Press Releases

STATEMENT: Enough Project Reacts to Verdict on Sexual Violence Case in Democratic Republic of Congo

Date: 
May 5, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2014

CONTACT:
Christina DiPasquale: 202.716.1953christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com 
Alec Saslow: 720.319.4948alec@fitzgibbonmedia.com  

STATEMENT: Enough Project Reacts to Verdict on Sexual Violence Case in Democratic Republic of Congo

Following the release of a verdict in the eastern Congolese military court prosecuting rapes in Minova that ended with two soldiers convicted and many completed cleared, Holly Dranginis, Policy Associate at the Enough Project, released the following statement:

“Minova has sparked much-needed attention to prosecuting sexual violence in Congo and other conflict-affected states. However, it has also shined a light on deep flaws in Congo’s approach to ending impunity for atrocities. From a legal perspective, the case was doomed from the beginning, and today's verdict confirms that. The selection of indictees excluded senior commanders, but otherwise was largely arbitrary with mostly rank and file soldiers being charged. Both sides – prosecution and defense – faced a debilitating lack of resources. Evidence was scarce and mismanaged.

That said, the bravery of survivors who testified cannot be overstated. They risked their safety and wellbeing and in doing so have made a significant contribution to the global fight for sexual violence accountability.

 

If Congo is serious about addressing its sexual violence crisis, it must fill critical gaps in the administration of cases. We have come a long way, but there is much more work to be done.”

 

To speak with an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact Alec Saslow (720.319.4948Alec@Fitzgibbonmedia.com) or Christina DiPasquale  (202.716.1953christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com).

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, 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 about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

George Clooney Announces Expansion of Satellite Sentinel Project

Date: 
May 21, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953, christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com

George Clooney Announces Expansion of Satellite Sentinel Project

During a speech yesterday, May 20, at the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity dinner, George Clooney announced a significant expansion of the Satellite Sentinel Project, an initiative he co-founded three years ago. While it will continue to use satellite imagery to monitor and warn against human rights abuses in war-torn Sudan and South Sudan, the Satellite Sentinel Project will expand its focus to undertake forensic investigations to reveal how those committing mass atrocities are funding their activities and where they are hiding their stolen assets.

Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder George Clooney said, “We want to follow the money and find out how these atrocities are funded, who enables them, and what the smart tools are to counter these activities more effectively. Genocide and other human rights crimes are never just spontaneous events. They require planning, they require financing, and they require international indifference to succeed.  Where is the money coming from and where is it being hidden? To the extent we can, we want to make it more difficult for those willing to kill en masse to secure their political and economic objectives, and we want to move the needle away from indifference and inaction.”

Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder John Prendergast said, “We’ll investigate exactly how the illegal exploitation of resources like diamonds, gold and ivory help finance the activities of some of the world’s worst abusers of human rights. And we’ll focus on imposing a cost on those that contribute to or facilitate the perpetration of these human rights crimes. The objective is a comprehensive approach to countering atrocities that involves satellite imagery, forensic investigations, on-the-ground research, and deeper investment in impacting the calculations of policy makers and commercial actors who might possess the leverage to help stop these human rights crimes.”

The Satellite Sentinel Project is a partnership between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch. Satellite imagery and analysis is provided by DigitalGlobe. The geographic area of focus will encompass Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and the surrounding region. 

For more information on the Satellite Sentinel Project, please visit http://www.satsentinel.org/. For interviews with John Prendergast, Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

STATEMENT: U.S. Needs to Build on Secretary Kerry's Initiatives in South Sudan to Prevent Genocide and Famine

Date: 
May 2, 2014

For Immediate Release: 2 May 2014
Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com

STATEMENT: U.S. Needs to Build on Secretary Kerry's Initiatives in South Sudan to Prevent Genocide and Famine

Today, as Secretary Kerry visits Juba in his effort to prioritize civilian protection throughout South Sudan, The Enough Project released the following statement from Co-Founder John Prendergast, former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council:

“Two words that never should be used lightly are beginning to be heard with alarming frequency in South Sudan today: genocide and famine.  The danger of both is clear and present, and state collapse threatens.  Targeting people on the basis of their identity and obstructing humanitarian access puts hundreds of thousands of lives at immediate risk.

