Human Rights

Why Does the World Allow Sudan’s Bashir to Target Civilians?

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights opens its extraordinary session tomorrow, where it will consider the Enough Project’s communication against the government of Sudan for the atrocities it is committing against civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. This oped about atrocities orchestrated by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other top Sudanese officials originally appeared on Global Post.  Read More »

U.K., Netherlands Suspend Millions in Aid to Rwanda

Two major European donors have announced suspension or delay of aid disbursements to the government of Rwanda, marking the first financial indication that Rwanda may be losing some of its European allies. The Dutch government announced today its suspension of 5 million euros, or approximately $6.18 million, in aid to Rwanda. The United Kingdom has also decided to delay 16 million pounds, or approximately $25.16 million, originally earmarked for Kigali, pending a decision about whether Rwanda has met aid conditions.  Read More »

Ending Genocide in the 21st Century

On Tuesday morning, July 24, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, or USHMM, brought together leaders from private, public, and nonprofit sectors to discuss global trends affecting genocide and innovative solutions to address future challenges related to mass killings.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

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

Investigating Alleged LRA Activity in Sudan Critical to New UN LRA Strategy

Date: 
Jul 26, 2012

For Immediate Release (PDF)

CONTACTS

Resolve: Paul Ronan, Director of Policy, +1 315.569.8051, paul@theresolve.org

Enough Project: Jonathan Hutson, Director of Communications, +1 202.386.1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: Naomi Kikoler, Director of Policy and Advocacy, +1 212.817.1943, nkikoler@gc.cuny.edu

NEW YORK – Joseph Kony and combatants from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) may be active in Sudan’s South Darfur region, which could impede a new regional strategy to stop LRA violence approved by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, a coalition of NGOs said today. The groups called upon the Council to ensure the hybrid UN and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has the mandate to thoroughly investigate these allegations, despite objections by the Sudanese government.

“Tasking UNAMID with investigating alleged LRA activity in Darfur would send a clear message that the UN is truly committed to implementing its new LRA strategy,” said Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director of Resolve. “The Council should not be intimidated by Sudan’s objections, which ignore the persistent reports of an LRA presence in South Darfur and raise questions about Sudan’s commitment to resolving the crisis.”

Speaking to the press on July 24, Sudan’s ambassador to the UN denied any LRA presence in Sudan and warned the Council against tasking UNAMID with investigating LRA activity, saying, "Including this issue is going to be an impediment and cause of refusal, which may affect our cooperation with UNAMID and its actions in Darfur. If we truly wish to establish peace, stability, and security then let us discard this issue far away from Darfur and UNAMID.” Reports indicate that China and Russia are using their position on the Council to block language tasking UNAMID with investigating LRA activity.

Sudan has a long history of providing support to the LRA, and as recently as 2010 the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo) documented a meeting between LRA forces and Sudanese military representatives in South Darfur. In April 2012, Ugandan government officials claimed that LRA forces were operating in South Darfur and receiving support from the Sudanese government. A woman who escaped from the LRA that month also alleged that Kony was in South Darfur.

In a joint letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping on July 24, the NGOs also highlighted better investigation of LRA activity as a critical step in improving cross-border cooperation between governments affected by the LRA. Senior Congolese officials have downplayed the extent of LRA attacks on civilians, and forced Ugandan troops pursuing the rebel group to withdraw from Congolese territory in September 2011.

“Apprehending Kony and his top deputies will be impossible without a real commitment by the governments of LRA-affected areas and greater collaboration between them, “ said John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project. “The UN and AU should convene a side meeting at the UN General Assembly in September to address the primary obstacles of inadequate troops and the inability of the Ugandan army – the only army conducting offensive operations against the LRA – to access LRA safe havens. President Obama should personally attend the meeting.”

The letter also calls upon regional governments to do more to protect civilians from LRA attacks. National military forces deployed in LRA-affected areas of Congo, Central African Republic (CAR), and South Sudan are often too poorly equipped and paid to protect civilians effectively. Mobile phone networks and road systems critical for rapid responses to LRA attacks on remote communities are also lacking across the region.

"Protecting civilians from mass atrocities committed by the LRA should be a priority for every government in the region" said Dr. Simon Adams of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. "There can not be peace and security in Darfur or anywhere else in Central Africa while the LRA still have a license to kill."

Read the full letter.

Alan Boswell's White Whale

This rebuttal, which was originally featured on Foreign Policy, was written in response to Alan Boswell’s July 9 article that characterized the Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project's efforts to end genocide and hold all parties in the Sudans accountable for mass atrocities as "morally charged and culturally hip do-goodism" in service of a "clear political agenda."

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Anti-LRA Groups to U.N. and A.U.: Regional Strategy Presents ‘Unprecedented Opportunity’ to End Crisis

The Enough Project, along with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Invisible Children, and Resolve, signed a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma this week calling for the rapid implementation of the recently approved “U.N. Regional Strategy to Address the Threat and Impact of the Activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).”  Read More »

U.S. Cuts Funds to Rwanda Over Support to Congo’s M23 Rebellion

Over the weekend the U.S. State Department announced it was suspending $200,000 worth of Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, normally allocated to support a military academy in Rwanda. The suspension of aid is the first punitive action taken against Kigali since the allegations of support to the M23 rebellion in Congo surfaced in late June.  Read More »

Madeleine Albright: “We Have a Stake in What’s Happening in Other Countries”

In an interview with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who currently serves as a professor of international relations at Georgetown University, describes her Enough Moment and what sustains her work on human rights issues.  Read More »

Speak Up to End the LRA

 

In efforts to address issues of regional cooperation and leadership in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Ed Royce (R-CA ) drafted a letter calling on President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet with presidents from each LRA-affected country during the upcoming U.N. General Assembly in September. The letter is currently circulating amongst Congressional offices for further endorsements. In this post that originally appeared on the Resolve blog, Resolve Co-founder and CEO Michael Poffenberger describes how activists can speak up in support of the letter, and use their voices to help end the LRA.  Read More »

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