Sudan and South Sudan

Would a UN Arms Embargo Work in South Sudan?

A recent article issued by the Small Arms Survey’s Human Security Baseline Assessment looks at a number of factors that the author, Luuk van de Vondervoort, argues would enable an effective arms embargo in South Sudan.   Read More »

The Unheard Voices of South Sudan: How The International Community Can Help Bring Peace

IDPs in Juba. July 2016.

This week, Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan and the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), swore in Taban Deng Gai as first vice president, replacing former Vice President Riek Machar. The move was denounced by Machar’s followers, and the Enough Project characterized Kiir’s action as a consolidation of power in violation of the peace agreement signed in August of last year.    Read More »

As South Sudan Faces Dangerous Crossroads, State Institutions Could Hold Hope for Future Peace

Date: 
Jul 27, 2016

 

New report details competitive grand corruption underlying conflict

new report published today by the Enough Project points to an intentional effort by South Sudan’s political elite to undermine state institutions in order to protect their corrupt extraction of national wealth and maintain power at any cost. As South Sudan’s tenuous peace agreement holds, the country faces a tipping point that could lead to a new outbreak of devastating armed conflict largely driven by competition between its leaders over the spoils of power.

The new report, "A Hope from Within? Countering the intentional destruction of governance and transparency in South Sudan," by Enough’s Brian Adeba, offers some hope that existing institutions in the country, properly empowered, could support peace. While making critical recommendations to support transparency and anti-corruption efforts, the report reveals new details of widespread government corruption left unchecked as official investigations are sidelined or simply ignored.

Brian Adeba, report author and Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Many government institutions, commissions, offices and staff in South Sudan are ready and willing to do their jobs, but are undermined every step of the way, underfunded and disempowered by leaders who have intentionally disintegrated state capacity for governance and transparency."

Drawing on field research, the report shows that the weaknesses of governance institutions in South Sudan stem from deliberate efforts by elite politicians. The report reviews the weaknesses of three of South Sudan’s governance institutions most critical to establishing accountability: the Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Audit Chamber, and the Public Accounts Committee in the National Legislative Assembly. All three institutions face considerable operational challenges that have undercut their effectiveness in implementing their constitutional mandates.

Adeba added: "In the absence of accountability and transparency, South Sudan risks more cycles of chaos, conflict and mass atrocities fueled by corrupt leaders manipulating ethnic divisions and jockeying for the spoils of power. Reforming institutions of governance in South Sudan is imperative if the country is to avoid another war."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “In the midst of conflict and tragic human suffering, like we have seen far too often in South Sudan’s young history, it can be easy to look past the detailed work and commitment needed to build a transparent and accountable state that can truly function for its people.  As demonstrated in the field work that underlies this report, however, failing to do so can contribute to disastrous results.  Fortunately, the report also shows that South Sudan possesses the necessary legal and organizational infrastructure to enable meaningful change and create a state that can meet the expectations of its people, responsible investors, and the international community.”

Selected report highlights:

  • “Because governance institutions work at the behest of elite politicians, it is in the interest of these politicians to disable these institutions and limit their ability to play their role in oversight, regulation, and providing checks and balances on other parts of the government.” 
  • "In 2015, the [Anti-Corruption Commission] completed a high-profile investigation involving the alleged misappropriation of $12 million earmarked for procurement of military supplies by officials at the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the national army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The case has been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice but there is little public information available about whether the ministry has taken further action regarding these serious allegations."
  • "Although the audits that the [National Audit Chamber] has produced show gross misappropriation of public funds, an insignificant number of people have been held accountable to date. As one interviewee said, ‘the government is just like a cow that is milked but not fed. All audits die somewhere.’"
  • “Accountability was never built into the governance structure of the violent kleptocratic system that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) established in the aftermath of the 2005 peace deal that ended the 22-year north-south war. By nature, violent kleptocracies hijack governance institutions for the personal financial benefit of those within the ruling network and for the security of the regime. These kleptocracies use extreme violence, including mass atrocities, to maintain their hold on power. In this regard, South Sudan’s governance institutions were hijacked and the ability of these institutions to implement oversight functions was compromised. Wanton corruption by the political elite accelerated to unprecedented levels and further stymied the government’s ability to deliver services to the populace. In 2012, President Salva Kiir estimated that $4 billion was siphoned from the country’s coffers.”

