The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) is issuing a human security alert for the civilian population of the Kauda Valley in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region of Sudan. Digital Globe Intelligence Solutions (DGIS) imagery has captured a significant mobilization of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) around Rashad, Delaba, and Umm Abdallah in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Sudan. Read More »
Twenty years after Rwanda’s horrors, there are signs of hope for a more effective international response to future genocides—but only if we recognize the evolution in genocidal tactics. This op-ed by John Prendergast originally appeared in The Daily Beast on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Read More »
The Heiban Bible College, located in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan, was bombed on March 23, 2014, for the second time in a little over a year. The Nuba Mountains, alongside the Blue Nile region, have been the staging ground for the conflict between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebel group and the government of Sudan for more than three years. Read More »
New Satellite Sentinel Project imagery provides independent confirmation of Sudan Air Force, or SAF, bombardments in the mountainous Jebel Marra area of North Darfur, where civilians have been bombed for years.Read More »
In the wake of renewed violence in the contested Abyei region that lies between Sudan and South Sudan, a new Enough Project policy alert warns that intercommunal attacks with unclear degrees of state support are risking a conflagration within Abyei that threatens to drag both countries back into conflict. Looming Crisis: Open Wounds in Abyei Increase Risk of New War urges UNISFA to facilitate demilitarization of the area and calls on national, regional, and international stakeholders to move to resolve the final status of Abyei.
Abyei is home to the Ngok Dinka semi-sedentary communities, and the nomadic Misseriya migrate across the area annually to graze their cattle and access water sources. Due to long-term grievances that the promised referendum will never occur and Abyei has been abandoned, the Ngok Dinka are now challenging the Misseriya’s traditional, annual migration south ahead of the rainy season. The current violence is threatening the livelihood of the Misseriya and exacerbating already high tensions.
Since early February, attacks on communities and cattle have been reported in the villages of Makir, Athony, Marial Achak, Todac, and Dungop, killing dozens and causing hundreds of civilians to flee Abyei. The policy alert states that state and non-state actors have been active in and around the Abyei area, including 660 forces from South Sudan’s SPLA, 150 Sudanese police officers, and non-state actors and rebel groups loyal to Khartoum and Juba.
Maiwen Dot Pheot, Enough Research Associate and author of the policy alert, says,
“These political maneuvers come at a very expensive cost for civilians in the Abyei area. The Ngok Dinka people who were gradually returning to their areas for the last two years are now being displaced again. On the other hand, the Misseriya nomads will face challenges moving southward due to fears of reprisal attacks by the Ngok Dinka. The international community must redouble efforts to help local community leaders and governments in Juba and Khartoum to find a lasting solution to this potential powder keg."
In order to prevent the escalation of violence, the policy alert calls for the demilitarization of the region, which Sudan and South Sudan committed to three years ago. However, while demilitarization could quell future violence, a lasting solution to Abyei's conflict depends on determining the final status of the area. Therefore, the policy brief calls on Sudan and South Sudan to resume talks on Abyei and urges international stakeholders, including the African Union Peace and Security Council, to push for a lasting solution to the Abyei conflict based on the AUHIP’s proposal on Abyei. Only through the resolution of Abyei's political status will the people of the area be able to return to peaceful coexistence.
In Abyei, a small but strategically important disputed area on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, rising inter-communal tensions have resulted in a marked escalation in conflict in recent weeks.
New Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery shows at least 10 huts were burned since February 9, 2014 in Duk Payuel, in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. The area is home to the John Dau Foundation’s Duk Lost Boys Clinic and another project supported by former Lost Boy Joseph Akol Makeer: the African Heart American Soul Foundation's orphanage. Read More »
South Sudan’s Jan. 23 ceasefire was supposed to put an end to more than a month of violence that killed roughly 10,000 people, displaced more than 800,000 others, and threatened to unravel the fragile social fabric of a fledgling state that has been independent for just 31 months. Read More »
Recent fighting in South Sudan -- marked by evident war crimes and crimes against humanity -- must be resolved through an inclusive peace process, according to an Enough Project field dispatch authored by Enough Co-Founder John Prendergast.
South Sudan Field Dispatch: Peace Still Possible Despite Apparent War Crimes
Washington, D.C.— Recent fighting in South Sudan -- marked by evident war crimes and crimes against humanity -- must be resolved through an inclusive peace process, according to a newly released Enough Project field dispatch authored by Enough Co-Founder John Prendergast. The report, based on interviews in South Sudan and site visits to places where mass atrocities appear to have occurred, documents the impact of fighting between government and opposition forces and allied militias.
The report, “Peace Must Come Soon”, documents the aftermath of violence in the towns of Bor and Juba, with eyewitness accounts from displaced civilians and others on the scene. Heavy fighting and targeted attacks have displaced over 900,000 people, and the International Crisis Group estimates that over ten thousand have been killed since fighting broke out in December.
Now, the bulk of the fighting is taking place in the Greater Upper Nile region, including in Unity, Jonglei,and Upper Nile states, comprising all of South Sudan’s significant oilfields. While the conflict was sparked by political disputes, the report states that the mobilization of forces by politicians on the basis of ethnicity has fueled and deepened inter-communal conflict. Recruitment of soldiers, including a large number of child soldiers, has continued even after the now-collapsed cessation of hostilities agreement, with a mass mobilization of Nuer militia in Greater Upper Nile and the launch of the government’s recruitment drive throughout South Sudan.
Report author John Prendergast says:
“Though the warring parties disagree strongly about the initial spark for the war, it is clear that actions taken by both is prolonging it. Mass recruitment, often on the basis of ethnicity, the use of child soldiers, ethnic-based targeting, and other actions are deepening the divides between communities and making reconciliation more difficult. It is urgent that this war ends at the negotiating table in Addis and not on the battlefield.”
As negotiations stall in Addis Ababa, the report argues for the preparation of a more inclusive peace process that addresses governance, accountability and reconciliation, security sector reform, and regional interests, citing the crucial role of civil society, political parties and regional partners in consultations and decision-making. Additionally, the report emphasizes the U.S. and international community’s role in supporting negotiations by deploying incentives and pressures to leverage the warring parties toward peace.
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.