from the Covered Countries, or whose conflict minerals policies indicated that they intend not to source from the Covered Countries at all.” – EMC Corporation (Source: Conflict Minerals Report 2014)

Impact

Consistent with its objective, Dodd-Frank 1502 along with related reforms has led to significant improvements in the transparency of corporate supply chains and to a major reduction in the number of 3T conflict mines in eastern Congo. More than 70 percent of the world’s smelters for the four minerals have now passed conflict-free audits.  Before Dodd-Frank 1502, there was no certification mechanism for distinguishing conflict mines (i.e. mines controlled by armed groups or the Congolese army) from conflict-free mines, and there were no federal transparency requirements for companies on conflict minerals. The law and related reforms have changed these circumstances and created a two-tier market whereby the price for untraceable 3T conflict minerals is significantly lower than the price for verified conflict-free minerals. This price difference has made the trade in 3T minerals significantly less lucrative for armed groups.

 

PROGRESS

 

 

Number of conflict free mines: 204 (as of April 2016)

 

 

Number of refiners that have passed audits: 230 (as of August 1st, 2016)

 

  • As of 2016, the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) found that over three-quarters (79
    percent) of 3T miners surveyed in eastern Congo were working in mines where no armed group involvement has been reported.[8] This is a significant change given that the U.N. Group of Experts stated as recently as 2010 that “in the Kivu provinces, almost every mining deposit [was] controlled by a military group.”[9]
  • As of December 5th, 2016, 75 percent of smelters/refiners worldwide (242 out of 319 total) for the four conflict minerals have passed audits by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative or associated programs, and an additional 24 smelters/refiners are participating in the program (i.e. are in the process of being audited) for a total of 266 participants (over 80 percent).[11]
  • There is now an emerging certification mechanism run by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and mines have begun to be validated as conflict-free.[12] As of June 25, 2015, 141 mines in eastern Congo had been validated as conflict-free by multi-stakeholder teams made up of U.N. officials and Congolese civil society, business, and government representatives.[13]
  • In surveyed locations, “minerals that do not go through conflict-free programs sell for 30 to 60 percent less” than minerals verified as conflict-free,[14] thus reducing profits for armed group trying to sell conflict minerals.

 

"...Alcatel-Lucent does not want to prevent its suppliers from sourcing from legitimate mines located within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighboring countries (as doing so could be detrimental to the legitimate economies and populations of those countries).” – Alcatel-Lucent (Source: Conflict Minerals Report 2013)

Mining Communities

Dodd-Frank 1502 must be fully implemented, not abandoned, and strengthened with livelihood projects and other support to mining communities.  As often occurs in places where black markets are disrupted by reform, Congo’s 3T mining sector is being affected by the transition to a conflict-free economy, and many miners have experienced livelihood challenges. The original conflict minerals draft legislation included resources for livelihood programs for mining communities, but unfortunately those provisions were omitted from the final law and thus resources were not forthcoming in a timely way, causing hardship for some communities. Some aid has been disbursed to support conflict-free mining, but more support for livelihoods projects is needed. The solution to uncovering and eliminating these harmful illicit markets is not to reduce transparency measures but rather to strengthen and expand them.

  • Livelihood projects should include alternative livelihoods programs and artisanal mining support. Project planning should involve concerted community consultations and decision-making, and projects should encompass microfinance programs, programs to increase women’s accessibility to mining and other livelihoods, and transition programs for child miners. Projects should also include aid for the formalization of artisanal mining—including the creation of artisanal mining zones, validation of more conflict-free mines, capacity building for mining cooperatives, provision of equipment, and development of safety standards for miners. [15]
  • Section 5 of the original “Conflict Minerals Trade Act” (introduced on Nov. 11, 2009) included provisions for livelihood support.[16] Since that time, the Enough Project has repeatedly called on the United Nations, the United States, and other governments to engage in a process of dialogue and reform in Congo that is broadly inclusive of Congolese civil society, business, and government representatives.[17]

Congolese Support

Archbishop Francois Rusengo

"Armed men have been free to exploit minerals away from any eyes. The formula for exploitation has been to attack civilians. To do that, they harm the women. When women are raped, the men are forced to flee, the children can’t survive, and the village is abandoned - then the area is free for exploitation.” Archbishop Francois Rusengo, Archbishop of Bukavu, South Kivu

Many Congolese communities and leaders—including Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Sakharov Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege, community activist Justine Masika Bihamba, and Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, South Kivu—support Dodd-Frank 1502. Leaders and activists support the law because they have seen direct positive impacts, because they believe in transparency and the rule of law, or both.