Overview of report recommendations:

1. Fully fund and staff the agencies responsible for governance for long-term economic benefits

South Sudan’s governance institutions have the potential to counter corruption by promoting economic transparency and accountability. It is critical that the institutions that South Sudan already has in place be able to function properly. They need full budget allocations, sufficient staffing levels, and unobstructed authority to carry out their duties, including enforcement actions.

2. Boost civil society’s role in the public sphere

Governments and multilateral bodies that support good governance should intensify their advocacy to open and preserve political space for civil society in South Sudan. The government of South Sudan should also opt in to the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), which is the World Bank’s arm for providing support to civil society. Although assistance goes to civil society organizations, the government must first agree to the GPSA’s framework.

3. Tie external assistance to strict budget oversight

Many donors are reluctant to offer assistance without seeing significant improvements in peace, security, and the way South Sudanese leaders manage public funds. Most agree that it is crucial to ensure that donor funding is not misappropriated. Donors should, therefore, provide support that is subject to “dual-key” provisions similar to those of Liberia’s Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP). GEMAP, a partnership implemented in 2006 to 2010 between the government of Liberia and international partners, was designed to ensure transparency and accountability in Liberia’s government spending, particularly with natural resource revenues.

4. Develop additional mechanisms for donor coordination and evaluation of decision-making using international standards

In addition to donor insistence on the implementation of dual-key budgeting systems, the donor community must develop and adhere to a clear system for coordination on priorities and programs for South Sudan. Donor coordination is critical to ensuring that the government of South Sudan receives consistent messages and donors do not duplicate efforts or work at cross-purposes.

5. Support domestic enforcement and external accountability measures

On the domestic front in South Sudan, donors should support the establishment of a range of institutions and mechanisms spelled out in the August 2015 peace agreement for open government and holding culpable individuals responsible for their actions. Support for the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan to prosecute atrocity and economic crimes—as provided in the 2015 peace deal—is essential to the foundation for accountability and transparency and can counter impunity. Institutional support to boost the performance of oversight institutions to enhance accountability is equally important.

Where domestic measures fail, the international community should use available tools to hold accountable the actors who are undermining progress. The United States, for instance, should use authorities of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to investigate the ways that the proceeds of corruption are laundered out of South Sudan, whether to neighboring countries or beyond. Most financial transactions in this context involve the use of U.S. dollars. When U.S. dollars move through the international financial system, they eventually pass through the United States, giving the U.S. government jurisdiction to take action, particularly when these dollars are believed to be the proceeds of criminal activity.  

Link to the full report: http://eno.ug/2a1W5ij

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.

New Report: A Hope from Within? Countering the Intentional Destruction of Governance and Transparency in South Sudan

Today, the Enough Project released its latest report, “A Hope from Within? Countering the Intentional Destruction of Governance and Transparency in South Sudan” by Enough Project Associate Policy Director Brian Adeba, documenting why the reformation of key government institutions is critical to the survival of South Sudan.  Read More »

Sudan Tribune Op-ed: The Long History of Buying Loyalty to Neutralize Rivals in South Sudan

The replacement of South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar with Taban Deng is a well-tested policy that dates back to the 1980s that the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party has employed to purchase the loyalty of groups opposed to it. Following a shoot-out between the bodyguards of President Salva Kiir and Machar earlier this month, relations between both men worsened, culminating in an attack on the latter’s residence in the capital Juba. Machar fled the city and said he would only return if regional peacekeeping troops were allowed in the country to act as a buffer between the two forces.  Read More »

President Kiir Removes VP Machar, Appoints Taban Deng

Date: 
Jul 25, 2016

 

Power play “brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war”

In a potentially destabilizing political move, South Sudan President Salva Kiir has removed First Vice President Riek Machar, replacing him with Mining Minister Taban Deng Gai.  

