Human Rights

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday (or on occasion, on Saturday).  Read More »

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 »

M23’s Wider Influence: Mobilizing Militias, Stirring Ethnic Conflict

The widespread nature of violence in eastern Congo today is often described as being the result of a security vacuum: The attention of the Congolese army and the U.N. peacekeepers is focused on M23, leaving other parts of the volatile region vulnerable to local armed groups. This is surely part of the story. But there is also reason to believe that these local militias are receiving backing from outside actors.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

New Enough Policy Brief: Making Sense of the SEC Conflict Minerals Regulation

On August 22, 2012, following several delays, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, voted to adopt regulations regarding conflict minerals, as required by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a new policy brief, the Enough Project summarizes the SEC’s reporting requirements for companies and outlines key implications for the advocacy community.  Read More »

The SEC’s Final Rule on Conflict Minerals: Reporting Requirements for Companies

On August 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, adopted regulations for Section 1502, the provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that deals with conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC. The trade in these minerals fuels a conflict that continues to cause suffering among the people of eastern Congo.

Miner in the DRC

LRA Dispatch: The End of Amnesty in Uganda and Implications for Rebel Defections

“Just last week I received a young boy who escaped [from the Lord’s Resistance Army] in Congo. He told me that he feared what would happen... now that there was no amnesty and no one to reintroduce him into the community. The only thing I could do was to give him my business card and tell him to call me in case of any problems," recounted civil servant with Uganda’s Amnesty Commission. The findings of the Enough Project's research on the impact of the Ugandan government’s decision to dismantle its Amnesty Law are published today in a new report, “The End of Amnesty in Uganda: Implications for LRA Defections.”  Read More »

Uganda Should Grant Rebels Amnesty in Exchange for Truth: Enough Report

Date: 
Aug 30, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 30, at 12:01 am EST

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

GULU, Northern Uganda -- The government of Uganda’s decision to remove a key provision in the country’s Amnesty Act threatens to impede efforts to end the notorious rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. To address this concern and ensure peace in the region, the government of Uganda must clarify that former rebels will not be prosecuted, and grant amnesty to future defectors in exchange for participation in truth-seeking and reconciliation processes, according to a new Enough Project report.

The report—based on interviews with more than 60 people across northern Uganda as well as consultations with civil society groups in Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan—proposes a three-part plan to achieve greater defections from the LRA while ensuring that justice and truth-seeking needs are met. The report is also accompanied by a new Enough Project video.

“While there is overwhelming support for amnesty among local communities in Northern Uganda, there is also a recognized need for reconciliation and transitional justice,” said Kasper Agger, the report’s author and Enough Project LRA field researcher. “The reality is that the vast majority of LRA fighters were forcefully abducted, so often there is no clear distinction between victim and perpetrator. To ensure long-term peace and stability, Kampala must formalize truth-seeking and traditional reconciliation practices for former combatants to receive amnesty in exchange for their participation.”

Since its enactment in 2000, the Ugandan Amnesty Act has served as a critical tool in encouraging defections from rebel groups. As of May 2012, a total of 26,288 rebels had received amnesty under the act—12,971 of which were former LRA combatants. With the recent lapse of the amnesty provision, former rebels now fear that they will face prosecution, and many believe that the provision’s removal will discourage defections and escapes from the LRA.

“The government of Uganda should listen to the concerns of its citizens and ensure that no former LRA combatants, aside from those wanted by the ICC, are prosecuted,” said Enough Executive Director John Bradshaw. “And as the government of Uganda develops its transitional justice policy, it is critical that the government adheres to a holistic approach that includes mechanisms to deal with crimes committed by all parties.”

The report found that local communities prioritize reparation and reconciliation over retributive justice, but there is a general sense that those most responsible for crimes must be held accountable, including members of the Ugandan army and government.

Read the full report: “The End of Amnesty in Uganda: Implications for LRA Defections.”

View the accompanying video that includes interviews of former LRA combatants in Northern Uganda.

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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.

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