Washington, D.C. – Today, John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry and Founding Director of the Enough Project, testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, in a hearing on “Protecting Civil Society, Faith-Based Actors, and Political Speech in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
In his testimony, Prendergast urged the use of robust financial tools to address mass corruption underlying war, atrocities, and human rights abuses in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The ability of civil society to exercise their fundamental rights to self-expression and assembly are increasingly under siege in Sub-Saharan Africa due to the targeted violence and draconian restrictions on communication that allow autocratic rulers to suppress the voices of their people. The two interlocking and primary financial tools of pressure—network sanctions and anti-money laundering measures—can play a key role in creating actual consequences for repression and supporting civil society voices to press for freedoms throughout Africa, despite attempts by officials in those countries to stifle media, religious groups, rights advocates, and other civil society organizations.”
“Serious financial pressure with meaningful consequences is not only possible but critically necessary to protect civil liberties and freedoms in Sub-Saharan Africa. The key ingredients to a more effective cocktail of U.S.-led financial leverage are network sanctions and anti-money laundering measures, working hand-in-glove.”
In his testimony, Prendergast urged:
Additionally, Prendergast outlined key measures that Congress can take:
Click here to read Prendergast’s full testimony.
Click here for the Hearing video.
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About THE SENTRY
The Sentry is composed of best-in-class 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.
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.