New legislation includes sanctions requirement targeting senior political leaders, works to counter corruption and human rights abuses, and support credible, transparent elections, free press, and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Washington DC (November 27, 2018) — The Enough Project applauds today’s passage of the “Democratic Republic of the Congo Democracy and Accountability Act of 2018” (H.R. 6207) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Act, drafted and passed in a bipartisan effort, aims to counter corruption and human rights abuses, and to support free and fair elections, unfettered rights to free press, speech, and assembly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and includes a program of additional sanctions actions targeting senior political leaders. The House bill must now pass the Senate to become law.
Ian Schwab, Director of Advocacy and Impact Strategy, said: “Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Bass as well as Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel should be commended for their work to craft and pass a bipartisan bill that leaves no doubt that Congress expects free and fair elections and accountability for corruption and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This legislation sends the right message about the policy priorities for the United States, and the Senate now must move it forward without delay.”
Sasha Lezhnev, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “This bill sends a signal to President Kabila at a critical time before Congo’s elections. If the Congolese government does not organize credible, transparent elections on time, including respecting the freedom of assembly and speech, Kabila and his inner circle will face significantly more sanctions and anti-money laundering measures that will affect their personal finances.”
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, and Co-Founder of The Sentry,said: “Congress is urging the administration to proactively use the tools of financial pressure at its disposal to help make Congo’s elections credible and to help improve governance. The U.S. has used the tools of network sanctions and anti-money laundering measures to counter terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and it should use them in support of human rights and good governance in Central and East Africa.”
Co-sponsored by Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Karen Bass (D-CA), the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democracy and Accountability Act of 2018 (H.R. 6207) cites U.S. security concerns over “election-related political instability, endemic corruption, armed conflict, gross human rights abuses, and humanitarian crises, which destabilizes the region and causes massive human suffering.”
The bill requires the U.S. Administration to send a list of senior DRC political figures to Congress who meet sanctions criteria, as well as calling for U.S. action to support credible and transparent elections, freedom of the press, expression, and right to assembly in order to “ensure free and fair presidential elections in accordance with the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Click here to read the “Democratic Republic of the Congo Democracy and Accountability Act of 2018”
- Read the op-ed by John Prendergast, “Congo’s Looting and Killing Machine Moves Into High Gear.”
- Read The Sentry’s investigative report “Delays and Red Flags: Elections in DR Congo.”
- Watch John Prendergast’s briefing to the United Nations Security Council in its first-ever session on Corruption and Conflict.
- Read the Enough Project and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable’s joint report “Tools of Trade: U.S. Sanctions Regimes & Human Rights Accountability Strategies.”
- Read the Enough Project report by Sasha Lezhnev, “A Criminal State: Understanding and countering institutionalized corruption and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, [email protected].
About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project supports peace and an end to mass atrocities in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones. Together with its investigative initiative The Sentry, Enough counters armed groups, violent kleptocratic regimes, and their commercial partners that are sustained and enriched by corruption, criminal activity, and the trafficking of natural resources. By helping to create consequences for the major perpetrators and facilitators of atrocities and corruption, Enough seeks to build leverage in support of peace and good governance. Enough conducts research in conflict zones, engages governments and the private sector on potential policy solutions, and mobilizes public campaigns focused on peace, human rights, and breaking the links between war and illicit profit. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.