Human Rights

New UW-Madison Student Group Pushes for Conflict-Free Campus

Date: 
Sep 18, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: JD Stier, Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager, (202)250-4057, jdstier@enoughproject.org

Madison, WI– On Friday, September 21, the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, or CFCI, at UW-Madison will host a kickoff event introducing how students can get involved with promoting conflict-free technology on campus in order to stop the trade of conflict minerals funding armed groups in eastern Congo. The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative is a movement that has spread to more than 100 campuses across the nation, and has led 12 schools so far to pass resolutions giving preference to conflict-free electronics products.

The event will feature unique campus and national speakers including Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager and UW-Madison alum, JD Stier. Filmmaker Paul Freedman (Sand and Sorrow, Halfway Home) will film the event and document the journey of the student leaders as they launch the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative on Madison's campus, which will become a core story line for a comprehensive film about the conflict in Congo.

Who: Conflict-Free Campus Initiative at UW-Madison, a new student-led group advocating for the university administration to pass a conflict-free resolution

What: Conflict-Free Campus Initiative Kickoff

Where: Beefeaters Room in the Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., Madison, WI, 53706

When: Friday, September 21, 2012 from 6:30PM – 7:30 PM, CST

Why: Armed groups in eastern Congo earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year from the sale of conflict minerals—gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten.  In order to control the mines, these armed groups use systematic violence and rape as a way to intimidate local communities.  The ongoing conflict in eastern Congo has claimed more than five million lives, and still continues today.

As purchasers of electronics products, U.S. consumers have a powerful role to play in helping to prevent this deadly trade. Collectively, students can work together to create a demand for responsible sourcing of minerals from Congo. With more than 40,000 students enrolled, UW-Madison has significant purchasing power that can be used to pressure electronics companies into creating conflict-free products and responsibly sourcing minerals from the Congo.

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The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative draws on the power of student leadership and activism to bring about peace in Congo. It is a project of the Enough Project 's Raise Hope for Congo campaign and STAND.

Raise Hope for Congo aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists who will advocate for the human rights of all Congolese citizens and work towards ending the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo. For additional information on the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, and Raise Hope for Congo, please visit: http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/conflict-free-campus-initiative

Game Over?: Nintendo Bends to Activists’ Pressure on Conflict Minerals

Continued pressure from citizen activists has finally started to crack Nintendo—the company that ranked dead last in the Enough Project’s 2012 company rankings on conflict minerals report released last month. Nevertheless, much more is needed to convince the world’s largest video-game console maker to move beyond issuing public statements and take meaningful action to clean up its supply chain.  Read More »

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Under R2P, International Community Must Protect Sudanese Citizens

In a new policy brief released today, the Enough Project’s Jennifer Christian calls for an increased international response to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, particularly in the delivery of aid throughout the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The report, “Shifting the Burden: The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and the Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan,”cites the responsibility to protect doctrine, or R2P, as the guiding principle by which the international community must operate.  Read More »

Under R2P, International Community Must Deliver Aid in Sudan

Date: 
Sep 13, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1-202-459-1219

WASHINGTON – For more than a year, the government of Sudan has targeted its own civilian populations and denied humanitarian access into Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, causing a humanitarian crisis comparable to that of Darfur less than a decade ago. It is time for the international community to act under the responsibility to protect, or R2P, doctrine and ensure aid delivery to Sudanese civilians with or without the government’s permission, argues a new Enough Project report.

The U.N. estimates that nearly 700,000 civilians are internally displaced or severely affected by the conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and an additional quarter of a million people have fled the two states crossing the border into South Sudan or Ethiopia.

The international community has tried to ensure the delivery of aid into these areas through various diplomatic efforts, but to no avail. Most recently in August, the government of Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with the “Tripartite Partners”—U.N., African Union, and League of Arab States—providing for the development and implementation of an action plan for humanitarian aid delivery throughout the two states. Over a month after the MOU’s conclusion, there is still no international aid reaching civilians in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

"The course of events over the past year makes clear that the international community's diplomatic efforts to negotiate with the government of Sudan for unhindered humanitarian access throughout the two states will not result in the delivery of aid,” said Jennifer Christian, author of the report and Enough Project policy analyst. “Under the responsibility to protect doctrine, the international community now has an obligation to ensure international humanitarian aid reaches civilians throughout South Kordofan and Blue Nile by whatever means necessary. Discussions should begin immediately over a comprehensive plan to deliver international, cross-border humanitarian assistance throughout the two states without the permission of the government of Sudan."

