Press Releases

South Sudan Mismanagement Fuels “Toxic” Crisis

Date: 
Feb 12, 2016

As people face severe hardship, report slams Juba’s fiscal and economic policies, calls for international pressure and assistance, revised spending priorities, renewed commitment to peace

February 12, 2016 – As conditions for ordinary South Sudanese people continue to deteriorate, government mismanagement is combining with economic and political crises to create a “toxic situation,” according to a newly published briefing report by the Enough Project.

The report, “Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis,” calls for action by the international community, and also for commitment by the warring parties to put the needs of the people ahead of their own. The country’s population currently suffers from severe shortages of food, fuel, and medical supplies.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan’s economic and political crises are exacerbating each other, and the population is paying dearly. These interlocking crises and the gross mismanagement of resources by the government have undermined prospects for international support. However, living conditions are deteriorating dramatically. Internationally provided expert technical assistance and oversight at this critical time could potentially stabilize and ease the worst fallout from South Sudan’s poorly managed fiscal and monetary policies. The kind of international pressure exerted on the warring parties in support of the signing of the August 2015 peace accord is again needed at this critical stage to fight mass corruption and adopt responsible economic policies.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The government's ill-advised monetary policies create a toxic situation. South Sudan's policymakers must re-balance skewed government spending to ensure that the current food crisis caused by depreciation of local currency and inflation does not threaten the whole population.”

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan's fiscal crisis is a painful illustration of how the country's leaders have strong incentives to seize power but extremely weak incentives to govern effectively.”

Briefing report excerpts:

  • The government’s spending is skewed in favor of security even in the face of the current urgent humanitarian crisis and growing concerns of potential widespread famine.
  • Consumers must either pay five times as much for essential food items or purchase a fifth of the volume of food that they need. Many people cannot afford to buy food or other basic goods and services.
  • Fuel prices have tripled—almost quadrupled—by some reports.  Fuel shortages have been responsible for the deaths of some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

Link to policy brief: http://eno.ug/1PFOMIl

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@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

Russia Blocks Security Council Sanctions on Darfur Gold

Date: 
Feb 10, 2016

“Deeply disappointing” decision maintains impunity for trafficking connected to violence and instability

February 10, 2016 -- In the UN Security Council today, Russia blocked U.S. and U.K. efforts to address conflict-affected gold in Darfur. Russia’s blocking action came despite findings from the Sudan Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts that link illegal exploitation and trafficking of gold and other minerals to violence and instability in Darfur.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “It is deeply disappointing that Russia, China, and other elected members of the Security Council refuse to recognize the findings of the Panel of Experts that clearly link the illicit gold trade to continued violence and instability in Darfur. By doing so, these Security Council members undermine important efforts to bring peace and stability to Darfur and allow those profiting from this illicit trade to continue doing so with impunity.”

Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor to the Enough Project, said: “Russia’s refusal to acknowledge the connection between the illicit gold trade and conflict in Darfur is highly irresponsible and unreflective of the conditions in Darfur. The link between the illicit gold trade, including smuggling and imposed taxes, and continued conflict in Darfur is well established and incredibly harmful to Darfur civilians.”

In its new report, which has not yet been made public, the UN Panel of Experts recommended sanctions designations for individuals and entities that impose illegal taxes on artisanal miners in Darfur, as well as on individuals and entities engaged in the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources, including gold.

Omer Ismail added: “The impact of conflict-affected gold is perhaps most evident near Jebel Amer, where former Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal controls a significant mining operation outside of the control of the Government of Sudan. Despite his sanctions designation, Hilal and his armed group makes millions from Sudanese gold at the expense of the local population. The refusal of some Security Council members to accept these well-known facts or to act on them ensures that conflict will continue and Hilal will remain unaccountable.”