  • Dr. Denis Mukwege: "A conflict-free minerals industry would contribute to ending the unspeakable violence the people of Congo have endured for years. Government must not only enact strong legislation, they must be willing to enforce the law. Companies bear the responsibility of compliance and public disclosure, and acting transparently as consumers are increasingly aware of conflict-free components on the market. Tens of thousands of legitimate miners would benefit from a clean, transparent minerals industry…The mineral trade is one of the components that drive suffering in Congo.”[18]
  • Open letter signed by 31 Congolese civil society leaders, experts, and former ambassadors: “It is time for another broader push for reform on conflict minerals and natural resource governance in order to complement the Dodd-Frank legislation and deepen related minerals reforms. Dodd-Frank has been the primary driver of corporate and regional policy change on conflict minerals.”[19]

 


WATCH: Conflict Minerals Legislation - View from Eastern Congo

Congolese miners and human rights activists speak about the impact of Dodd-Frank in Congo in this video from 2012.

 

More Resources and Information

 


Citations

[1] U.N. Security Council, “Final report of the Group of Experts (2016),” S/2016/166, pg 2, May 23, 2016, available at;http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/466..

[2] U.N. Security Council, “Final report of the Group of Experts (2016),” S/2016/166, para. 115, May 23, 2016, available at;http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/466..

[3] The Enough Project Team and the Grassroots Reconciliation Group, “A Comprehensive Approach to Congo’s Conflict Minerals,” Appendix 2, p. 17 (Washington: April 2009), available at http://www.enoughproject.org/publications/comprehensive-approach-conflict-minerals-strategy-paper.

[4] Aloys Tegera and Dominic Johnson, “Rules for Sale: Formal and informal cross-border trade in Eastern DRC,” p. 40 (Goma: Pole Institute, May 2007), available at http://www.pole-institute.org/sites/default/files/regard19_anglais.pdf.

[5] Benjamin Coghlan, Pascal Ngoy, Flavien Mulumba, Colleen Hardy, Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, Tony Stewart, Jennifer Lewis, and Richard Brennan, “Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: An ongoing crisis,” pp. ii, 16 (New York: International Rescue Committee, January 2008), available at http://www.rescue.org/sites/default/files/resource-file/2006-7_congoMortalitySurvey.pdf.

[6] Email correspondence with Claigan, August 2015.

[7] U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Release No. 34-67716, p. 302, August 22, 2012, available at http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2012/34-67716.pdf.

[8] IPIS surveyed 2,026 mines. However, 64% of gold miners still work at conflict mines. “Analysis of the Interactive Map of artisanal mining areas in eastern DR Congo,” October 2016, available at http://ipisresearch.be/publication/analysis-interactive- map-artisanal-mining- areas-eastern- dr-congo- 2/

[9] U.N. Security Council, “Interim report of the Group of Experts on the DRC,” S/2010/252, para. 77, p.17, May 24, 2010, available at http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2010/252.

[10] Steven Spittaels, Ken Matthysen, Yannick Weyns, Filip Hilgert and Anna Bulzomi, “Analysis of the interactive map of artisanal mining areas in Eastern DR Congo: May 2014 update” (Antwerp: International Peace Information Service, May 2014), available at http://ipisresearch.be/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/20141031-Promines_analysis.pdf.

[11]  “Conflict-Free Smelter Program Indicators,” available at http://www.conflictfreesourcing.org/members/active-and-compliant-smelter-count/ (last accessed December 5, 2016).

[12] International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Mineral Certification Scheme, “ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM) Certification Manual,” available at http://www.oecd.org/investment/mne/49111368.pdf (last accessed August 2015).

[13] Uwe Naeher and Yasmine Nzuma, “Summary of Joint Missions and CTC Mine Site Audits in Eastern DRC,” Federal Bureau of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Kinshasa, June 2015.

