Press Releases

Congo Peace Framework Incomplete without Follow-on Negotiations, US Envoy

Date: 
Feb 22, 2012

Enough Project Press Briefing 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2013

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, +1-202-386-1618

Washington, DC, and Goma, DR Congo -- The “Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region” to be signed on February 24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will only succeed if it is followed up by a robust peace process led by a capable United Nations mediator and strong backing from the United States. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will preside over the signing by Congo and neighboring countries.      

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast said:

“If not accompanied by the swift appointment of a U.N. envoy and the initiation of a focused peace process between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda led by that U.N. envoy, this Framework agreement will end up having no impact on ending the violence in eastern Congo.” 

The Framework lays a foundation for two main elements: regional negotiations over key economic and security issues and processes leading to real institutional reform within Congo, in part through what should be an inclusive and impartially mediated Congolese national dialogue. 

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

“President Obama’s second term offers a major opportunity to pursue peace in eastern Congo, the world’s deadliest war in 50 years. The administration can take three steps toward a new peace strategy. First, the U.S. should urge the U.N. to appoint a senior envoy with extensive negotiating experience to act as mediator. Second, the U.S. could work with the U.N. envoy to build a peace process to operationalize the commitments made in the Framework.  And finally, President Obama should appoint a senior U.S. envoy to support the U.N.-led peace process.”

Enough Project Associate Director of Research Aaron Hall said:

“Now is an opportune moment for peace, despite several repeated cycles of violence. The status quo is no longer acceptable, as the international community has finally acted against Rwanda’s alleged support to armed groups contributing to the destabilization of Congo and against Congo’s lack of transparency in the mining and exploitation of its natural resources. The conflict minerals trade is finally less profitable for armed groups targeting civilians because of legislative and corporate reforms.”

If the U.S. and U.N. envoys proactively engage, a peace process would allow Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda to finally address their underlying interests that have fomented conflict and give Congolese civil society a voice at the table to discuss critical internal reforms. The process should also not be a place to extend immunity from prosecution for those who have committed war crimes and mass atrocities. Accountability should be ensured throughout, particularly as it relates to bringing the leadership of M23, including Bosco Ntaganda, to justice, as well as other perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The U.N. Framework establishes several critical commitments that must be addressed in regional talks in order to achieve success.  It will be incumbent upon the U.N. envoy to operationalize the implementation of the Framework’s commitments. 

The Framework’s language regarding economic integration should be operationalized through regional negotiations to establish a series of agreements around infrastructure and conflict-free investment priorities. Security measures should also be negotiated to address cross-border threats such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and spoiler elements of the M23 rebel group. 

More specifically, violent contestation over the control of the illicit trade in natural resources remains a principal driver of conflict. Already, the profits from the illegal trade in minerals have decreased as a result of market reforms such as the Dodd-Frank legislation on conflict minerals, which has caused the price of the illicitly smuggled minerals tin, tantalum, and tungsten to be one-third the price of conflict-free minerals.  Negotiating agreements that will allow for the expansion of the existing conflict-free trade will benefit all regional states.  Agreements would be most beneficial around the following:  tariff reform, mineral certification monitoring, investment code revision, the formation of specialized economic zones, and transparent concession-bidding processes to incentivize long-term, conflict-free investment in natural resources.

One of the starting points could be finalizing an agreement on the development of the potentially lucrative methane gas reserves along the Congo-Rwanda border. Such an agreement could lower electricity costs for the two countries, which are approximately double those of other regional states. 

Several substantive issues raised in the Framework specific to Congo should be discussed in the institutional reform process. These include decentralization, security sector reform, mining code reform, and local reconciliation efforts. Though not mentioned in the Framework, electoral reform should also be a centerpiece of institutional reform.   

Because Congolese President Joseph Kabila faces an internal legitimacy crisis, it will be important to closely involve Congolese civil society and political parties in these reform processes, including in the holding of an impartially mediated national dialogue.  Those actors should have a prominent voice at the table.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

U.S. and U.N. Must Apply Coordinated Leverage to Ensure Successful Congo Peace Process

Date: 
Feb 12, 2013

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1-202-459-1219

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. and U.N. must appoint senior-level envoys to lead the international community in applying incentives and deterrents necessary to bring all regional stakeholders to the table, and ensure they reach a final agreement addressing long-term drivers of conflict in eastern Congo, argues a new Enough Project paper.