As penholder on the sanctions resolution, the U.S. attempted to add language reflecting the Panel’s final report that demonstrated a clear link between the illicit gold trade and continued violence. The U.S., U.K., and other Council members supported this recommendation, but Russia, China, and others did not. Russia proved most unreceptive to the Panel’s report, rejecting proposed compromise language that would have only “expressed concern” over the Panel’s finding that armed groups control artisanal gold mines in Darfur.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@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

Enough Project’s Kumar Testifies to Congress on South Sudan War

Date: 
Jul 10, 2015

 

In morning hearing, expert describes “scorched earth campaigns,” “war economy”

July 10, 2015 (Washington DC) – Making a case for targeted sanctions enforcement, stolen asset recovery efforts, and accountability for economic crimes, the Enough Project’s Akshaya Kumar testified this morning at the U.S. House of Representatives Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission's hearing on “The Current Human Rights Situation in South Sudan.”

The open hearing, at which Kumar joined former Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page, representatives from Amnesty International and other experts, was called to examine the escalating violence and humanitarian crisis in the world’s newest nation. South Sudan, which had its fourth anniversary of independence yesterday, is caught in a civil war that has seen widespread human rights violations and atrocities, including rape, child soldiers, abductions, the targeting of civilians, and the burning of villages.

Excerpts from Lantos Commission testimony by Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Analyst at the Enough Project:

  • "A generation is being lost once more. This is a great tragedy, but the greater tragedy is that all of this is happening in a climate of incredible impunity. With biting sanctions enforcement, asset recovery efforts and a push for a hybrid court, together, we can change that."
  • "The American people have long stood in solidarity with the people of South Sudan. For decades, that meant supporting their leaders in an international campaign to secure their freedom. Now, that dynamic must change."
  • "It’s hard to imagine that anyone could possibly benefit from tit-for-tat scorched earth campaigns that have driven over two million people from their homes and left one in ten South Sudanese households in Upper Nile facing catastrophic famine conditions. And it’s even harder to conceive how advantage could be gained from fighting that UNICEF confirms has often involved castrating young boys and raping young girls. But the cold hard truth is that there are people who profit from the war economy in South Sudan and the grand corruption that enables it."

In her testimony, Kumar urged the US government to impose punishing consequences on those most responsible for obstructing the peace, grand corruption, and atrocity crimes, and proposed a three-pronged approach:

  1. measured escalation of existing individual targeted sanctions to ban the travel and freeze the assets of the country’s political elite and their enablers,
  2. legal action to confiscate ill-gotten gains and jumpstart efforts to recover and return the billions in stolen assets taken from South Sudan,
  3. a hybrid court with jurisdiction over atrocity crimes, including economic crimes like pillage and grand corruption.

Link to complete testimony by Akshaya Kumar: http://eno.ug/1fsak0d

Recent op-ed by George Clooney, John Prendergast, and Akshaya Kumar, “Sanctions Threats Are Not Enough in South Sudan”: http://eno.ug/1FCYBAD

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman,  +1 310-717-0606gh@enoughproject.org 

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ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org

South Sudan Marks Independence amid Civil War, Escalating Crisis

Date: 
Jul 8, 2015

 

Enough Project to Testify on Crisis before Congress this Friday

July 8, 2015 – South Sudan marks the fourth anniversary of its independence this Thursday, July 9th. The world’s newest nation is locked in a devastating civil war that has displaced 2 million people and left almost half the population without enough food to eat. In conflict-affected areas, UN and relief agencies report burned villages, killings, rape, abductions, and targeted attacks on civilians, including on women and children.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project said: "Even as the people of South Sudan celebrate their country's independence today, it is clear that their leaders have squandered the opportunity independence presented them with just 4 years ago.  South Sudan has now spent 40% of the time it has been independent mired in a brutal internecine war triggered by a power struggle among a handful of elites, and now 40% of the country needs emergency food aid to survive. This is not the future that South Sudan's people aspired towards during their decades’ long civil war, and this is not the future they deserve."