"Full support should be given to deploying troops from neighboring states to protect civilians who are most vulnerable to being attacked, raped or killed on the basis of their ethnicity.   

"At the same time, meaningful consequences must be deployed for the commission of war crimes.  The U.S. should work closely with neighboring states and the African Union to freeze the assets of those South Sudanese rebel or government officials found to be orchestrating human rights crimes.  These officials own fixed assets and have accounts in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa and Dubai, but a great deal of diplomatic effort will need to convince those governments to act. 

"Furthermore, the creation of a mixed special court -- partly international, partly South Sudanese -- would enhance the potential for justice and accountability for those that have orchestrated some of the worst crimes.  If the idea emerges, it should be fully supported by Secretary Kerry."

See also:

To speak to an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, 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 about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

New Report on Central African Republic: Enough Project Finds Diamonds, Oil, Ivory, and Regional Interests are Behind Violence

Date: 
May 1, 2014
For Immediate Release: 1 May 2014

Contact:

Christina DiPasquale: 202.716.1953, christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com
Alec Saslow: 720.319.4948, alec@fitzgibbonmedia.com

New Report on Central African Republic: Enough Project Finds Diamonds, Oil, Ivory, and Regional Interests are Behind Violence

Extensive Field Research Argues that the U.S., U.N. Must Help Cut Off Illicit Revenues of Violent Groups, Support a Comprehensive Peace Process

As violence grows in the Central African Republic, with fears of intensifying divisions and northern secession, the Enough Project released its first report on the conflict, “Behind the Headlines: Drivers of Violence in the Central African Republic.” In the report, author Kasper Agger, field researcher at the Enough Project, draws upon extensive interviews in CAR with combatants and leaders to document the ties between CAR’s natural resources and armed groups, including Anti-Balaka, Séléka, and Janjaweed. Featuring satellite images, the report finds that the illicit trade in diamonds and elephant ivory is supplying armed groups, and regional oil interests are at the heart of the conflict. A comprehensive peace process is critical.

READ THE FULL REPORT: http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/behind-headlines-drivers-violence-central-african-republic

Enough Project Field Researcher and author of the report Kasper Agger, said: “To prevent the number of dead bodies from growing in CAR, the US and UN should support an inclusive peace process to break the deadly cycle of violence. The UN should send experienced mediators to work with interim President Samba-Panza to kick-start a political process with local dialogues and reconciliation across the country.”

The report outlines the connections between senior Séléka leaders, Chadian and Sudanese government-backed armed groups, mercenaries, poachers, and diamond traders. It also finds that Anti-Balaka militias also control diamond-rich areas. These include Boda, a town in southwestern CAR where satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe shows that more than 800 structures were damaged or destroyed as a result of escalating violence.

The research reveals that revenues from diamonds and elephant ivory are funding Séléka and other fighters in CAR, enabling them to purchase weapons, fuel, and poaching equipment. Diamonds mined in CAR are sold to traders in the Darfur region of Sudan, as well as Chad, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The traders circumvent the international Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and are likely sold on the world market in the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said, “Diamonds are a rebel's best friend in CAR, as armed groups smuggle blood diamonds and trade them for arms. The U.S. and China should urge the Kimberley Process to send a review mission to investigate the world's trading centers where CAR's blood diamonds are likely being traded, in particular Dubai.”

