Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.
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This op-ed, co-authored by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared in Foreign Affairs.
In July of last year, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a landmark speech at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, criticizing leaders who undemocratically change their constitutions to stay in power and emphasizing that the United States would call out such behavior. He pointed to Burundi where a few months earlier, President Pierre Nkurunziza pressured the courts to change the constitution’s term limits so that he could run for a third time. Obama warned that such a tactic could trigger “instability and strife,” as well as hamper “Africa’s democratic progress.” But his words seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Update: the award event has concluded. You can watch the full recording at the livestream link; Clooney's remarks begin at the 2:08 mark.
Board members George Clooney and John Prendergast are in Yerevan, Armenia today, where Clooney will present the inaugural Aurora Prize, honoring an individual who puts her- or himself at risk to enable others to survive. The board members are likewise commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Click through for a link to the livestream of the award event (beginning @ 1pm EST), as well as the text of Clooney's remarks.
Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released a policy brief, “Five Lessons from a Sanctions Practitioner,” by renowned threat finance specialist Peter Harrell. The brief argues that, done right, sanctions can have enormous impact.
Follow the jump for a link to the brief.
Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released a new comprehensive study, "A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering Institutionalized Corruption and Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo," by Sasha Lezhnev. The study, the second report in the the "Violent Kleptocracy: Corruption and Conflict in East and Central Africa" series, details how Congo is not a failed state—for everyone. It is a failure for the vast majority of Congolese who suffer from abysmal security, healthcare, and education services. However, it is an efficient state for ruling elites and their commercial partners who seek to extract or traffic resources at the expense of Congo’s development. Over the past 130 years, Congo has had many elements of violent kleptocracy, a system of state capture in which ruling networks and commercial partners hijack governing institutions and maintain impunity for the purpose of resource extraction and for the security of the regime. Violence has been the systemic companion of these regimes. This study argues that President Kabila and his close associates rely in large part on theft, violence, and impunity to stay in power at the expense of the country’s development. If international policymakers are to have a real impact in helping Congolese reformers actually reform the system, they need to shift the lens through which they view the conflict.
Click to read the report.
Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released a new report, “Bankrupting Kleptocracy: Financial Tools to Counter Atrocities in Africa’s Deadliest War Zones,” by J.R. Mailey and Jacinth Planer. The report describes how the state in several conflict-affected countries in East and Central Africa has been hijacked and transformed from an institution that is supposed to provide social services and safeguard the rule of law into a predatory criminal enterprise that does quite the opposite. The international community has the power to chip away at the environment of impunity that characterizes these violent kleptocracies—and the United States is in a position to play a leading role.
Click through for a link to the report.
This op-ed, by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared in TIME.
The world’s newest country, South Sudan, finds itself mired in the complicated fog of war that at its worst could combine the genocidal ethnic targeting of 1994 Rwanda with the warlordism of 1990s Somalia. Tens of thousands have died and millions displaced, and armed rebellions are emerging throughout the country. Village attacks, food aid obstruction, mass rape and child soldier recruitment all are rearing their ugly heads again. Five years after independence, South Sudan is widely viewed as a failed state, as its leaders built no functioning governing institutions, stole vast oil revenues, and undermined all efforts at peace.
Amnesty International’s newly released report “Scorched Earth, Poisoned air,” documents the use of chemical weapons by the Sudanese government in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur.
Click through for more info, as well as a link to the report.