Link to recent op-ed by George Clooney, John Prendergast, and Akshaya Kumar, “Sanctions Threats Are Not Enough in South Sudan”: http://eno.ug/1FCYBAD

US Congress to Hear Enough Project Testimony

This Friday, Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Analyst, will testify to the US Congress on “The Current Human Rights Situation in South Sudan.” At the hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Kumar will join Ambassador Susan Page, Special Advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Department of State; Linda Etim, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Africa Bureau, USAID; and representatives from Amnesty International and Catholic Relief Services. 

For details on the Lantos Commission hearing, visit: http://eno.ug/1S9ey8B

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman,  +1 310-717-0606gh@enoughproject.org 

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ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org

Enough Project Applauds Appointment by Secretary Kerry

Date: 
Jul 6, 2015
Author: 
Greg Hittelman

Enough Project Applauds Appointment by Secretary Kerry:
Perriello Named Special Envoy to DR Congo, Great Lakes

“Appointment fills a major hole in U.S. policy and creates a real opportunity for great progress"
 
July 6, 2015 (Washington, DC) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello (D-VA), as the new U.S. special envoy for Africa's Great Lakes region and to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
 
The Enough Project warmly welcomes the appointment of Tom Perriello as U.S. Special Envoy and thanks him for his service as Special Representative for the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. His experience working on African peace processes and his commitment to justice and working with local civil society groups make him an ideal fit for this position.
 
 

John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director, said: "Tom Perriello is well positioned to pick up where former envoy Russ Feingold left off.  Congo is facing some huge challenges during the next year, and the U.S. government is uniquely placed to support outcomes that prioritize peace and human rights protection.  Ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, supporting further reforms in the mineral sector, catalyzing effective operations against rogue armed groups in the east, pressing for more effective demobilization programs for ex-soldiers and better livelihood programs for ex-miners are all issues that Perriello and the U.S. Government can influence positively.  This appointment fills a major hole in U.S. policy and creates a real opportunity for great progress."

 

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “Secretary Kerry's appointment of Tom Perriello is very timely. Congo is going through a tumultuous time before its pivotal elections planned for 2016, and Tom Perriello brings much needed creative energy and dedication to resolving human rights issues. He will need to use robust tools to help keep the region from plunging into war again. We urge him in particular to focus on addressing the smuggling of conflict gold and other resources that are fueling armed groups and high-level military corruption.”
 

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman,  +1 310-717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org

 

Regional Power, Profit Obstruct Peace in South Sudan

Date: 
Jun 10, 2015

June 10, 2015 --- Entangled and competing regional interests are undermining efforts to end the civil war in South Sudan, according to a report published today by the Enough Project. “Neighborhood Watch: Mobilizing Regional Action for Peace in South Sudan” is the first in a new “Political Economy of African Wars” series, launched by Enough’s founding director John Prendergast. The series will feature in-depth, field research-driven reports on dynamics of power and profit fueling armed conflicts in the Horn, East and Central Africa.

Justine Fleischner, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan's peace process is playing out like a deadly poker game among regional elites where the stakes keep getting raised, but nobody has a particularly good hand. Regional players like Uganda and Sudan have placed bets on the conflict, providing support for either the government or opposition forces, in order to maintain their access to South Sudan's natural resource wealth. Unless the U.S. and other key international partners step up both diplomatic efforts and economic pressure, neither of the warring sides are likely to fold anytime soon.”

Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said:  “In South Sudan, entangled interests have obstructed forward momentum on peace. Presidents Kenyatta and Museveni serve as mediators of the conflict on one day, and then meet with President Kiir the next day to discuss joint regional infrastructure projects. But, if external donors make it clear that peace is a prerequisite for development, those same dynamics can be leveraged to end the war.”

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "President Obama will travel to Africa next month and South Sudan will be front and center on the agenda of his meetings with regional leaders.  The huge U.S. investment in the world's newest country is disintegrating as South Sudan spirals more deeply into civil war.  President Obama should use his interactions with regional leaders to build support for much greater regional pressure on the warring parties in South Sudan.  The clearest way to building that leverage is for the region to impose and enforce biting targeted sanctions on those in South Sudan obstructing peace, especially given that so many of their ill-gotten assets are concentrated in neighboring states."

