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.”
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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.