photo by jon nicholson

news - As African Union Marks Anti-Corruption Day, Action is Needed to Counter Kleptocratic Networks

july 11th, 2018

Note: This press release was originally published on

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 ProjectandCo-Founder of The Sentrysaid: “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 pledgeto 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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