The paper contends that the U.S. and U.N. should use their diplomatic and economic leverage to persuade regional stakeholders, including the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, to constructively participate in the peace process. It suggests that the U.S. apply coercive measures such as the threat of sanctions on Rwandan and Ugandan officials aiding the M23, as well as supporting the continued delay and potential cancellation of World Bank funds to Rwanda.

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“The international community must use a carefully calibrated combination of carrots and sticks to get key regional actors to the negotiating table.  The U.S. can help lead this process by appointing a presidential envoy who could lead the international community in garnering the political will needed to apply a balanced leverage package.  A durable and long-term solution will require concessions from all stakeholders.”

The paper outlines specific economic and diplomatic tools that the U.S. and U.N. could use to get each of the essential actors—Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, M23, and local leaders in eastern Congo—to the table.  The paper specifies, however, that M23 inclusion must be accompanied by coercive preconditions.

Enough Project Associate Director of Research and co-author of the paper Aaron Hall said:

“The Congo peace process must be inclusive of civil society stakeholders to ensure that a final agreement is reached that addresses the region’s chronic drivers of conflict—poor governance and inadequate political representation.  A combination of increased commitment by local, regional, and international actors to reach a long-term solution is imperative to ending the deadly cycle of violence in eastern Congo.”

This is the final paper in an Enough Project’s three-part series about the process, substance, and leverage necessary to create a path toward a viable peace in eastern Congo and the wider region.

Read the full paper: “Coordinated International Leverage: The Missing Element from Congo’s Peace Process

Read the other two papers in the series: “‘What Is Not Said Is What Divides:’ Critical Issues for a Peace Process to End the Deadly Congo War” and “A Broadened Peace Process Is Needed in Congo

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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 Valentine’s Day Campaign Asks Jewelers to Help End Conflict Gold Trade

Date: 
Feb 8, 2013

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL: Friday, February 8, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1-202-459-1219

GOMA, DR CONGO and WASHINGTON, DC – This Valentine’s Day, the Enough Project is launching a new campaign and video report documenting the trade in conflict gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Jewelry companies, the world’s largest consumers of gold, have an opportunity to help stop the deadly trade through supply chain action.

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, who is featured in the video, said:

“Gold has emerged as the most lucrative conflict mineral, because it is easy to smuggle small quantities for large profits. Approximately $600 million in gold is smuggled out of Congo each year. Jewelry companies have a golden opportunity to be part of the solution to curb this growing trade by sourcing conflict-free gold from Congo, just as electronics companies have done for other minerals in Congo.”

Growing consumer demand for conflict-free products and the Dodd-Frank legislation on conflict minerals have helped reduce armed groups’ profits in the conflict minerals of tin, tungsten, and tantalum by approximately 65 percent. To fill this gap, some armed groups in eastern Congo have turned to the fourth conflict mineral—gold. The armed groups use poorly paid gold miners, nearly 40 percent of whom are children, working under harsh and dangerous conditions.

The Enough Project video, “Conflict Gold 101,” maps out the supply chain of conflict gold from eastern Congo mines controlled by armed groups to the gold bars and jewelry bought and sold at banks and retailers around the world.

The six main steps of the conflict gold trade laid out in the video and an accompanying infographic are:

1. Mines operated by warlords in eastern Congo;

2. Smugglers in Congo working with armed groups; 

3. Regional smugglers in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania; 

4. Refiners in Dubai; 

5. Banks in Switzerland and other banking centers; and

6. Jewelers in the U.S., India, and China. 

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

“Consumers need to know what’s going on with gold— it is funding warlords such as one known as ‘The Terminator’ in eastern Congo. Jewelers have started to work on this issue, but it’s time for them to step up and establish mine-to-market projects from Congo like the Motorola Solutions for Hope initiative. Combined with government action, this would have a substantial positive impact for people on the ground in Congo.”  