To build regional support for targeted sanctions enforcement, the Enough report recommends that the U.S. and other international partners focus on cutting off money flows fueling  the conflict, building political will and technical capacity for regional sanctions enforcement, and working with regional players to build economic and political incentives for peace.

Fleischner added: “At the end of the day, the war has been devastating for the regional economy, not just South Sudan. The U.S., China, and other international partners that are invested in the region have an obligation to address these competing interests and ensure the people of South Sudan are not the only ones to bear the cost of this conflict.”

Kumar added:  “South Sudan's war is costing its neighbors billions. We expect the powerful businessmen profiting from South Sudan's war economy will try to prevent regional enforcement of biting asset freezes. But the greed-driven lobbying of elites should not stop the region from acting in its collective best interest. The African Union announced support for asset freezes and travel bans on South Sudan's warring parties weeks ago, and South Sudan's neighbors now need to the do the same.”

About Enough’s “Political Economy of African Wars” series:

“The Enough Project is launching a new 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.” - Introduction to the series by founding director John Prendergast

Link to the full report “Neighborhood Watch”: http://eno.ug/1JHn9hZ 

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org

Brandeis University Goes Conflict-Free

Date: 
May 21, 2015

 

$4 Million Annual Electronics Purchase Policy to Support Peace in Congo

May 21, 2015 - Student activists are celebrating the announcement from Brandeis University of a new policy to ensure computers and other electronic equipment they purchase are not connected to killing, child abductions, and sexual violence in the mining sector of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Spurred by an international student movement called the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, the procurement policy requires that the makers of all of the university's most commonly purchased electronic equipment be surveyed to determine possible connections to illegal mining and smuggling in eastern Congo by violent armed groups.

Annie CallawaySenior Advocacy Associate at the Enough Project, said: "The Brandeis resolution shows how far the conflict-free movement has come. Brandeis is the 19th school worldwide to change its procurement policy to favor companies working to make their products conflict-free and support the livelihoods of Congolese miners and their communities. Thanks to the hard work of students leading the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative at Brandeis, the university has taken an important extra step by committing to survey companies on their conflict mineral policies. This proactive industry engagement by Brandeis will further amplify the call for products made with conflict-free minerals sourced from eastern Congo.”

Gina GkoulgkountinaConflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) student leader at Brandeis, said: "After 3 years working to pass a conflict-free procurement resolution, I am proud to see Brandeis joining the growing community of schools actively supporting peace in Congo. Working with the Library and Technology Services, procurement and administration staff to achieve this has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I am confident Brandeis will implement this critical policy in a thorough, responsible manner."

Lisa M. Lynch, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University, said: "From the founding of the university, a special characteristic of Brandeis students has been how profoundly they care about people around the world and take action to address problems faced by the most vulnerable. Today, I am extremely proud of our students and their initiative to address the human tragedies caused by conflict minerals. After advocacy by our students who are involved with the Enough Project, our policy committee voted unanimously to ask the suppliers of our most commonly purchased and leased electronic items (desktop and laptop computers, printers, scanners, and copiers) to show due diligence in auditing the sources and provenance of potential conflict minerals in their supply chain."

Brandeis spends an estimated $4 million annually on computers and other products that are potentially affected by the new “conflict-free” policy. The resolution builds momentum for statewide conflict minerals legislation in Massachusetts.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, +1 310-717-0606gh@enoughproject.org 

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ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org

ABOUT THE CONFLICT-FREE CAMPUS INITIATIVE

An initiative of the Enough Project’s “Raise Hope for Congo” campaign, the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) draws on the power of student leadership and activism to help support peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By encouraging university officials and stakeholders - both of whom are large purchasers of electronics and powerful spokespersons - to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in the minerals sector, students are voicing the demand for conflict-free products from Congo. Comprehensive reform is needed in Congo to bring about sustainable peace - now is the time is for students to lead the conflict-free movement. Join us: www.raisehopeforcongo.org/campus

Breaking: $400 Million Congo Gold Trade Supporting Army Commanders, Rebel Warlords

Date: 
Apr 30, 2015

In-depth Report Proposes Seven Solutions for Governments, Gold Industry to Bring Conflict Gold into Legal Trade

April 30, 2015 – A trade in illegally mined and smuggled “conflict gold” is fueling both high-level military corruption and violent rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new report by the Enough Project. 

