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Media Contact: Greg Hittelman, Communications Director, +1 310 717 0606  GH@EnoughProject.org

New Investigative Project to Counter Financing of Africa’s Deadliest Conflicts

Launch of ‘The Sentry’ Coincides with POTUS Trip to Africa this Week

July 20, 2015 – Today, the Enough Project announced the launch of THE SENTRY, a new investigative initiative that seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. The Sentry’s arrival comes as President Obama prepares for an historic trip to Africa later this week.

Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, building on lessons learned from their earlier Satellite Sentinel Project initiative, The Sentry uses open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology to track and analyze how conflict is financed, sustained, and monetized. The new website for The Sentry, www.TheSentry.org, also features a secure portal for the confidential and anonymous submission of tips, leaks, and information.

John Prendergast, co-founder of The Sentry, said: “Conventional tools of diplomacy usually have not helped end conflicts because they don’t alter the calculations of those fueling war and committing atrocities. Given the current profitability of conflict, new efforts must center on how to make war more costly than peace. The objective of The Sentry is to follow the money and deny those war profiteers the proceeds from their crimes.”

George Clooney, co-founder of The Sentry, said: “Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause.”

The Sentry today also published four Country Briefs detailing the nexus of conflict, corruption, and violent kleptocracy in South Sudan, Sudan, Central Africa Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sentry Analyst Akshaya Kumar pointed out, “The points of convergence where illicit schemes rely on legitimate global financial and transport infrastructure, at times represent the most profitable links in the conflict value chain, and also those most vulnerable to disruption. Direct perpetrators of mass atrocities may be relatively insulated from international pressure, but their facilitators are certainly not.”

Omer Ismail, Sentry Analyst, said: “Without countering systematic looting by governments and rebel groups, peace and protection efforts stand little chance of success. The good news story that Africa has become, and which in the next days the President will appropriately highlight, in many parts of the continent will continue to be undermined by these hijacked states and their long-running, predatory civil wars. A new framework must be developed to adapt, implement, and enforce the tools of financial crimes enforcement to give these countries back to the people.”

Sentry Co-Founder John Prendergast elaborated: “The Sentry’s ultimate objective is to alter the incentives for funding or profiting from violence and mass atrocities. This will lend greater support to broader accountability measures as well as provide leverage to peace efforts aimed at ending Africa’s deadliest conflicts.”

The Sentry’s investigations will produce analytical reporting that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information required to take effective action. The Sentry examines the techniques used to finance and profit from conflict, including:

 

  • Convergence of licit and illicit systemsillicit actors conceal their operations and launder their profits through globalized systems of finance, trade, and transportation.

 

  • Regulatory and sanctions evasionillicit actors find ways to adapt to and avoid international laws, sanctions, and regulations.

 

  • Disguised beneficial ownershipillicit actors employ increasingly sophisticated methods to disguise their true identities to avoid detection and exposure.

 

  • Extractive industries and natural resource traffickingillicit actors extract, tax, and sell natural resources to fund and sustain their operations.

 

  • Corruption and illicit financial flowsillicit actors compete violently to capture state resources and divert funds for their own personal enrichment and to finance their armed campaigns.

 

  • Security sector fraud and abuseillicit actors manage state and military expenditures to fund off-budget activities with little-to-no transparency or accountability.

 

  • Elite financing and offshored assetsillicit actors abuse their power and position to accumulate significant wealth that is then laundered through offshore jurisdictions to evade detection.

 

 

Read The Sentry’s COUNTRY BRIEFS:

South Sudan, Sudan, Central Africa Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Watch The Sentry video (2 min.) at: www.TheSentry.org

 

About THE SENTRY

The Sentry seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provides information and analysis that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information they require to take effective action. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project, with its supporting partners C4ADS and Not On Our Watch (NOOW). Learn more at TheSentry.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities.   Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org


SUPPORTING PARTNERS

About C4ADS
C4ADS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to data-driven analysis and evidence-based reporting of conflict and security issues worldwide. We utilize cutting-edge emerging technologies to manage, integrate, and analyze disparate data, from diverse languages, regions, and sources, including our own field research in conflict zones and fragile states. Beyond pure data collection and analysis, we seek to produce and disseminate compelling content to engage both international and local audiences on issues of conflict and security. In doing so, we fill a critical gap left by traditional public sector institutions and profit-driven contractors. www.c4ads.org

About NOT ON OUR WATCH (NOOW)
NOOW focuses global attention and resources towards putting an end to mass atrocities around the world. Drawing upon the powerful voices of artists, activists, and cultural leaders, Not On Our Watch generates lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced. We encourage governing bodies to take meaningful, immediate action to protect those in harm’s way. Where governments remain complacent, Not On Our Watch is committed to stopping mass atrocities and giving voice to their victims. Founders: Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, David Pressman, Jerry Weintraub. Not On Our Watch is a federally registered 501(c)3 charity. www.notonourwatchproject.org