Sudan and South Sudan

Daily Beast Op-ed: Corrupt Leaders Thrust South Sudan Into Famine and Abject Ruin

A legacy of corruption and violence has finally caught up to South Sudan, the world’s newest country, as the United Nations has declared a full-blown famine, a rare designation not made for any part of the world since 2011. Multiple UN officials have additionally warned that the country, riven by armed conflict, stands on the brink of genocide.  Read More »

How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine, and potential genocide

War has been hell for South Sudan’s people, but it has been very lucrative for the country’s leaders and commercial collaborators, South Sudan’s war profiteers. South Sudan has been torn apart by three wars in the last 60 years. Two and a half to three million people have perished as a result of these wars. This legacy has finally caught up to the world’s newest country, as the United Nations declared a full-blown famine in February 2017, a rare declaration that the U.N. hadn’t made for any part of the world since 2011, and multiple U.N. officials have asserted that South Sudan stands on the brink of genocide.

Despite Assurances, South Sudanese Government Continues to Impede Aid Efforts

Last month, the United Nations declared famine in parts of South Sudan with 100,000 people currently facing starvation and a further one million on the brink of famine. Despite such alarming reports, South Sudan’s government has put up roadblocks impeding international humanitarian aid efforts trying to reach those severely affected by the crisis. A recent report by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that “Aid workers continue to face multiple obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian assistance across South Sudan, including active hostilities, access denials, and bureaucratic impediments.”  Read More »

Washington Post Op-ed: South Sudan’s Government-made Famine

Official, U.N.-declared famines are a rare phenomenon. The last one worldwide was six years ago, in Somalia. Famines are declared officially when people have already begun to starve to death. It is the diplomatic equivalent of a seven-alarm fire. That is where the youngest country in the world, South Sudan, finds itself today, as 100,000 face immediate starvation and another 1 million are on its brink.  Read More »

Is the Sudan-Saudi Arabia Alliance Paying Off?

Image courtesy: Khalid Albaih

With only one week left in his administration, President Obama issued an Executive Order that conditionally lifted long-standing sanctions on Sudan. The United States first enacted sanctions on the Government of Sudan in 1997 for its support of international terrorism, destabilizing regional actions, and serious human rights violations. It applied additional sanctions in 2006 for widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Darfur.  Read More »

Missing the Point on South Sudan

On January 18, Ambassador Donald Booth took the stage at the United States Institute of Peace to reflect on his tenure as U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan. During this discussion, Booth’s mention of the missed opportunities for meaningful action early in South Sudan’s civil war was noticeably absent. While lamenting miscalculations regarding the selfish ways of the country’s political leaders and wondering how the new administration could “incentivize” peace, he failed to reflect on what might have been the administration’s most consequential decision . . . or lack thereof.  Read More »

Kenya Must Release Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel

On January 24, in a worrying move, Kenyan authorities detained two South Sudanese activists, Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel in Nairobi. They are affiliated with South Sudan’s political opposition and are currently at risk of being deported to Juba.  Read More »

New Report - Weapons of Mass Corruption: How Corruption in South Sudan’s Military Undermines the World’s Newest Country

Today, the Enough Project released a new report, Weapons of Mass Corruption: How corruption in South Sudan’s military undermines the world’s newest country. This fifth installment of the Political Economy of African Wars Series describes the system of corruption within the South Sudanese army, showing how it is part of the larger system of violent kleptocracy in South Sudan which perpetuates conflict and the commission of atrocity crimes against civilians.  Read More »

New Report Exposes Massive Corruption in South Sudan’s Army

Date: 
Jan 26, 2017

A new report, “Weapons of Mass Corruption: How corruption in South Sudan’s military undermines the world’s newest country,” published today by the Enough Project, details massive corruption within South Sudan’s army. Corrupt activities within the army detailed in the report include procurement fraud, irregular spending unchecked by civilian authority, and bloated troop rosters featuring thousands of “ghost” (non-existent) soldiers.

Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The effect of corruption in proliferating insecurity in South Sudan cannot be underestimated. The country’s politicians can only begin to realize the fruits of security for their citizens if they tackle the graft in the army.”

The report, fifth in the Enough Project’s “The Political Economy of African Wars” series, describes how despite widespread suffering in South Sudan, including famine-like conditions and the severe economic hardships South Sudanese people experience, massive amounts of the country’s dwindling funds go to the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), where they are diverted and misspent without accountability.

Jacinth Planer, report editor and Editor/Researcher at the Enough Project, said: “On paper, South Sudan’s legal and institutional frameworks enshrine civilian, not military leadership. The SPLA is meant to protect, defend, and hold itself accountable to the South Sudanese people. But the destructive system and practices that have developed now instead work against these purposes, and the South Sudanese people who face great personal risks have paid the highest price. The international community should steadfastly support the South Sudanese people and especially those who try to uphold the institutions that are being undermined today.”

The report finds that within what Enough identifies as a violent kleptocratic system in South Sudan, a lack of financial oversight over military expenditure, combined with heavy influence by political appointees, has created opportunities for mass corruption in the SPLA.

John PrendergastFounding Director at the Enough Project, said: “There is no accountability for the looting of state resources in South Sudan, especially with military spending. The missing piece of an effective international response is the creation of leverage to shift the calculations of these violent kleptocrats from war to peace, from mass corruption—including in the military—to good governance and accountability in spending. The incentives that reward violence and theft must be changed. The international community needs to help make war costlier than peace for the leaders and create targeted and personal consequences for corrupt war-mongers.” 

Selected report excerpts:

  • Lack of financial oversight for and within the SPLA constitutes a major organizational weakness and creates opportunities for corruption. This deficiency does not stem primarily from a poor legal framework, underdeveloped institutional capacity, or lack of knowledge about international best practice in financial oversight. The deficiency stems from willful, systematic obstruction of financial oversight.
  • An army of approximately 230,000 on paper, with a large share of ghost soldiers has little practical purpose. A payroll for a ghost army of that size, however, can have a very important purpose: providing a large opaque budget line to the military. This budget line has not successfully been subjected to rigorous public oversight and auditing.
  • Corruption in South Sudan has shifted from being an integrated and self-sustaining system to a disintegrative and self-destructing system in the wake of economic collapse.
     
  • In a nation where resources are scarce and contested, and many people are unable to provide for their basic needs, political appointments in South Sudan empower certain individuals to access public accounts and manage scarce financial resources. There are few effective institutional mechanisms to check the use of public office and public financial resources for individual gain.
     
  • RECOMMENDATIONS: The international community, with U.S. leadership, has the opportunity to create consequences for these predatory actors that harm South Sudanese people. Consequences should include:
     
    • a new U.S. executive order on South Sudan that makes public corruption and misappropriation of state assets grounds for sanctions, as current U.S. sanctions programs do for Belarus, Burma, Libya, Syria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Ukraine/Russia.
       
    • U.S. lawmakers should also leverage U.S. anti-money laundering authorities by having the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other financial intelligence units issue advisories and investigative requests related to South Sudanese military transactions.

Link to full report: http://eno.ug/2iGE9Qw

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Enough Project Calls for Immediate Release of South Sudanese Citizens Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel

Date: 
Jan 24, 2017

 

Washington, DC – The Enough Project joins Human Rights Watch and other international voices advocating strongly for the immediate release of two South Sudanese citizens and political opposition figures, Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel.

According to their lawyer, Aggrey Idri and Dong Samuel are being detained by Kenyan authorities in the Nairobi area. They are subject to a deportation order, and if they are extradited from Nairobi to Juba as ordered, their lives and safety are at immediate risk.

Enough calls on President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Kenyan security authorities to immediately release both men and nullify the deportation orders they face.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

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