Experts warn of backroom deal and security concerns, urge U.S., European, African financial pressure on Kabila inner circle in case of fraudulent results
Washington, DC – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission (CENI) is expected to announce provisional results of the country’s recent elections as early as tonight, January 9. Civil society, church, and opposition leaders express serious concern that the electoral commission will announce a fraudulent result. The Catholic Church and its partners, which deployed more than 40,000 election observers throughout the country, report that opposition candidate Martin Fayulu is the clear victor, according to their data from polling stations.
Sasha Lezhnev, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “A backroom deal that goes against the actual election results would be non-democratic. The United States, SADC, and the European Union should respond strongly with sanctions if that occurs. Moving past the elections, the international community should continue to enact financial consequences for those involved in high-level corruption through the implementation of effective anti-money laundering measures, the continued use of network sanctions, and the prosecution of illicit financing tied to human rights abuses. The only way to move beyond the systematic fraud, kleptocracy, and repression that is taking place in Congo is through real accountability for financial and human rights crimes.”
Sarah Gardiner, Investigative Analyst at The Sentry, said: “The United States, European Union, and United Nations Security Council should enact immediate financial pressures in the form of additional network sanctions targeted against key persons and businesses in Kabila’s inner circle and the robust enforcement of existing sanctions in order to disincentivize those who continue undermining Congo’s democratic process for personal profit. The vote tabulation process has occurred in an environment of total non-transparency, and civil society election observers are unable to access the final tallies for individual polling stations – a basic component of electoral credibility.”
Joshua White, Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, said: “Attempts by Kabila and his inner circle to remain in power are clearly motivated by their desire to safeguard the significant financial assets they have looted from the people of Congo for years. It is critically important for the international community to act now and use financial tools of pressure to respond to this power grab. A failure to do so sends a message that the United States and the European Union are content with a sham process that maintains a status quo in which Kabila and his allies control Congo’s economy and stifle its development.”
Enough Project and The Sentry’s experts are available for comment.
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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.
About THE SENTRY
The Sentry is composed of financial forensic investigators, policy analysts, and regional experts who follow the dirty money and build investigative cases focusing on the corrupt transnational networks most responsible for Africa’s deadliest conflicts. By creating a significant financial cost to these kleptocrats through network sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, prosecutions, and other tools, The Sentry aims to disrupt the profit incentives for mass atrocities and oppression, and creates new leverage in support of peace efforts and African frontline human rights defenders. The Sentry’s partner, the Enough Project, undertakes high-level advocacy with policy-makers around the world as well as wide-reaching education campaigns by mobilizing students, faith-based groups, celebrities, and others. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of Not On Our Watch (NOOW) and the Enough Project. The Sentry currently focuses its work in South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.
In less than two years, The Sentry has created hard-hitting reports and converted extensive research into a large volume of dossiers on individuals and entities connected to grand corruption, violence, or serious human rights abuses. The investigative team has turned those dossiers over to government regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world, as well as to compliance officers at the world’s largest banks.
Learn more at www.TheSentry.org.