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Combating Violent Kleptocracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

October 27, 2016 @ 10:00 am

A New Approach to Create Leverage for Democratic Change and Human Rights Protections

Please join distinguished experts on the Great Lakes region of Africa as they discuss how to address the crises of democracy and conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The event will launch a new Enough Project comprehensive study authored by Sasha Lezhnev, "A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering Institutionalized Corruption and Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo," the second installment in the Enough Project’s "Violent Kleptocracy: Corruption and Conflict in East and Central Africa" Series.

Watch the live stream here:

Over the past 130 years, Congo has exhibited many elements of violent kleptocracy, a system of state capture in which ruling networks and commercial partners hijack governing institutions and maintain impunity for the purpose of resource extraction and for the security of the regime. Ruling networks utilize varying levels of violence to maintain power and repress dissenting voices. This system plays out today with the current regime’s attempt to subvert a democratic transition, as President Joseph Kabila and his associates profit from grand corruption and are trying by all means necessary to hold on to power. The report, based on field and historic research, reveals seven pillars of violent kleptocracy manifest in the government of Congo, including letting security forces pay themselves and ensuring regime-connected elites are not held accountable for crimes.

The panelists will discuss new policy options for addressing the crisis, including using tools of financial and judicial pressure that are normally reserved for combating nuclear proliferation and terrorism, as well as new strategies for good governance.

Bagels and coffee will be available.



  • Dr. Pierre Englebert, H. Russell Smith Professor of International Relations and Professor of African Politics, Pomona College
  • Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy, Enough Project
  • Peter Harrell, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions 
  • Nita Evele, Board Member, Panzi Foundation
  • Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst, Enough Project


  • Rudy H. Massamba, Program Officer for Central Africa, National Endowment for Democracy

Introductory remarks by


Center for American Progress, 1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20036


October 27, 2016
10:00 am