While 70 percent of tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines in eastern Congo are now conflict-free, the report identifies that only 35 percent of gold mines are free from the control of armed groups or Congo’s armed forces. Gold smuggled from Congo is worth an estimated $400 million annually, with a significant portion benefiting rebel and Congo army commanders whose troops are responsible for attacks on local communities and rape.  

The report, “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing gold into the legal trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” by the Enough Project’s Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev, offers an in-depth portrait of the conflict gold supply chain, from muddy artisanal mines where gold is dug out with shovels and pick-axes, through illicit transport routes in Uganda, Burundi, and Dubai, and out to international markets. 

Fidel Bafilemba, report co-author and Enough Project field researcher, based in Goma, DRC, said: "Despite growing attention to the conflict gold trade, the documented smugglers of gold in Congo and neighboring countries continue to traffic with impunity. The Obama administration and the U.N. Security Council should place targeted sanctions against these smugglers who act as business partners to deadly armed commanders."

Sasha Lezhnev, report co-author and Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Lessons from efforts to combat illicit gold trafficking around the world show that tighter controls only increase smuggling. Instead, strong incentives including progressive tax policies are needed to bring the gold trade into legal markets. If the Congolese government decreased its gold tax to 1 percent, national and provincial revenues would increase by over 800 percent, money that would be available for services urgently needed in impoverished Congolese communities.”

John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director, said: "Armed warlords from the FDLR and other militias as well as Congolese army commanders continue to trade gold for bullets in eastern Congo. Over $400 million in illegally traded gold is smuggled out of Congo every year, money that could be used for building school, hospitals, and roads. The U.S., European Union, and other actors with influence should support the Congolese government to launch a major anti-corruption initiative to prosecute corrupt officials and bring the trade into the legal sphere."

Based on field research, the report notes growing momentum to address the deadly trade. Sixty-nine gold refiners, including all of the world’s nine largest, have passed third-party audits on conflict sourcing.

One major refiner, Kaloti, was delisted on April 13, 2015 for its failure to meet responsible sourcing standards in the U.A.E. 

Gold mines in Congo are starting to be inspected using conflict-free standards, with 50 more gold mines due to be inspected in 2015. Industrial gold mining is also growing in Congo, as Banro and AngloGold Ashanti/Randgold Resources exported a total of 17.4 tons of gold in 2014 worth roughly $700 million, a major development over the past three years. 

The report offers recommendations to help shift the DRC's conflict gold market to a conflict-free, legal trade. Proposed steps include:

  • The U.S. and European Union urge Congo's Mining Ministry to temporarily halt the issuance of gold certificates by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), an intergovernmental organization of African countries in the African Great Lakes region, until the ICGLR takes steps to make the process compliant with regional standards. 
  • Congo's Mining Ministry should allow mining cooperatives to apply for mining licenses. 
  • Socially responsible investors and jewelry retailers also have a role to play in signaling demand for conflict-free gold from Congo, and should set up a Congo gold responsible investment fund.

Link to report “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush”: http://eno.ug/1yPxoOJ

Images contained in the report are available for media use.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman,  +1 310-717-0606gh@enoughproject.org 

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ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention research and policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research in conflict zones, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. For more information, visit www.EnoughProject.org

New Report: Gold from Sudan Fuels Atrocities, Requires Industry Red-Flags and New Sanctions

Date: 
Mar 4, 2015

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 4, 2015 --- Gold coming from Sudan is conflict-affected, high-risk, and helping to destabilize the country’s main conflict-zones of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, according to a new report published today by the Enough Project.