The report’s recommendations to stem the violence include:

  • The United Nations should deploy experienced mediators to work with U.S. Special Representative Symington and a diverse group of CAR leaders to spur a bottom-up peace process with CAR leaders, involving armed groups and civil society.
  • The U.N. Panel of Experts, the U.N.-appointed Commission of Inquiry on CAR, and the International Criminal Court should coordinate investigations and pursue accountability for those most responsible for the violence in CAR, including those involved in sexual violence and economic criminal activity.
  • The African Union should appoint a special envoy to address transnational security and economic matters that involve CAR, Sudan, and Chad.
  • The African Union and the United Nations should mediate negotiations between the governments of Chad and CAR on a bilateral agreement for the exploration of the cross-border oilfields between the two states.
  • The Enough Project has historically focused on grave crimes in countries neighboring CAR, including Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army. Beginning with this report and the Enough Project’s testimony at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing today, the D.C.-based atrocity prevention organization is expanding its work to analyze the drivers and facilitators of the conflict in CAR and advocate for approaches that build sustainable peace.

Further resources:

To speak with an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact Alec Saslow (720.319.4948, Alec@Fitzgibbonmedia.com) or Christina DiPasquale (202.716.1953, christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com)

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, 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 about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

Press Advisory: Kasper Agger to Testify at House Hearing on CAR

Date: 
Apr 30, 2014

Washington, D.C. -- The Enough Project's Field Researcher Kasper Agger will testify tomorrow, May 1, at 10:00 am at the House Foreign Relations Committee hearing, "The Central African Republic: 'Pre-genocide' to Genocide?" along with a high-level panel of CAR experts including The Honorable Robert P. Jackson, The Honorable Anne Richard, Sean Callahan, Madeline Rose, and The Honorable Robin Renee Sanders. 

Following a recent trip to CAR, Agger will be testifying about the underlying drivers of the conflict, including natural resource exploitation and regional dynamics, and identify ways the international community can support sustainable peace and stability.

Kasper Agger, Enough Project Field Researcher, states: 

“CAR’s rich natural resources and fragile state institutions have for decades attracted many actors who seek to profit from and also fuel violence that has killed, wounded, and displaced millions. There is an urgent need to recognize the regional implications of these dynamics and the interests of the many transnational actors involved in the illicit trade of natural resources. If U.S. policymakers are able to identify these interests and adopt a regional approach to the diplomatic strategy in CAR, they can play a vital role in the effort to cut off the revenues of violent actors.”

The hearing will be available via a live webcast here.

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, 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 about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

Enough Project: Trimming Minerals Disclosure Rule is a Step Backward for Atrocity Prevention

Date: 
Apr 14, 2014

Enough Project Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Today, a United States district court of appeals ruled that part of the SEC's conflict minerals rule requiring companies to disclose whether or not they use conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries is unconstitutional.

Enough Project Policy Associate Holly Dranginis said:

"The appeals court's ruling on the first amendment issue is a major step backward for atrocity prevention in the Great Lakes region of Africa and corporate accountability in the United States.. Requiring companies to come clean about whether their materials fuel armed violence is constitutional and reflective of our intolerance as a society for turning a blind eye to human suffering. The court's proposal that a conflict-free determination is ideological is unfounded and undercuts the power of society's growing awareness that global markets and security in fragile states are in fact linked.

As the court said today, "minerals do not fight conflict." But they do fund conflict, a fact that drove Congress and a major public movement to establish this rule in the first place. The SEC should appeal today's ruling for the conflict minerals rule to stay in tact, ensuring companies continue the good work they began when the conflict minerals rule was created."

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said: 

"The law is already eating away at the finances of warlords in Congo, with over two-thirds of tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines now free of armed groups. While the SEC rule is being decided by the courts, consumers and investors are more aware than ever about conflict minerals and will be holding companies accountable for what they are or are not doing on conflict minerals." 

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, 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 about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

Mass Atrocity Prevention Post Rwanda and Darfur

Date: 
Apr 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Mark Quarterman, mquarterman@enoughproject.org, 202-372-6295
 
Mass Atrocity Prevention Post Rwanda and Darfur

 
Washington, DC – Today, Rwandans and the international community will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days. As commemorations unfold worldwide, an Enough Project report, released today, discusses modern mass atrocity prevention as we mark the anniversary of Rwanda’s genocide and recognize the 10th year of genocide in Darfur. The report “Rwanda 20 and Darfur 10: New Responses to Africa's Mass Atrocities” calls for a renewed approach to addressing the interlinked nature of modern-day African conflicts and mass atrocity crimes. 

