Economic sanctions, the steps a government takes to prohibit certain types of economic activities with a foreign country, company, or individual, have become a preeminent tool of U.S. foreign policy. They are used to combat threats ranging from nuclear proliferation in Iran or North Korea to civil strife and mass atrocities in Central Africa. In past decades, sanctions were typically “comprehensive,” in which the United States would ban nearly all trade and economic activity with an adversary. This approach is rarely taken anymore, with only a few countries, like Syria, Sudan, and North Korea, subject to these types of comprehensive embargoes. Today, most U.S. sanctions programs are “specific” or “targeted,” in which the United States will freeze the assets of specific, named individuals and companies overseas and ban U.S. citizens and companies from doing most business with them. For example, targeted sanctions might freeze the assets of specific government officials, who commit human rights abuses in a country and prohibit U.S. companies from dealing with businesses they own, while still allowing most trade with the country that the government officials control.
Millions of people have suffered and perished in the ongoing wars in East and Central Africa, including Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. The big prize in these deadly conflicts is the control of a hijacked state and the natural resource wealth of the country.
Political tensions are building in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where sitting President Joseph Kabila is attempting to subvert the country’s constitution, hold on to power, and reduce political space ahead of the scheduled end of his second presidential term. During the past 18 months, the situation has worsened, with multiple attempts to significantly delay elections; peaceful protesters arbitrarily arrested, beaten, or killed; and the expulsion of several key international researchers or officials, including those from the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office, Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, and the Congo Research Group.
By Brad Brooks-Rubin, Holly Dranginis, and Sasha Lezhnev | Sep 7, 2016
This policy brief adapts and expands on congressional testimony I delivered on April 27, 2016 before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations in a hearing on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security.”
Our policy analyst Akshaya Kumar argues that the desperate situation of the people in rebel-controlled areas, the Sudanese government’s aid blockade, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, along with statements recently attributed to senior commanders in the government forces, lay the foundation for a case of crimes against humanity by extermination.
Escalating violence, displacement, and new political developments in the areas along Sudan’s periphery—Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile—are going largely unnoticed as international attention focuses on violence in South Sudan.
The Enough Project has released this policy paper in advance of the July 25, 2013 Ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will preside over the meeting to push for implementation of a peace accord signed in February 2013 by 11 African nations and four international organizations. The aims of the accord are to end the cycles of conflict and crisis in eastern Congo and to support an effective peace process in Africa's Great Lakes region.
By Sasha Lezhnev and Fidel Bafilemba | Jul 25, 2013
The mandate of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan, or AUHIP,expires on July 30, 2013. The renewal process and the panel’s forthcoming “final” report—surveying its work from October 2009 to the present day—present a unique opportunity to think about the future of this long struggle for peace.
Enough Project Policy Alerts provide a reaction and set of recommnendations to a significant development designed for policymakers, advocates, and other influential people participating in the policy making process.
On August 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, adopted regulations for Section 1502, the provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that deals with conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC. The trade in these minerals fuels a conflict that continues to cause suffering among the people of eastern Congo.