Human Rights

CNN Op-Ed: At the UN, Janjaweed is a Dirty Word

Ten years ago this week, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that genocide had been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the janjaweed bore responsibility for those acts. Even though it did not actually trigger a legal obligation to act, many hoped that using the "g word" meant that the United States was crossing the Rubicon and committing itself to stopping the violence in Darfur, Sudan's most troubled region. The janjaweed, however, are still at large in Darfur -- and with the Sudanese government's help, they are now arguably more powerful than ever.  Read More »

Interview with Justine Fleischner: A View from War-Ravaged South Sudan

South Sudan’s civil war began in December 2013 as a political power struggle, but quickly led to ethnic-targeted killings and revenge attacks. Thousands have been killed, although no one knows the exact number, and the country now faces what could become the most deadly famine in Africa since the 1990s. The Enough Project’s Justine Fleischner recently returned from a month-long trip to South Sudan and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the regionally mediated peace process is underway. As part of Enough’s new interview series, Fleischner spoke with Greg Hittelman about what she saw.  Read More »

Spreading News by Boda Boda: An Innovative Approach to Meeting the Needs of Internally Displaced Persons in Juba, South Sudan

Approximately 94,000 people are displaced and sheltering in U.N. bases throughout South Sudan as a result of ongoing conflict. In the midst of dire conditions and grave humanitarian needs, the agencies at one Protection of Civilians site in Tong Ping, Juba have found a simple yet highly effective approach to meeting the information needs of internally displaced persons– broadcasting news from roving “boda boda” motorbikes.  Read More »

A Doctor's View from a Foxhole in Sudan

The aftermath of the bombing, Photo by author

I'm a doctor, not a writer. But the situation I witnessed while volunteering in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan compels me to write and tell the story of what is happening there. Since 2011, the only hospital in the entire Nuba Mountains region, Mother of Mercy in Gidel, had been spared bombardment – until last month.   Read More »

Brazen Assault Caught on Camera As Security Council Debates Darfur Peacekeeping Mission

UN Photo/Albert González Farran

New photographs smuggled out of Darfur show uniformed Sudanese security forces brazenly assaulting Darfuris living in El Salam camp for the internally displaced. The camp, on the outskirts of Nyala in South Darfur, is host to tens of thousands who fled their homes due to violence. The recent assault was carried out last week under the pretense of a disarmament campaign. However, Abu Sharati, spokesman for the camp residents' association argues "the main objective of this attack is terrorising the camp population and dismantling the camp."  Read More »

Think Progress Op-Ed:The Way to Bring A Lasting Peace In The Congo? Women.

When Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee led women in song at the fish markets on the Liberian coast in the late 1990s, she began one of the most striking peace movements of our time. Amidst brutal civil war, Gbowee mobilized women across diverse religious and political affiliations to demand inclusion in their country’s peace process. As they advanced from church basements to picket lines to presidential palaces, little did Gbowee know she would inspire women over a decade later, almost three thousand miles away in the war-ravaged eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Read More »

As Mariam Walks Free, Omer Ismail Highlights Broader Injustices Perpetrated by Sudan Government

On July 24, after a lengthy ordeal, Mariam Ibrahim was released into the custody of Italy’s deputy foreign minister. Ms. Ibrahim was sentenced to death by hanging by a Sudanese court on charges of apostasy – converting from Islam to Christianity – and this verdict roused global condemnation. The case serves as a stark example of the violence that continues to be perpetrated by the government of Sudan against millions of Sudanese citizens.  Read More »

Peace in CAR and beyond: a role for civil society

With a ceasefire recently signed in Brazzaville and a new U.N. mission preparing to deploy to the Central African Republic (CAR), civil society groups are seeking ways to promote local reconciliation processes and a role in encouraging peace more broadly across CAR. Understanding the different means by which civil society groups have been involved in promoting peace in other contexts can lend insight on civil society’s role in developing sustainable peace in CAR.  Read More »

New UN Envoy to Great Lakes Region is Very Promising

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

On July 17th, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the appointment of senior Algerian diplomat Ambassador Said Djinnit as Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa. With international attention on Congo at a peak, Amb. Djinnit, in cooperation with his colleagues working in the Great Lakes region, African political leaders, and civil society groups, must harness this opportunity and lay the groundwork for a sustainable peace to take root.  Read More »

Voices of Congo: Mamafrica and Products With a Purpose

In a web of complex global supply chains, few consumers can say that they share personal relationships with the artisans who craft their clothing and accessories. Mamafrica Designs - an organization based in Bukavu, South Kivu - seeks to provide that connection, while creating a community of beauty, strenght, and resiliance for women in eastern Congo.  Read More »

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