In the twenty years since the Rwandan genocide, Africa’s wars have become increasingly marked by integrated conflict systems, which spill over borders and include an array of armed groups. The conflicts, spanning the Horn of Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa, have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Conventional peace processes and peacekeeping operations, however, are limited in scope and have largely failed to address the complexities of modern African conflict and mass atrocities. As a result, they fail to address the core systemic drivers of violence. 

Enough Project co-founder and author of the report, John Prendergast, says: 

"Without addressing the complicated transnational root causes of conflict and mass atrocities, without being much more inclusive, without dealing decisively with spoilers, and without integrating broader regional actors, today’s peace processes have no chance of producing sustainable peace."

To combat this, the report argues for new approaches to peacemaking and civilian protection that make a real difference in the lives of people in conflict-ridden regions. A new strategy should be marked by broader peace mechanisms, which include an effective response system from the international community and comprehensive and regional peace processes that address core drivers of conflict.

Read the report, “Rwanda 20 and Darfur 10: New Responses to Africa's Mass Atrocities” -  http://www.enoughproject.org/files/Rwanda-20-and-Darfur-10.pdf 

Feingold, Robinson, Kobler, and Dos Santos Must Play Critical New Roles in Congo Peace Process

Date: 
Apr 3, 2014

Embargoed : April 3, 2014 12:01AM EST

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Feingold, Robinson, Kobler, and Dos Santos Must Play Critical New Roles in Congo Peace Process 

 Washington, DC - Angola’s emergence as the regional leader of the DRC peace process has given new life to ending the world’s deadliest war since WWII, argues a new Enough Project report. The report, “Feingold, Robinson, Kobler and Dos Santos: International Keys to Peace in Congo” urges U.S. Special Envoy Russ Feingold, U.N. Special Envoy Mary Robinson, U.N. Special Representative Martin Kobler, and Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos to build on the successes in Congo over the past year by revitalizing a two-track, inclusive peace process for Congo, with one track focusing on regional issues and the other on internal ones.
 
The report argues that the regional track of the peace process should focus on making sure the negotiations led by the heads of state address the security and economic drivers of the war, and that the domestic track should ensure that Congo undertakes domestic governance reforms. Both tracks should link closely to civil society, private sector, and women’s dialogues launched by UN Special Envoy Robinson.
 
Sasha Lezhnev, Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst and co-author of the report, said: 

“The road to peace in Congo is at a critical crossroads. Now that the M23 poses a much lesser threat, there are four major roadblocks to peace: the FDLR, conflict gold and smuggling, a lack of accountability for war crimes, and Congo's frustrated elections. U.S. and U.N. Special Envoys Russ Feingold and Mary Robinson should work closely with Angolan President dos Santos to broker talks on the first three critical issues while encouraging Congolese President Kabila to not run for another term.”

John Prendergast, Enough Project co-founder and co-author of the report, said:

“The foundation for a viable, comprehensive peace process for the deadly war in the Congo is finally emerging. The obstacles, however, are daunting.  Focusing on meaningful steps forward on specific issues that have fanned the flames of regional intervention will go a long way to extinguishing the fires that have burned in Congo since the 1994 Rwandan genocide spilled across their common border.  Bringing an end to the FDLR, creating a clean minerals export trade, and ensuring justice for human rights crimes will remove incentives for neighboring states to destabilize Congo and instead promote peaceful, transparent cooperation throughout the region.”   

Read the report, “Feingold, Robinson, Kobler and Dos Santos: International Keys to Peace in Congo”: http://enoughproject.org/files/InternationalKeystoPeaceinCongo.pdf

Addressing Root Causes of Sudan’s Wars Key to Sudan Peace Agenda

Date: 
Apr 1, 2014

Enough Project Press Release

Embargoed Until: April 1, 2014, 12:01am EST 

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Addressing Root Causes of Sudan’s Wars Key to Sudan Peace Agenda

Washington, DC — As the African Union convenes talks with the Sudanese government and rebel leaders, a new Enough Project report advocates a more comprehensive and inclusive  humanitarian ceasefire and an overall peace process that addresses urgent needs across Sudan’s periphery in a coordinated way. The report, “Sudan’s Tortured Peace Process,” urges African Union and American diplomats to recognize the interconnected nature of Sudan’s conflicts and pursue approaches that recognize the interests of all parties. It argues that a comprehensive approach, addressing marginalization across Sudan, can bring transformative political change that Sudanese people demand.

