Washington, D.C. – Today, the African Union marks the 2018 Anti-Corruption Day, an opportunity for the AU to show leadership to address the catastrophic role of corruption in the worst conflicts on the continent.
The ongoing deadly crises across many parts of Africa require urgent action from the AU. In particular, the AU should use its convening power and relationships with other international bodies to work to counter the corruption that underlies the kleptocratic networks, including corrupt elites and their international commercial and financial collaborators, responsible for and profiting from war and mass atrocities. The AU’s Anti-Corruption Day is an opportunity to focus the efforts of regional bodies and individual governments on addressing all elements of corruption, including those that rely on international collaborators and financiers, and particularly when they fuel deadly conflict.
Dr. Suliman Baldo, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project, said: “The declaration by the African Union of 2018 as an Anti-Corruption year, establishing an Advisory Board on Corruption, and celebrating an Anti-Corruption Day are welcome. The AU needs now to move from symbolism into action. Too many ruling elites around the continent are condemning their own people to hunger, preventable diseases, and mass atrocities as they illicitly divert billions of dollars to their personal benefit. The AU should take the lead in shutting down these greed-driven networks of destruction, displacement and death.”
Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “One outcome of corruption that deserves utmost attention on this day is its link to violent armed conflict in Africa. To enhance the prospects of peace, it behooves of the African Union to take concrete steps to ensure that this nexus is stymied through concrete continent-wide policies that hold corrupt politicians and their facilitators accountable for graft.”
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Co-Founder of The Sentry said: “The connection between the self-enrichment of elites through corruption and human rights abuses is clear. The Sentry stands ready to assist regional governments, activists, and journalists in their efforts to combat corruption and provide key evidence of illicit activity connected to conflict and human rights abuses that moves through the U.S. and broader international financial systems.”
The Enough Project and The Sentry urge all regional African political and financial leaders, including Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa to mark the AU Anti-Corruption Day by taking specific actions to combat the laundering of state assets by corrupt leaders, officials and their networks. The Enough Project and The Sentry pledge to continue working with African civil society partners to highlight and disrupt the networks of corrupt elites and their international facilitators responsible for and profiting from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. These efforts have already resulted in the implementation of sanctions and other measures directed at key facilitators active in Africa, and we will continue to ensure this work has meaningful impact.
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Explore our recent reports on South Sudan, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic that highlight the role of corruption in regional conflicts:
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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.