[14]  Fidel Bafilemba, Timo Mueller, and Sasha Lezhnev, “The Impact of Dodd-Frank and Conflict Minerals Reforms on Eastern Congo’s Conflict,” endnote 5, p. 20 (Washington: The Enough Project, June 2014), available at http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/impact-dodd-frank-and-conflict-minerals-reforms-eastern-congo’s-war.

[15] Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev, “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing gold into the legal trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” pp 15-17 (Washington: The Enough Project, April 2015), available at http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/congo%E2%80%99s-conflict-gold-rush; Holly Dranginis, “Doing Good, while Doing Well: Is There a Win-Win Formula for Investing Responsibly in Congo’s Minerals Sector?” pp. 5, 7 (Washington: The Enough Project, July 2014), available at http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/doing-good-while-doing-well.

[16] Conflict Minerals Trade Act, H.R.4128 111th Congress (2009-2010), section 5, “Sense of Congress on Assistance for Affected Communities and Sustainable Livelihoods,” available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/4128/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22conflict+minerals+trade+act%22%5D%7D.

[17] The Enough Project Team and the Grassroots Reconciliation Group, “A Comprehensive Approach to Congo’s Conflict Minerals”; John Prendergast and Sasha Lezhnev, “Opinion: Electronics companies and consumers can help stop Congolese bloodshed,” San Jose Mercury News, July 28, 2009, available at http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_12931613; Enough Project, “Conflict Minerals: A Broader Push for Reform is Essential,” available at http://www.enoughproject.org/special-topics/conflict-minerals-broader-push-reform-essential.

[18] Panzi Foundation, “Statement from Dr. Denis Mukwege: EU Vote is a Victory for Human Rights,” May 20, 2015, available at http://www.panzifoundation.org/news/dr-mukwege-statement-eu-conflict-minerals-vote.

[19] “Open Letter: Conflict Minerals: A Broader Push for Reform is Essential,” October 30, 2014, available at http://www.enoughproject.org/files/OpenLetterConflictMinerals_October_2014.pdf.

Eastern Congo

Over 5.4 million dead. Over 2 million displaced. Congo is home to the deadliest conflict since World War II.

The war in eastern Congo began in the early 1990s and continues to this day. It has encompassed two international wars—from 1996 to 1997 and 1998 to 2003—and multiple invasions from neighboring countries, with combatants from many armed groups, both foreign and domestic. While Congo has abundant natural resources, it is also the world’s poorest country per capita, according to the United Nations. Congo is also home to the largest and most expensive U.N. peacekeeping mission in the world, MONUSCO, which has more than 20,000 personnel and an annual budget of $1.4 billion. The eastern part of the country is plagued by instability, as militias continue to wreak havoc on the population. Meanwhile, the conflict gets very little coverage by the international media.

The conflict in Congo is notorious for serious violations of human rights, including violence against women and the use of child soldiers. Since 1996 the International Rescue Committee has calculated that approximately 5.4 million people have died from war-related causes. In 2012 Congo ranked lowest on the United Nations Human Development Index.

Armed GroupsArmed Groups

Armed groups wreak havoc in eastern Congo by terrorizing communities and fighting for power and access to mineral resources. Read More

Conflict MineralsConflict Minerals

Armed groups and Congolese military use profits from trading in conflict minerals to self-finance campaigns of brutal violence against civilians. Read More

Justice and AccountabilityJustice and Accountability

Congo needs a system of justice and accountability by which perpetrators of atrocity crimes are caught, tried, and punished for their crimes. Read More

Security Sector ReformSecurity Sector Reform

Congolese security forces pose a significant threat to civilians. In eastern Congo, they commit murder and rape, and carry out torture and extortion. Read More

Congolese WomanSexual Violence

Every day, women and girls face threats from armed militias, the military, and even the police who are responsible for protecting them. Read More

Sustaining LivelihoodsSustaining Livelihoods

As Congo's mining industry transitions from conflict minerals trade to legitimate business, miners need help transitioning to other sustainable sources of livelihood. Read More

 

Help end the crisis in eastern Congo: Take action now. 

Stay updated on Eastern Congo: Read the latest reports.