The video stresses that consumer demand and investment from the jewelry industry is one part of a multi-faceted solution. Other key steps by governments should include sanctions on gold smugglers and aid to help formalize Congo’s gold trade.

View and embed the video: “Conflict Gold 101

View or download infographic mapping out conflict gold’s six-step process: http://enoughproject.org/files/conflict-gold-infographic.png

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.  

Congo: Robin Wright Helps Deliver Women’s Petition to White House with 100,000 Signatures

Date: 
Jan 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON – On January 29, actress Robin Wright and Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo Campaign Manager JD Stier joined a group of human rights activists to deliver a petition to the White House calling for a presidential envoy to support a comprehensive peace process in eastern Congo.

The petition, launched by a group of Congolese women and supported by World Pulse and the Enough Project, has received more than 108,000 signatures from around the world.

A group of Congolese women wrote the petition after M23 rebels took over Goma—a key town in eastern Congo—last November, reigniting the region into war. The women feared for their safety and the safety of their families and decided to call on female U.S. leaders to take immediate action in solidarity with the women of Congo.

“The time is now for the White House to respond in support of the women of Congo,” said actress and Raise Hope for Congo activist Robin Wright.  “This is a critical moment for action that could be a turning point for the people of eastern Congo.”

The petition calls for a U.S. presidential envoy to support a peace process in Congo that addresses both the immediate crisis and the underlying economic and political interests of the parties. It also pushes for an inclusive peace process that ensures women a seat at the negotiating table.

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Raise Hope for Congo is an Enough Project campaign that aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists who will advocate for the human rights of all Congolese citizens and work towards ending the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo. For more information on Raise Hope for Congo, please visit: www.raisehopeforcongo.org.

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 Welcomes John Kerry as Secretary of State

Date: 
Jan 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON -- The Enough Project welcomes the U.S. Senate’s decision to approve John Kerry's nomination as the next Secretary of State and looks forward to working with him in this new capacity to address and prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“As Secretary of State, John Kerry will soon face a number of pressing foreign policy issues around the globe from the Middle East to Asia. But his extensive background and knowledge of the Sudans and the Democratic Republic of Congo also position him to positively affect the serious conflicts in these two countries.  The State Department, under Secretary Kerry, can play a key role in promoting an inclusive peace process in the Congo and addressing what he has described as a ‘human tragedy’ unfolding in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. The Enough Project looks forward to working closely with Secretary Kerry and his team in the coming years.”

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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.

AU Must Lead in Resolving Abyei Dispute to Avoid War in the Sudans

Date: 
Jan 17, 2013

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 12:01a.m. Eastern

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

Abyei, SUDAN – The upcoming African Union annual summit on January 21 offers a key opportunity to resolve the final status of Abyei—a disputed, resource-rich region straddling the ill-defined border between Sudan and South Sudan. The final status of Abyei remains one of the most controversial, outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan and must be resolved to avoid reigniting war between the two countries, according to a new Enough Project report and video.

The report and video are based on field research conducted by the Enough Project during a trip to the region in December 2012.

The report argues that the African Union should fully and unequivocally support the African Union High Level Implementation Panel, or AUHIP, proposal, which provides mechanisms for resolving Abyei’s final status, and defines and protects the rights of people living within and moving through the area. The report emphasizes that the lack of cooperation between the two governments, particularly Sudan’s outright rejection of the AUHIP proposal, remains a serious obstacle to reaching a resolution on Abyei’s status.

Renata Rendón, co-author of the report and Enough Project policy and advocacy director, said:

“The question of Abyei’s status has remained unresolved for decades, and the people of Abeyi continue to suffer the effects of cyclical conflicts perpetuated by continued ambiguity. The international community must make a clear commitment to pressure the Sudans to come to an enforceable agreement on determining Abyei’s final status and mitigate further destabilizing violence. Only a decision on the final status of Abyei will create the political stability necessary for sustainable peace in the area.”

