Note: This blog contains excerpts from the report “Strategic Pressure: A Blueprint for Addressing New Threats and Supporting Democratic Change in the DRC.”
Today, the Enough Project published “Strategic Pressure: A Blueprint for Addressing New Threats and Supporting Democratic Change in the DRC,” by Founding Director John Prendergast and Deputy Policy Director Sasha Lezhnev. The report recommends that an effective strategy to bring Congo back from the brink of crisis should focus on strongly supporting Congolese efforts to achieve a democratic transition through a much more robust strategy of financial pressure. At the same time, the strategy should entail pushing for key structural reforms and immediate conflict mitigation steps in the Kasai region and the east.
Prendergast and Lezhnev argue that it is not yet in the Congolese regime’s financial interest to pursue a democratic transition given the immense profits reaped by the Kabila family and its commercial partners despite the economic crisis, Kabila’s control over the security services, and the opposition’s current weakness. Significantly increased financial, diplomatic, and other pressure on the regime and its partners are needed first. The Kabila regime relies on the U.S. dollar, euro, and international financial system to launder the proceeds of corruption, creating major leverage for the United States and Europe.
With all the evidence in [recent reports and news articles] that we learn about, why aren’t the E.U. and the U.S. targeting Zoe Kabila or Jaynet Kabila to send a strong signal to Joseph Kabila that he must get his act together and abide for once in his tenure to an agreement like the December 2016 one?” – Congolese civil society leader in August 2017 interview with the Enough Project
The U.S. and European Union, countries in the Great Lakes region, and the private sector should work on four tracks to support Congolese efforts to achieve a democratic transition:
- Use financial pressure to change the Kabila regime’s cost-benefit calculations
- As more pressure is applied, support negotiations to create a path to credible, timely elections and Kabila’s exit from the Presidency
- Enact targeted measures to help resolve conflict in Kasai and eastern Congo
- Combat corruption by pushing for transparency reforms of state-owned mining companies
Read the full report here.
Read the activist brief here.