Event & livestream tomorrow: DR Congo's CENCO Agreement: A Foundation for Real Political Transition?

Date: 
Jan 17, 2017

 

On Wednesday, January 18, the Enough Project and the Atlantic Council will host, “DRC's CENCO Agreement: A Foundation for Real Political Transition?” in Washington, DC.

Speakers will discuss the ongoing political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the wake of the December 31 deal between the country’s political opposition and President Joseph Kabila, who failed to respect the constitutionally-mandated end of his term in office on December 19. The discussion will provide an update on the unfolding situation in the country and how the US and Europe can best support the political transition.

For media unable to attend, the presentation will be simulcast on livestream video here. For event details, click here.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Pierre Englebert, H. Russell Smith Professor of International Relations and Professor of African Politics, Pomona College
  • Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy, Enough Project
  • Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director, Africa Center; Vice President, Atlantic Council

Moderated by:

  • Bronwyn Bruton, Director, Africa Center Research and Programs; Deputy Director, Africa Center, Atlantic Council

DATE/TIME: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. EST

LIVESTREAM: Click here to watch the livestream.

LOCATION: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20005

FOR MEDIA: For media planning to attend the event in person, please email: press@enoughproject.org. For media inquiries and 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.

Six reasons why Kabila should sign a democratic deal now. It will get worse for him if he doesn’t

There may still be hope yet to bring the Democratic Republic of Congo back from the brink. Senior Congolese politicians, western diplomats, and French television are reporting that Joseph Kabila and the political opposition are getting closer to signing a deal on a democratic transition, brokered by the Catholic bishops in Congo, CENCO.  Read More »

Congo President Kabila Fails to Agree to Democratic Transition

Date: 
Dec 19, 2016

 

Grave concerns about worsening crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Kabila fails to hold elections or come to agreement with opposition. He suddenly names new government, and his last legal term ended at midnight Kinshasa time. 

December 19, 2016 - 6:45pm EST (Washington, DC) –

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila has failed to agree to a democratic transition with the country's political opposition. After the Congolese government failed to hold scheduled elections on November 19, tonight at midnight marks the end of Kabila's second and last legally sanctioned term as the country's president, according to Congo's constitution. Five minutes before midnight on national television, Kabila announced a new government under Prime Minister Samy Badibanga, despite the lack of a political agreement with the opposition.

Civil society groups have organized numerous public demonstrations demanding President Kabila respect the constitution and help prepare for the democratic election of his successor. Many of those demonstrations have been met with brutal crackdowns by police and military forces. The government has blocked nearly all access to social media today, and at least two prominent activists are missing. There have been over 40 arrests reported today. 

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The Congolese people have already endured untold repression in the weeks and months leading up to this flashpoint, especially those calling for a democratic transition of power. Today marks Kabila’s admission into a dangerous category of leaders who gain power by force, not by democratic process or respect for their people. Last week, the EU and US sent a strong message of warning by issuing sanctions, but today there is repression in the streets. The international community needs to enforce sanctions with vigilance and rigor, and above all, support the Congolese people as they fight for their right to vote in a new leader.”

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Today is a turning point for Congo. Without a deal for a democratic transition, President Kabila should announce that he will not run in the next elections. That would help calm the major tensions. If not, the U.S. and Europe should ratchet up the financial pressure through sanctions on high-level advisors and anti-money laundering actions."

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: "Clearly, President Kabila is not willing to relinquish power, and appears to be insisting on running for a third term whenever elections actually are held. The kleptocracy he has overseen is too lucrative to let go of, and so he will try to stay, even if it means the country catches fire around him."

Since as early as January 2015, Congolese people have taken to the streets and launched other advocacy efforts to express their support for a peaceful, timely presidential transition. Crackdowns on peaceful protesters, opposition leaders, and youth activists related to elections have been consistent since January 2015 when 36 were killed in a demonstration in Kinshasa and four in Goma. More recently, the week of September 19th44 people were killed and dozens arrested.

Last week, in an effort to promote restraint by security forces and show support for democracy, the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on seven individuals, for “holding positions of authority…over the Congolese security forces which have exercised a disproportionate use of force.” The United States also placed sanctions on two high-level Congolese officials last week, Evariste Boshab and Kalev Mutondo, bringing the total to five this year. 

