Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of State announced the appointment of Dr. J. Peter Pham as the U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa. The Enough Project applauds Dr. Pham’s appointment, which comes at a critical time with elections next month in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo).
The United States has the opportunity to support a credible democratic transition and a transformation away from the violent kleptocratic system in Congo. Dr. Pham’s appointment demonstrates the commitment of the United States to address the unfolding crisis in Congo.
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Co-Founder of The Sentry, said: “Dr. Pham brings strong credentials to this important job at a critical time for Congo and the region. The U.S. has major financial and diplomatic leverage it can use in support of free and fair elections as well as structural anti-corruption and human rights reforms in Congo. Dr. Pham can help coordinate that leverage and diplomacy within the U.S. government and with American allies. The U.S. government routinely uses the policy tools of financial pressure to combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism, and it can use those same policy tools in support of democracy, human rights, and good governance in Congo and the surrounding region. Anti-money laundering measures and network sanctions should form key components of that financial pressure, aimed at the kleptocratic networks at the top of the Congolese government and their commercial collaborators in the international system.”
Sasha Lezhnev, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The appointment of Dr. Pham as U.S. envoy sends a strong signal to Kabila and Shadary – that Congo needs to do much more to make the electoral process credible and to combat corruption linked to human rights abuses. The U.S. and European Union should proactively enact targeted sanctions on members of Kabila’s inner circle and their business networks now in order to prevent dangerous, botched elections and to help transform the violent kleptocratic system.”
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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.