Fool’s Gold: The Case for Scrutinizing Sudan's Conflict Gold Trade,” by policy analyst Akshaya Kumar, details how civilians living in communities near these Sudanese gold mining sites have suffered killings, mass rape, and the torching of their homes and fields at the hands of armed groups, including the Sudanese army and government-backed tribal militias. The report calls for urgent action by the U.S., the U.N., and the international gold industry to red-flag and sanction gold from Sudan as conflict-affected.

Today, Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast argued in favor of both additional sanctions measures and greater scrutiny in his testimony before the U.S. Congress Lantos Human Rights Commission's hearing on “Human Rights Violations in Sudan.” The Capital Hill hearing takes place at 1:30pm, room 2255 of the Rayburn House Office Building, and will be available for livestream viewing.

Akshaya Kumar, report author and Enough Project policy analyst on Sudan and South Sudan, said: “Gold being mined in war-torn Darfur benefits Musa Hilal, a Janjaweed leader already on both U.N. and U.S. sanctions lists for his past actions. Due to Hilal's connection to the gold trade, both the U.S. government and the U.N. Security Council should use their existing sanctions authority on Darfur to investigate the role of the gold in driving the violence in that region.”

Omer Ismail, Enough Project Senior Advisor, said: “Gold has replaced oil as the new fuel for Sudan’s war against its own people. The United States, the UN, the concerned international community and responsible private industry all have the tools and the responsibility to shut down the pipeline of gold from Sudan into international markets. Unless there is proof that it comes from a conflict-free mine, Industry leaders should urgently red-flag all gold shipments from Sudan as ‘conflict gold.’”

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “Congress should expand the scope of Sudan's sanctions outlined in the 2006 Darfur Peace and Accountability Act to specifically include provisions that would allow the imposition of sanctions on traders, officials, and armed leaders benefiting from the conflict-affected gold trade from Darfur."

Link to the report “Fool’s Gold”: http://eno.ug/17O0K3a

Read John Prendergast’s congressional testimony: http://eno.ug/1GfMoHu

Livestream of congressional hearing (starts 1:30 pm ET, March 4): http://eno.ug/1M592CY

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, gh@enoughproject.org

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About the Enough Project

For media use, short version: "The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group."

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.

Grand Vol à l’Echelle Mondiale - Un nouveau rapport révèle une tactique de pointe pour poursuivre en justice des caïds de trafic illégal, des groupes armés pour le crime de guerre du pillage.

Date: 
Jan 22, 2015

Des groupes violents gagnant des millions grâce au vol pendant la guerre, s’en tirent sans conséquence

Le 22 janvier 2015 – Depuis l’Etat islamique d’Irak et du Levant (ISIL : Islamic State of Irak and the Levant) de l’Armée de Résistance du Seigneur (LRA : Lord’s Resistance Army) jusqu'à Al-Shabaab, de violent groupes armés engendrent des centaines de millions de dollars et financent leurs activités par le biais du commerce illicite des minéraux, met en garde un nouveau rapport de l'ONG américaine Enough Project. « Le Grand Vol à l’Echelle Mondiale (Grand Theft Global) : Poursuivre en justice le crime de guerre du pillage des ressources naturelles en République Démocratique du Congo », montre en détails comment traduire en justice les commandants, les caïds de trafic illégal et les intermédiaires transnationaux pour le crime de guerre du pillage (« vol en temps de guerre ») et pourrait ouvrir de nouveaux horizons afin de mettre fin à la violence la pire au monde axée sur les ressources. 

Le rapport, rédigé par Holly Dranginis, un des membres de l’Enough Project, est fondé sur des recherches et entrevues approfondies effectuées dans l’Est du Congo et de l’Haye, et recense qu’une douzaine de groupes armés en République Démocratique du Congo prospèrent du pillage et s’en tirent impunément à bon compte.