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “This move represents another marker in the South Sudan's slow motion political suicide.  It unnecessarily brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war, shutting another door to dialogue and trampling on democratic processes espoused by both South Sudan's government and opposition SPLA-IO."

Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "If President Kiir's action to remove Machar and replace him with Taban Deng proves to be part of an elite pact without grassroots support, it could undermine the peace agreement. It is imperative that South Sudan’s leaders adhere to implementing the peace agreement and not allow inner-circle power plays to bring forth more violence and destabilization."

This April, Machar and Kiir formed a transitional government, agreeing to a peace deal seeking to end more than two years of devastating civil war as those leaders fought over power and the spoils of massive state corruption.

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

A Hope from Within? Countering the intentional destruction of governance and transparency in South Sudan

In April 2016, after considerable foot-dragging, opposition, and obstacles, the two main parties to the conflict in South Sudan that erupted in December 2013 formed a transitional government as mandated in the August 2015 peace agreement. Sustainable peace in South Sudan will continue to be elusive unless leaders make profound and fundamental changes to establish accountability and end impunity.

Daily Beast Op-ed: Mandela or Mobutu Moment in South Sudan?

Just a day after South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary as the world's newest independent country, fierce fighting between rival factions has resumed, putting the already tenuous August 2015 peace deal in jeopardy. Hundreds are alleged to have been killed in the last few days, and thousands displaced.   Read More »

Enough Project's John Prendergast: South Sudan Peace Deal at "Grave Risk"

Date: 
Jul 10, 2016

After returning from South Sudan this past week, Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast said: "The South Sudan peace deal is at grave risk due to the fighting in Juba, just one day after South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary as the world's newest independent country. Just as consequentially, the massive humanitarian aid effort is also being put at extreme jeopardy at a time when nearly five million people are severely food insecure. Command and control on both sides of the fighting appears to have broken down. Regional leaders are actively promoting a ceasefire, seemingly the only hope for preventing a return to full scale war."

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

South Sudan Marks Fifth Year of Independence

Date: 
Jul 8, 2016

Enough Project: Those benefiting from war shouldn’t be allowed to hold the entire nation hostage.

South Sudan, Africa’s newest country, will usher in its fifth year of independence tomorrow. The country, already ravaged by conflict and poverty, is facing immediate threats of famine, economic implosion, and inter-ethnic war.

Brian Adeba, Associate Director at the Enough Project, said: “As South Sudan marks its fifth independence anniversary, it faces unprecedented challenges: the implementation of the peace deal is stalling and the economy is in dire straits. This week’s escalation of violence pitting the SPLA and the armed opposition in the Gudele area of Juba risks plunging the country into a full-scale war if not arrested. In the wake of the armed confrontations in Juba, both President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar must rein in their armed forces and reassure the public of their full commitment to the peace process. Both leaders must further commit to the urgent institutional reforms called for in the August 2015 peace agreement in order to foster accountability and end impunity.”

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “If the conflict continues between Kiir's and Machar's forces, and given the history of scorched-earth tactics both sides utilize, including massive cattle raiding, international aid providers will simply not be able to keep up with their pace of destruction. Combined with an imploding economy, failing food markets and spiraling food prices, full-blown famine in the hardest-hit areas could result.  Those benefiting from war shouldn’t be allowed to hold the entire nation hostage after only five years of independence.”

Adeba added: “South Sudan’s fifth independence anniversary offers an opportunity for its leaders to look back and review the mishaps that have destroyed the country. But all is not lost. At this time, South Sudan’s politicians should acquire the political will required to fully implement the peace agreement in order to facilitate the urgent process of rebuilding the economy.”

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Megha Swamy, Media Relations Specialist, at +1 202-580-7671mswamy@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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