A note from John Pendergast, a member of the ACCL, and his company, Enough. To learn moe about his company please visit http://enoughproject.org.
Ten short years ago, my dear friend Gayle Smith and I launched the Enough Project, calling upon the decades of experience we had accrued working in Africa and on U.S. policy towards Africa. Our overly ambitious goal was nothing less than contributing to an end to genocide and other mass atrocities in the region of East and Central Africa, to which we had dedicated the bulk of our adult lives.
Well, ten years later, mass atrocities are still being committed in this region. But we have learned a lot. We know that when the root causes are properly identified, when grassroots activism generates political will, and when the right policies are implemented, change can happen. To help explain, we worked with our friends at VICE to create Enough’s new video.
Perhaps the biggest lesson we learned over the past decade is that one of the core reasons that these conflicts continue is that the incentive structures heavily favor deadly violence and mass corruption over peace and good governance. Small networks of leaders and their commercial collaborators have hijacked many of the governments in East and Central Africa and are enriching themselves by exploiting the rich natural resources each country possesses – gold, oil, diamonds, other minerals, and ivory.
At Enough, we’ve evolved to begin to address this core reason for the ongoing death and destruction. We created The Sentry to follow the money of these kleptocratic networks and we’ve advocated with policy-makers around the world to freeze and seize these illicit assets of war criminals and their collaborators. This would finally create a cost for the commission of genocide and other atrocities, but it would also provide new leverage to efforts to advance peace and respect for human rights.
Because we are finally getting at the root of the problem, and we are intensifying our work with African partners, I have new hope. We need to build a bigger constituency to demand action from politicians, companies and others with influence. Please forward this to your friends and ask them to join you and us in this quest to end genocide and mass atrocities in Africa. Join our email list, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Collective action is needed now more than ever in support of peace and human rights. Thank you for standing with us during this last decade, and for your willingness to continue during the next one.