The report argues that under R2P doctrine, the burden to protect individuals within the state of Sudan has shifted to the international community. Because Sudan has failed to respond to diplomatic efforts, the international community may take collective measures under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. The Enough Project is not calling for military intervention, but rather for the successful delivery of international humanitarian aid to starving Sudanese civilians.

“The government of Sudan is brazenly denying its own people access to humanitarian aid,” said John Bradshaw, Enough Project Executive Director. “If the responsibility to protect doctrine is to have any meaning, the international community has to step up in a situation like this and ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Blue Nile and South Kordofan by whatever means possible.”

Read the full report: “Shifting the Burden: The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and the Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan.”

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

 

Rudwan Dawod: The Face of Sudan’s Non-Violent Revolution

After enduring 45 days of detainment, beatings, torture, a trial in Sudanese court, and two arrests, Rudwan Dawod is free and back with his family in the United States. And although Dawod’s nightmare is finally over, many other political prisoners and human rights activists in Sudan still remain in custody.  Read More »

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Student Activism for Congo and the Power We Didn’t Know We Had

On August 27, Ohio University’s Bobcats for a Conflict-free Campus claimed a victory two years in the making, becoming the 12th U.S. school to pledge a commitment to giving preference to conflict-free electronics products. Student leaders Ellie Hamrick and Jack Spicer wrote this guest blog post about strategies they used to advocate for the university to take a stand.  Read More »

International Pressure Key to Comprehensive Agreement Between the Sudans

Date: 
Sep 6, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, +1-937-902-9587, tfehr@enoughproject.org  

JUBA, South Sudan – As Sudan and South Sudan enter the final round of negotiations, the international community must pressure both countries to resolve all outstanding issues to secure sustained peace between the Sudans, according to a new Enough Project brief.

During the last round of negotiations, the two parties provisionally agreed to an economic deal that includes the resumption of oil shipments from South Sudan through Sudan. Elements of both parties and the international community could be tempted to move forward with an oil deal and avoid addressing politically challenging issues along Sudan and South Sudan’s border.

A comprehensive agreement on remaining post-secession issues—including the status of Abyei, border disputes and demarcation, security arrangements along the border, and citizenship—is fundamental to ensuring an end to conflict and long-term stability between the two Sudans.

“A unique window of opportunity exists in this final round of negotiations for Juba and Khartoum to agree on processes to address long-simmering sources of tension along the two countries’ shared border,” said Amanda Hsiao, the report’s author and Enough Project field researcher. “Since the two parties now have fewer pieces of leverage to negotiate with, sustained and coordinated international pressure will be critical to push Juba and Khartoum toward a comprehensive deal.”

The brief asserts that countries with leverage in the Sudans should push both parties to, at a minimum, agree on the centerline for a demilitarized border zone; the modalities of a referendum on Abyei, including voter eligibility; and a pro­cess for resolving border disputes. The brief argues that international actors should treat September 22,2012—the date when the facilitating African Union High-Level Implementation Panel will present its final report—as a hard deadline for all outstanding issues to be resolved.

Read the full brief: “Sudan-South Sudan Negotiations: Can They Meet the Deadline?

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

 

Actor Robin Wright in HuffPo Oped: Congolese Women Stitching a Community Back Together

As documented in a new report from the Enough Project, which ranks electronics firms on their progress in cleaning up their supply chains of conflict minerals, there are glimmers of hope for eastern Congo despite ongoing violence there, which is driven partly by conflict minerals. When we visited Congo late last year, we met activist Amani Matabaro when we first arrived in Bukavu, South Kivu province. His story, his work, and his passion were featured as part of Raise Hope for Congo's video series "I Am Congo."  Read More »

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