Sudan’s peace processes are currently segmented, with separate, ineffective frameworks for Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile). The separate structures fail to reflect the interconnected nature of the rebel coalition and the active conflicts--where a break in hostilities in one area can worsen the fighting elsewhere. As talks on the Two Areas resume in Addis Ababa, rebel leaders seek discussion of broader issues while Sudanese government officials and African Union mediators resist holistic talks. Many groups, including Sudanese civil society organizations, independent international analysts, African Union and European Union leaders, and U.S. officials have endorsed a comprehensive approach. The international community has failed, however, to commit the necessary diplomatic resources to build a broad international coalition to support such a peace process.

As violence escalates and urgent humanitarian needs increase, the divided approach to integrated problems undermines efforts to address urgent humanitarian needs.

Omer Ismail, Enough Project Sudan Advisor, says: 

"The international community has done little to reject this stove-piping of Sudan’s conflicts. As conflicts in Sudan’s periphery worsen, the negotiating parties must stop pursuing this dead-end approach to the peace process that plays directly into Khartoum’s divide and conquer strategy." 

To effectively advance a holistic peace agenda in Sudan, the report recommends that African Union and U.S. leaders take four critical steps: 

1. African Union mediators should unify national dialogues and separate peace processes to comprehensively address conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and eastern Sudan.
2. The U.S. should build an international coalition to push for a comprehensive peace process and boost its diplomatic efforts by deploying an additional U.S. envoy.
3. American lawmakers should pass a measure to allow capacity-building support for Sudan’s opposition and civil society; and 
4. The U.S. should use targeted sanctions and other sources of financial leverage to pressure combatants to pursue a comprehensive peace initiative.

Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Analyst, says:

"A divided peace process mounts especially high stakes for civilians living in Sudan’s conflict-affected areas. This year’s rainy season is beginning early, putting millions at risk of food insecurity. An estimated four million in Sudan now face “emergency level” insecurity."

Read the full report, “Sudan’s Tortured Peace Process”: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/SudansTorturedPeaceProcess.pdf

Enough Project Applauds Obama Administration's Bolstering of Counter-LRA Mission

Date: 
Mar 24, 2014

Enough Project Media Advisory

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sandi Fox, sfox@enoughproject.org, 202-478-6325

Enough Project Applauds Obama Administration's Bolstering of Counter-LRA Mission

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Obama administration announced on March 23 that it will enhance the counter-LRA mission by deploying at least four high-speed, troop-transporting CV-22 Osprey helicopters. The helicopters will support the African Union Regional Task Force.

The Enough Project is encouraged by the additional support offered by the administration and applauds President Obama’s dedication to ending the LRA, which has been killing civilians and abducting children in central Africa since 1987.

Enough Project Field Researcher Kasper Agger said:

“The Osprey helicopters are a critical new piece of the puzzle in the mission to end the LRA. This will enable the African partner forces of the U.S. to be able to act swiftly to apprehend Kony and other LRA leaders who continue to terrorize civilians in central Africa. The deployment confirms the U.S. resolve regarding the mission and sends a strong signal about the Obama administration’s commitment to atrocity prevention.”

Sasha Lezhnev said:

“The new U.S. helicopters are like a turbo boost for the mission to find Kony. They give the operation the ability to act much more quickly on intelligence. The forces will now be able to search in several places at once, and when there is a report of Kony's whereabouts, the Ospreys can get there quickly. The White House deserves praise for bolstering the LRA mission, as backing off would allow Kony to regroup and perpetrate mass atrocities once again.”

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, 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 about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

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