Justice and Accountability

Enough Project Statement on May 26th Congo Democracy Protests, Need for Targeted Sanctions

The Enough Project is deeply concerned about the growing political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For over a year, citizens have been calling on President Kabila to indicate his intentions to step down, resulting in dozens of arbitrary arrests and detentions. Government security forces are continuing this trend of violent response to the country-wide demonstrations using tear gas, beatings, and bullets.   Read More »

Jean-Pierre Bemba Convicted of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Date: 
Mar 21, 2016

Enough Project experts available for comment and analysis on landmark case

On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Experts at the Enough Project have been following the case, and are available for comment and analysis.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “Today's verdict is a victory for the women, men, and children who were brutalized by Bemba's forces, particularly victims of rape - this is the first time the court has convicted anyone on sexual violence charges."

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The verdict also means that Bemba won't be returning to Congo to stand in the elections. He would have been a very potent challenger. It's now time for President Kabila to commit to holding the elections as soon as possible.”

Dranginis added, "The court's ruling also breaks new ground on how we judge powerful leaders who commit atrocities from far away. International justice is catching up with modern conflict dynamics, which rarely respect borders. No longer can criminal elites hide atop complex command structures. Though Mr. Bemba was in DRC during the commission of many of his crimes, and a Congolese citizen, the court found he was nonetheless the "Commander in Chief" of forces in CAR.  The next crucial step is to decide victims' reparations - the court should consider drawing those from the accused's own coffers and include specific measures for victims of sexual violence.”

Bemba is a former leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), a rebel group from the Democratic Republic of Congo responsible for widespread sexual violence during a military campaign to help defend the former president of the Central African Republic, Ange-Félix Patassé, from a coup attempt. 

In its verdict today the ICC found him guilty, as military commander of the MLC, on two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes including murder, rape, and pillage.  

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

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Verdict Monday in War Crimes Trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba

Date: 
Mar 19, 2016

Enough Project experts available for comment and analysis

On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is scheduled to deliver a verdict in the war crimes trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Experts at the Enough Project have been following the case, and will be available for comment and analysis.

Bemba is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity including rape, murder, and pillage allegedly committed during armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002 and 2003. Bemba has denied all charges against him.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The Bemba trial reminds us that atrocities are often inherently transnational. It has examined the use of elite cross-border alliances, and the all-too-common reality that perpetrators can commit extreme brutality remotely, from high up a chain of command."

Bemba is a former leader of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), an armed rebel group which the ICC prosecution accuses of widespread sexual violence during a military campaign to help defend the former president of CAR, Ange-Félix Patassé, from a coup attempt. 

Dranginis added: "Monday's judgement, now six years in the making, comes at an historic moment as a brand new government takes office in CAR, where Bemba's alleged crimes took place over a decade ago. In Bemba's case, the ICC has broken new ground on critical issues like witness intimidation, and sent a timely message to governments in CAR and DRC [The Democratic Republic of the Congo] that abuse of power will not be ignored."

During the trial, the prosecution has argued Bemba is liable for the alleged crimes of his troops. The Bemba trial began in November 2010. 

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

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

New Report - Point of Origin: Status Report on the Impact of Dodd-Frank 1502 in Congo

Photo: Erberto Zani / www.erbertozani.com

In a new Enough Project report based on 2015 and 2016 field research in eastern Congo, Senior Policy Analyst Holly Dranginis provides a status update on the impact of Dodd-Frank 1502 in Congo, including progress, challenges, and policy recommendations for continued improvements.  Read More »

Nigeria Has Decided, But in Sudan Elections Don't Mean Choice

Yesterday, in an historic election, Nigeria had its first peaceful and democratic power transfer. This month, Africa will see another election, in President Omar al Bashir's Sudan. Unfortunately, there, elections don't necessarily mean choice. Given current restrictions on civil society organizations, some fear that if the elections proceed on April 13th, they will only intensify the conflict and worsen the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.  Read More »

Right to the Truth: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

Credit: Holly Dranginis/Enough Project

In recognition of one of the newest universal human rights, March 24 was proclaimed in 2010 to be the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. First litigated in a case against Ecuador for failing to provide truth and justice for the family of a victim, the understanding of the right to truth has expanded over time as belonging not only to members of victims’ families, but to all members of society. While not a substitute for justice, truth is essential to ensuring lasting peace in conflict-affected communities.  Read More »

Enough 101: The GHRAVITY Executive Order and Sudan

In this 101, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar answers 5 questions about the GHRAVITY Executive Order (Grave Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria Via Information Technology) and how it can be expanded to allow the U.S. to target the middle men and enablers of atrocities in Sudan.  Read More »

Enough and Coalition Write to Secretary Kerry on Democracy in Congo

Editor's Note: The letter below, from a coalition of experts and NGOs including the Enough Project, was released recently. The letter, directed at Secretary of State John Kerry, supports the U.S. Government's ongoing efforts to promote free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and proposes specific steps for enhancing engagement.  Read More »

Ending Grand Theft on a Global Scale: Prosecuting the War Crime of Pillage

M23 rebel fighters north of Goma, DRC (2012) AP Photo/Jerome Delay

In Enough Project Policy Analyst Holly Dranginis’ latest report, Grand Theft Global: Prosecuting the War Crime of Natural Resource Pillage in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dranginis provides an inside look at why the widespread theft of minerals in Congo has gone on unpunished, and how policymakers and legal practitioners can help advance cases.  Grand Theft Global is the result of research in Congo, The Hague, and Washington, DC, including dozens of interviews with Congolese attorneys, international prosecutors, and local communities affected by pillage and the violence it enables.  Read More »

Top LRA Commander’s Transfer to ICC “Historic”, “Victory for Victims” says Enough Project

Date: 
Jan 13, 2015
Author: 
Enough Team

January 13, 2015 --- Dominic Ongwen, one of the most senior commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), will be transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to the U.S. State Department. Enough Project analysts are available for interviews, background on Ongwen, and expert commentary on the LRA and significance of the ICC referral in this case.

Kasper Agger, Enough Project LRA expert and Uganda-based field researcher, said: “The transfer of Dominic Ongwen to the ICC is a major victory for the thousands of LRA victims and a chance for Ongwen to go through a fair trial. Hopefully this can draw attention to massive rebuilding tasks in LRA affected areas, including the need for a comprehensive reconciliation and transitional justice process in Northern Uganda.”

Holly Dranginis, Enough Project Policy Analyst, said: “Ongwen's transfer to the ICC is  historic - a victory for the victims of the LRA's brutality, many of whom have been bravely demanding justice for over a decade now. It's also a welcome confirmation that the United States is increasingly supportive of the ICC's efforts in this region. The next step is for Ongwen to have a fair and thorough trial, with full consideration of crimes committed against him as a child, and robust protection for victims and witnesses.”

Abducted by the LRA at the age of 10, Ongwen rose in the ranks of the militia as a protégé of LRA leader Joseph Kony, and has been indicted by the ICC for multiple crimes against humanity including murder, pillaging, and enslavement.

More information:

  • Enough Project statement on ICC referral in the Ongwen case: http://eno.ug/1sf99WO
  • More background, expert commentary, and recent media coverage on the Ongwen case: http://eno.ug/1x5IkQr
  • Interview with Kasper Agger - From the Bloody Trail of Kony’s LRA (December 24, 2014): http://eno.ug/1CVSRD6
  • Briefing report on LRA illicit funding - Kony to LRA: “Bring me ivory, gold, and diamonds” (November 19, 2014): http://eno.ug/1uZL7OE

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman,  +1 310-717-

0606, gh@enoughproject.org

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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.

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