25 Oct 2019
Sanctions programs levied on some Sub-Saharan African countries could be made more effective by targeting specific networks rather than comprehensive sanctions against an entire country, a new report says.
The report, published by policy advocacy group The Sentry on Thursday, evaluates the effectiveness of sanctions programs currently or previously placed by the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations on seven African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, South Sudan, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burundi and the Central African Republic.
The economic sanctions are often levied in an attempt to address armed conflict, corruption and human-rights abuses in the region.
“Sanctions imposed in support of policy goals in Africa have produced some successes, but are often unfortunately poorly maintained, and in many cases have historically not been expansive enough to make a sizable difference,” Hilary Mossberg, author of the report and an adviser on anti-money-laundering and counterterrorism financing at The Sentry, said Thursday during a New York panel discussion about sanctions in Africa.
The group interviewed dozens of current and former officials from the U.S., the EU and the U.N. who worked on the sanctions programs, asking about the goals of the designations and their views on the effectiveness of the programs, Ms. Mossberg said during an interview after the event. The group also spoke to representatives from financial institutions and businesses operating in the region about the challenges of implementing sanctions in these African countries.
One key recommendation to make sanctions programs in Sub-Saharan Africa more effective: Use targeted network sanctions, a practice that involves blacklisting the primary sanction target as well as the individuals and entities that are acting on behalf of or providing support for them, such as financiers, according to the report.
By Mengqi Sun, The Wall Street Journal, 24 October 2019
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