Amanda Hsiao, co-author and Juba field researcher for the Enough Project, said:

“The AUHIP would protect the migratory, civic, political, and economic rights of the two communities with the greatest stake in Abyei—the Ngok Dinka, who historically have lived in Abyei and align themselves with South Sudan; and the Misseriya, nomadic people who traverse Abyei seasonally with their cattle and identify with Sudan. A credible international referendum and administrative structures for the area as outlined by the AUHIP proposal will ensure the continued rights of both communities, allowing them to benefit equitably and securely from Abyei’s natural resources. The African Union should prioritize civic education outreach among the local populations to inform them of the AUHIP proposal and the rights and protections it affords them.”

Read the full report: “Resolving the Abyei Crisis: Preventing Violence and Promoting Peace

View the Accompanying Video: “Abyei on Edge During Migration Season

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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.

 

Enough Project Welcomes Expanded Rewards for Justice Program

Date: 
Jan 15, 2013

Enough Project Press Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

Today, January 15, Enough Project Executive Director John Bradshaw and other human rights leaders attended an Oval Office ceremony at which President Obama signed legislation into law, expanding the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program.

"By signing this bill in the presence of leaders of the human rights community, the President has demonstrated his continuing personal commitment to bringing Joesph Kony and other internationally-wanted human rights abusers to justice," said Bradshaw. "This law is also an important step by the U.S. towards a more positive relationship with the International Criminal Court."

Signing ceremony in the Oval Office (White House)

The Rewards for Justice Program has been critical to bringing to justice individuals wanted by specific courts for committing the most serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The expanded program will allow the U.S. government to provide financial rewards for information resulting in the arrest or conviction of individuals sought by any international criminal tribunal for perpetrating genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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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.

Video and Report: South Sudan Must Change Response to Jonglei Violence

Date: 
Dec 18, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org+1 202-459-1219

BOR, JONGLEI STATE, South Sudan – The threat of escalating, mass violence against civilians in South Sudan's volatile Jonglei border-state looms large, according to a new Enough Project field report and video

Over the past year, violence in the world’s newest nation has been particularly severe in Jonglei state, accounting for more than half of all people killed in the country in 2012. The government of Sudan has historically been instrumental in facilitating the violence by providing arms, ammunition, and cash to spoilers in South Sudan. Currently, a rebellion allegedly backed by the government of Sudan and led by David Yau Yau poses a daily danger to Jonglei communities and threatens to undo any progress that has been made toward stability in the state—especially if the South Sudan military responds in a manner that isolates the civilian population, according to the report. 

To address the violence, the government of South Sudan must fully implement the peace process that it initiated in early 2012, engage deeper with the Jonglei communities, and modify its security strategy to prioritize the protection of civilians, the report said. Further, the international community must increase pressure on Khartoum to stop its assistance to rebels in South Sudan and ensure that this issue is addressed in the Sudan-South Sudan peace deal implementation talks.

Amanda Hsiao, co-author of the report and Enough Project Juba Field Researcher said:

"The violence in Jonglei presents a test case of the South Sudanese government’s ability to fulfill its responsibility to protect and to govern in a more inclusive and transparent manner. Representatives from throughout Jonglei state came together in May and identified some of the essential causes of the conflicts. The responsibility to translate those discussions into action—which has yet to take place in a coordinated fashion—falls to Juba."

While the government’s state-wide disarmament campaign has resulted in temporary stability in Lou Nuer ethnic communities during the rainy season, abuses committed by the army during the disarmament campaign in Murle ethnic communities have directly contributed to renewed insecurity, further stalling the Jonglei peace process.

Laura Heaton, co-author of the report and Enough Project Consultant said:

“The South Sudanese army’s disarmament in the Lou Nuer and the Murle areas has transpired very differently. Few people we spoke to in Akobo County deny that the disarmament campaign has been the primary factor contributing to the relative peace in the Lou Nuer areas in recent months, while at least 100 cases of beatings, torture, looting, and rape were committed in Murle communities in Pibor County. The South Sudan government needs to quickly demonstrate that it grasps the concerns of South Sudanese who have long believed that they must depend on their own communities for protection and to fulfill basic needs—and who have therefore made pragmatic decisions, like stealing their neighbor’s cattle or joining the local militia.”

The international community, including the U.S., can play a crucial role by supporting the South Sudan government in addressing the immediate and long-term threats to civilians in Jonglei. Projects aimed at addressing the root causes of violence in Jonglei, including helping establish rule of law and accountability mechanisms, promoting alternative livelihoods, and developing infrastructure, should be expanded, the report said.

