Recently the Enough! Project launched something called The Sentry, an initiative co-founded by Hollywood A-lister George Clooney. Clooney’s star power and brown eyes may attract his fans, but they do little to counteract the mumbo-jumbo description of the initiative.
The intent is to “dismantle the financing of Africa’s deadliest conflicts” by “follow[ing] the money [to] find out how mass atrocities are funded” with the “ultimate objective … to alter the incentives for funding or profiting from violence and mass atrocities.”
The website explains how this rather ambitious goal will be achieved and what the results will look like.
In order to track and analyze how conflict is financed, sustained, and monetized, The Sentry uses open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network data analysis technology, and works in partnership with local and international civil society organizations, journalists, and governments…. The Sentry’s investigations produce analytical reporting that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information they require to take effective action.
The Sentry produces and publishes reports they call Country Briefs which
… categorize and provide contextual analysis of the current system of violent kleptocracy, and the various incentives and mechanics by which elites use power to enrich themselves in each of the countries we examine.
Our favorite line of all clearly inspired by lawyers – These briefs are not meant to be seen as exhaustive or definitive, but rather as representative of broader trends of corruption and illicit activity.
Putting aside all the obtuse multisyllabic buzzwords, what does The Sentry offer? In our view, the Country Brief for the DRC seems to be little more than a summary of the existing UN Group of Experts reports.
Maybe we’re missing something, or maybe that is just the starting point. But for now, the character George is playing needs further development in order to have substance.