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.

“Merci Congo”: An Inspiring Film on Congo by Director Paul Freedman

Merci Congo

A new film, Merci Congo, by filmmaker Paul Freedman explores the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has torn lives apart and killed millions of people – and what we as individuals can do to help stop it.  Read More »

As Congo Heads into Crucial Week, U.S., E.U., Place Sanctions on More High-Level Officials

Date: 
Dec 12, 2016

 

Amidst escalating election crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, US, EU sanctions signal “enough is enough”

Washington, DC -- Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed Évariste Boshab, Vice Prime Minister and Interior Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kalev Mutond, Director of the country’s National Intelligence Agency (ANR) on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List. Further, the European Union placed targeted sanctions against seven senior security officers in Congo. The ANR has been known for using calculated intimidation tactics against civilians and committing serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests and disappearances. Boshab is a key member of President Joseph Kabila's inner circle. 

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The sanctions are a critical step to protect human rights and prevent wider violence in Congo. The U.S. Treasury Department should follow suit by enacting anti-money laundering measures to help stop corrupt transactions from taking place in U.S. dollars.”

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The United States is ratcheting up the pressure ahead of a flashpoint on December 19th, when Kabila is supposed to step down. This next round of US sanctions says 'enough is enough' to individuals in the government who have committed abuses with impunity for far too long. Instead of waiting for the crisis to explode or waiting for others to act, the US is using prevention strategies. It's a show of support for thousands of people in Congo who are putting their lives on the line to demand their right to a new elected leader.”

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “Now is a crucial time to prevent violence in Congo. Today's sanctions announcements are key, but the financial pressure should be further escalated if the Congolese government does not ensure an effective democratic transition ahead of December 19."

According to the country's constitution, President Kabila is due to step down on December 19. However, the government-led electoral commission announced that the elections will be delayed, potentially until 2018. Congolese civilians have taken to streets demanding President Kabila step down and hold elections, citing sanctions in particular as a tool the international community can use to support democracy and mitigate violence.

Today's measure makes five OFAC designations in total on high-level Congolese officials this year. In July, the Treasury Department sanctioned General Célestin Kanyama, the Police Commissioner of Kinshasa and in late September, it sanctioned General Gabriel Amisi Kumba, aka "Tango Fort," head of the First National Defense Zone and Major General John Numbi Banza Tambo, former Inspector General of the National Police. 

Earlier today, the EU also imposed sanctions on seven high-level Congolese officials including: General Célestin Kanyama, General Gabriel Amisi, Major General John Numbi Banza Tambo, Ilunga Kampete, Commander of the Republican Guard; Ferdinand Ilunga Luyoyo, Commander of the Anti-Riot Unit of the National Police; Roger Kibelisa, Chief of Internal Security of the ANR; and Delphin Kaimbi, Chief of Military Intelligence.

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.

NGO Coalition Calls for Sanctions on Senior DR Congo Officials

Date: 
Dec 9, 2016

Washington, DC – The Enough Project along with a coalition of 72 Congolese and 14 international human rights organizations have called on the European Union and the United States to expand targeted sanctions against those most responsible for recent violent repression and other serious human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "If the EU and US act now, they can help prevent widespread violence in Congo. They have leverage, as Congolese officials use US dollars and Euros to conduct suspicious transactions, and it is now time to use that leverage to prevent atrocities and promote democracy." 

Please see joint press release and the full list of signatories below.

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.

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EU/US: Sanction Senior DR Congo Officials
Urgent Action Needed to Deter Large-Scale Violence, Repression 

(Kinshasa, December 9, 2016) – The European Union and United States should expand targeted sanctions against those most responsible for recent violent repression and other serious human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a coalition of 72 Congolese and 15 international human rights organizations said today. 

Ten days before the December 19, 2016, deadline marking the end of President Joseph Kabila’s constitutionally mandated two-term limit, he still has not made any clear commitment on when or even if he will step down. At the same time, government repression against pro-democracy activists, the political opposition, largely peaceful protesters, and the media has intensified at an alarming rate.