Holly Dranginis, auteur du rapport et Analyste Politique auprès de l’Enough Project déclare : «  Le pillage des ressources naturelles est un délit de tromperie. C’est un crime qui appauvrit et humilie les communautés. Il peut, durant sa pratique, nécessiter une violence brutale et systématique. C’est un vol à main armée de grande envergure, et souvent sert non seulement aux auteurs d’atrocités mais aussi à ceux qui les ont financés. 

John Prendergast, fondateur-directeur de l’Enough Project, a déclaré: "l'Afrique centrale est la région la plus meurtrière sur la planète, avec des divers conflits qui partagent un élément commun – l’exploitation illicite des ressources naturelles. Poursuivre en justice les individus orchestrant ce vol ainsi que les entités qui les protègent et qui en bénéficient est fondamentale pour interrompre le trafic des matières de contrebande hors de cette région et sur le marché international. Retirer cet élément  permettra d’éteindre les flammes de la violence meurtrière ainsi que les atrocités associées".

Fidel Bafilemba, chercheur sur le terrain de l’Enough Project, situé à Goma, en RDC, a déclaré: « des commandants de haut niveau liés à des réseaux mafieux dans les armées de la RDC, de l’Ouganda et du Rwanda doivent rendre des comptes pour les crimes de guerre de longue date et les crimes contre l’humanité sur lesquels leurs propres empires économiques ont été construits, ou l’absence de justice recouvrera à jamais de son ombre la paix et la réconciliation dans la région des Grands Lacs ».

Sasha Lezhnev, directeur adjoint de la division Politique pour le Congo, de la région des Grands Lacs et de la LRA de l’Enough Projet, a déclaré: "Le procureur de la Cour Pénale Internationale Fatou Bensouda peut avoir un impact tangible sur le crime de guerre du pillage en relançant la division chargée des crimes financiers de la CPI. Les poursuites judiciaires sont un moyen le plus direct de contribuer à empêcher tout financement de conflits  et d’accroitre la responsabilité de la criminalité économique tels que le trafic et le blanchiment d'argent ainsi que les atrocités qu'ils engendrent. Il est temps de mettre à profit le procès dynamique intenté contre Bosco Ntaganda et le désistement de Dominic Ongwen d’enquêter sur la manière dont les groupes armés obtiennent leur financement.  »

Dranginis a ajouté: « le pillage est punissable en tant que crime de guerre dans la plupart des juridictions nationales ainsi qu’à la Cour Pénale Internationale. Le pillage en tant que crime de guerre fournit une norme adéquate de justice pour les différentes entités, des réseaux terroristes aux multinationales. Le vol pendant la guerre est omniprésent dans le monde entier et implique d’étranges compagnons. Traduire en justice les participants de ces réseaux les plus puissants au monde sera d’exposer leurs alliances inhabituelles, essentielles et de rétablir la primauté du droit dans les zones normalement régies par l’autorité de l'arme. »

Lien menant au rapport complet « Grand Vol à l’Echelle Mondiale »:  eno.ug/1xlCxGh

Pour tout éventuels renseignements ou demandes d'entrevue médiatiques, veuillez communiquer avec : Greg Hittelman, + 1 310-717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

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A propos de l’Enough Project :

Pour l’usage des medias, la courte version est la suivante: « l’Enough Project », un groupe politique s’intéressant à la prévention contre les atrocités. »

L’Enough Project est un projet du Center for American Progress, visant à mettre fin aux crimes contre l'humanité et le génocide ». Fondé en 2007, ce projet met l'accent sur les crises au Soudan, au Sud du Soudan, à l'Est du Congo, en République centrafricaine et dans les zones touchées par l'Armée de résistance du Seigneur (Lord’s Resistance Army). L’Enough Project effectue des recherches intensives sur le terrain, élabore des politiques concrètes pour faire face à ces crises et partage des outils précieux pour renforcer le pouvoir des citoyens et des groupes œuvrant pour le changement.

Pour en savoir plus : www.enoughproject.org

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