The report and accompanying video are based on field research conducted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan; Bor, the capital of Jonglei; and Pibor and Akobo, the towns that serve as the centers of the Murle and Lou Nuer communities.

Read the full report‘Sometimes We See Ourselves as Apart:’ South Sudan’s Response to Violence in Jonglei

View the accompanying video: “Root Causes of Violence in Jonglei, South Sudan”  

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

Congo Peace Process Must Address Economic, Political, and Security Issues

Date: 
Dec 13, 2012

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON, DC – The existing peace process in eastern Congo must be enhanced to address the economic, political, and security issues that lie at the heart of the escalating conflict, according to a new Enough Project policy brief released today.

The brief argues that, to date, the regionally mediated peace talks in Congo have only focused on short-term security agreements and completely ignored the core drivers of conflict. The peace process must be built on a shared economic and political framework based on a broad inter-Congolese dialogue. If President Kabila does not address these issues through inclusive dialogue, he may not survive politically.

“An enhanced process must directly address the underlying economic, political, and security interests of the ‘3 K’s’—Kinshasa, Kigali, and Kampala—all of whom have profited from the chaos of eastern Congo, to end the cyclical horrors of regional intervention and state predation,” said John Prendergast, co-author of the brief and co-founder of the Enough Project. “To further ensure long-term stability in the region, the critical interests of eastern Congolese civil society must also be incorporated into the peace process.”

The brief calls on the international community to provide incentives, pressures, and lasting support for the peace process as a whole, as well as help with the implementation framework. Getting all parties to agree on these fundamental issues will be a revolutionary step toward peace in the region.

"Uganda has been aiding M23 and is not the right party to mediate the peace process for Congo,” said Sasha Lezhnev, co-author of the brief and Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst. “It is time to shake things up, appoint a serious, high-level mediator, and deal with the actual economic and political reasons why the groups have been fighting. The U.S. should appoint a presidential envoy to work on such a peace process."

The report also recommends that the U.S. and European Union help expand the economic pie for Congo and countries in the region by organizing a summit on responsible, transparent, conflict-free investment in the region. Dealing with the economic roots of war not only removes the main driver of the conflict, but creates the primary catalyst for state reconstruction. Recent economic transparency reforms in the region are starting to offer a new path for the future, whereby resources such as conflict minerals can be part of the engine for peace and development instead of war.

This brief is the second in a three-part series on the process, substance, and leverage necessary to create a path towards a viable peace in eastern Congo and the surrounding region.

Read the full brief: “‘What Is Not Said Is What Divides:’ Critical Issues for a Peace Process to End the Deadly Congo War

Read the first brief in the three-part series: “A Broadened Peace Process in Needed in Congo

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

Rights Groups Call on Obama to Lead Response to Congo Crisis and Appoint Envoy

Date: 
Dec 10, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON, DC – The Enough Project has joined a coalition of human rights groups calling on President Obama to lead a coordinated U.S. response to the escalating crisis in eastern Congo.

Today, the coalition sent a letter to President Obama asking him to appoint a Presidential Envoy and support the appointment of a U.N. envoy to the Great Lakes region, to support the imposition of sanctions against violators of the U.N. Arms Embargo on Congo, and to cut military assistance and suspend non-humanitarian aid to the government of Rwanda for its support of the M23 insurgency.

The coalition welcomes regional efforts by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to find a solution to the crisis, but also recognizes that the regional process’s stopgap approach and reliance on military solutions will not bring sustainable peace to the region. The coalition argues that efforts to achieve a durable peace must be led, not by those who continue to perpetuate the conflict, but rather by a credible internationally facilitated process.

“The current crisis in eastern Congo requires the U.S. to step up its efforts to uphold international law and demonstrate its commitment to human rights,” said John C. Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project. “Regional intervention in eastern Congo continues to perpetuate a cycle of violence and conflict that cannot be addressed without the support of regional and international actors. The U.S. should appoint a Presidential Envoy to support a credible process that will both cease hostilities and address the underlying economic and political interests to ensure long-term peace and stability for the region.”

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

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