“Imposing targeted sanctions on senior officials, especially before December 19, could help walk Congo back from the brink and deter further violent repression,” said Me Georges Kapiamba, president of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ). “Such action would show that with each passing day, the consequences for the government will be greater.” 

Opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists have called for Congolese to take to the streets if President Kabila stays in office beyond his mandate. Past protests suggest that they will be met by security forces quick to use excessive and lethal force. There are risks that political leaders could mobilize the dozens of armed groups active in eastern Congo for political ends, or that the country’s brittle security forces could fracture if Kabila relies on force to stay in power. This raises concerns that the country could descend into further repression or widespread violence and chaos, with potentially volatile repercussions across the region.

Earlier targeted sanctions imposed by the US on three security force officers at the forefront of violence against protesters had a notable deterrent effect and rattled those implicated, the organizations said. The US should impose targeted sanctions against more senior level officials. 

In October, the EU Foreign Ministers stated that the EU would “use all means at its disposal” against individuals responsible for serious human rights violations, who promote violence, or who “obstruct a consensual and peaceful solution to the crisis.” In November, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the EU to urgently implement targeted sanctions. The EU is due to discuss Congo and possibly move forward with targeted sanctions during its next Foreign Affairs Council meeting on December 12.

Such targeted sanctions could include travel bans, asset freezes, and the blocking of bank accounts and financial transactions linked to the individuals.

“President Kabila and Congolese officials need to be sent a strong message that violating the rights of the Congolese people is costly for those responsible,” said Ida Sawyer, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Acting now to help prevent the situation in Congo from spiraling out of control will be critical to stability, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights in Congo and throughout the region.”

For more information, please contact:
In Brussels, for Human Rights Watch, Ida Sawyer (English, French): +1-917-213-0939 (mobile); or +243-99-86-75-565 (mobile); or sawyeri@hrw.org. Twitter: @ida_sawyer
In Kinshasa, for the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ), Me Georges Kapiamba (French): +243-814043641; or kapiambag2@gmail.com. Twitter: @kapiambaGeorges
For FIDH and its member organizations in the DRC: presse@fidh.org  

In Brussels, for EurAc, Julie Capoulade, (English, French): +32-499-81-01-77 (mobile); or julie.capoulade@eurac-network.org. Twitter: @JulieCapoulade
In Washington, DC, for the Enough Project, Greg Hittelman (English): +1-310-717-0606; or gh@enoughproject.org.

Signatories:

International organizations

  1. Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l'Homme (AEDH)
  2. Ecumenical Network Central Africa (OENZ)
  3. The Enough Project
  4. European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)
  5. Fédération internationale de l’Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (FIACAT)
  6. Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH)
  7. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  8. Global Witness
  9. Human Rights Watch
  10. Never Again Coalition
  11. PAX
  12. Protection International
  13. Reporters sans Frontières/Reporters Without Borders
  14. Save the Congo
  15. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

