March 4, 2015 — Gold coming from Sudan is conflict-affected, high-risk, and helping to destabilize the country’s main conflict-zones of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, according to a new report published today by the Enough Project.
“Fool’s Gold: The Case for Scrutinizing Sudan’s Conflict Gold Trade,” by policy analyst Akshaya Kumar, details how civilians living in communities near these Sudanese gold mining sites have suffered killings, mass rape, and the torching of their homes and fields at the hands of armed groups, including the Sudanese army and government-backed tribal militias. The report calls for urgent action by the U.S., the U.N., and the international gold industry to red-flag and sanction gold from Sudan as conflict-affected.
Today, Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast argued in favor of both additional sanctions measures and greater scrutiny in his testimony before the U.S. Congress Lantos Human Rights Commission’s hearing on “Human Rights Violations in Sudan.” The Capital Hill hearing takes place at 1:30pm, room 2255 of the Rayburn House Office Building, and will be available for livestream viewing.
Akshaya Kumar, report author and Enough Project policy analyst on Sudan and South Sudan, said: “Gold being mined in war-torn Darfur benefits Musa Hilal, a Janjaweed leader already on both U.N. and U.S. sanctions lists for his past actions. Due to Hilal’s connection to the gold trade, both the U.S. government and the U.N. Security Council should use their existing sanctions authority on Darfur to investigate the role of the gold in driving the violence in that region.”
Omer Ismail, Enough Project Senior Advisor, said: “Gold has replaced oil as the new fuel for Sudan’s war against its own people. The United States, the UN, the concerned international community and responsible private industry all have the tools and the responsibility to shut down the pipeline of gold from Sudan into international markets. Unless there is proof that it comes from a conflict-free mine, Industry leaders should urgently red-flag all gold shipments from Sudan as ‘conflict gold.’”
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “Congress should expand the scope of Sudan’s sanctions outlined in the 2006 Darfur Peace and Accountability Act to specifically include provisions that would allow the imposition of sanctions on traders, officials, and armed leaders benefiting from the conflict-affected gold trade from Darfur.”
For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with an Enough Project spokesperson, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, [email protected]
About the Enough Project
For media use, short version: “The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group.”
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.