Congolese organizations

  1. Action Chrétienne Contre la Torture (ACAT) – RDC
  2. Action d’Aide aux Survivants de la Torture (AAST/Relève)
  3. Action de Solidarité de Femmes pour la Femme et l’Enfant (ASOFFE) 
  4. Action pour la Bienveillance Humanitaire (AB/ Humanitaire)
  5. Action pour la Justice et le Développement (AJD)
  6. Action pour la Paix et la Protection de l'Enfant (APPE)
  7. Action pour la Protection des Droits Humains et de Développement Communautaire (APDHUD)
  8. Agir pour la Reconstruction de notre Espace et pour la Convivialité (AGIREC)
  9. Agir Rapidement pour la Femme (ARF)
  10. Association africaine de défense des droits de l’Homme (ASADHO)
  11. Association Congolaise pour l’Accès à la Justice (ACAJ)
  12. Association de défense des Droits de la Femme (ADDF)
  13. Association des Femmes Juristes Congolaises (AFEJUCO)
  14. Association des Femmes pour le Développement Communautaire (AFEMDECO)
  15. Association des Femmes pour le Développement Endogène Mboko/Fizi (AFDEM) 
  16. Association des Jeunes pour la Protection de l’Environnement Fizi (AJPEF)
  17. Association des Jeunes pour le Développement Intégral de Kalundu/Uvira (AJEDIK)
  18. Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (ASSODIP)
  19. Association pour le Développement Intégral du Haut Plateau de Fizi (ADIPF)
  20. Association pour les Droits Humanitaires (ADH)
  21. Bureau de Promotion Socioculturelle (BUPSOC)
  22. Centre de Promotion Socio-Sanitaire (CEPROSSAN)
  23. Centre de Rééducation pour l’Enfance Délinquance et Défavorisée (CREDD)      
  24. Centre d'Observation des Droits de l'Homme et d'Assistance Sociale (CODHAS)
  25. Centre Indépendant de Recherches et d’Études Stratégiques au Kivu (CIRESKI)
  26. Centre International de Promotion et de Développement et des Droits de l'Homme (CEIPEDHO)
  27. Cercle international pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme, la Paix et l’Environnement (CIDDHOPE)
  28. Cercle National de Réflexion sur la Jeunesse (CNRJ RDC)
  29. Comité de Coordination des Actions de Paix (CCAP)
  30. Commission Internationale en Formation des Droits de l’Homme (CIFDH)
  31. Convention pour le Respect des Droits de l’Homme (CRDH)
  32. Congrès pour le Renouveau Syndical (CORES)
  33. Debout Fille de Fizi (DFF)
  34. Femme en Danger (FED)
  35. Femme et Enfant en Détresse (SOS FED)
  36. Femme pour le Développement des Mutuelles de Solidarités à Fizi (FDMUSOF)
  37. Femme qui en Soulève une Autre (FESA)
  38. Femmes Engagées pour la Promotion de la Santé Intégrale (FEPSI)
  39. Femmes Juristes pour la défense des Droits de la Femme (FJDF)
  40. Fraternité des Prisons (FP)
  41. Genre pour l’Appui au Développement (GAD)
  42. Great Lakes Human Rights Program (GLHRP)
  43. Groupe d’Action Non-Violente Évangélique (GANVE)
  44. Groupe d’Associations de Défense des Droits de l’Homme et de Paix (GADHOP)
  45. Groupe Lotus (GL)
  46. Institut Africain de Formation en Droits Humains (INAFDH)
  47. Juriste en Action (JURAC)
  48. JUSTICIA Asbl
  49. Ligue contre la Fraude et la Corruption (LICOF)
  50. Ligue des Activistes des Droits de l'Homme (LADHO)
  51. Ligue des électeurs (LE)
  52. Ligue pour la Défense et la Vulgarisation des Droits Humains (LDVDH)
  53. Mama Tupendane (MT)
  54. Mama Tushirikiane (MATU)
  55. Maniema Libertés (MALI)
  56. Maniema Tuende Mbele (MTM)
  57. Mobilisation, Encadrement Écologie et Défense des Droits Humains par les Amis des Familles Démunies (MEEDAF)
  58. Œuvre Chrétienne pour la Femme (OCF)
  59. Organisation Communautaire pour la Conservation de la Nature (OCCN)
  60. Organisation de Paix pour les Opportunités et le Développement (OPOD)
  61. Organisation pour la Promotion et Protection des Droits Humains (OPPDH)
  62. Pax Christ Butembo   
  63. Psychologues sans Frontières (PSF)
  64. Relance pour la Fille de Sion (RFS)
  65. Réseau des Activistes des Droits Humains de Fizi
  66. Réseau des Communicateurs Humanitaires (RCH)
  67. Réseau des Parajuristes du Maniema (REPAJUMA)    
  68. Réseaux de Femmes pour le Développement de Jeunes d’Itombwe (RFDJI)
  69. Service Par, Pour et Avec les Femmes (SEPPAF)
  70. Solidarité des Associations Féminines pour les Droits de Femmes et de l’Enfant (SAFDF)
  71. Solidarité des Hommes pour la Protection et la Promotion des Femmes (SHPF)
  72. Wamama Tusimame (WATU)

Congressional Hearing on Democratic Crisis in Congo

Sasha Lezhnev testifying before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

On Tuesday, November 29, Enough’s Associate Director of Policy for the Great Lakes Region, Sasha Lezhnev, testified in Congress before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on democracy and human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Read More »

Testimony of Sasha Lezhnev - Democracy and Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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.”

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