Enough, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty urge Security Council to impose new targeted sanctions
September 15, 2015 - The Russian and Angolan governments today chose to put a hold on the proposed imposition of UN Security Council sanctions on a leading South Sudan government official and leading rebel leader. This blocking action undermines the pledge by the Security Council to impose serious consequences for those obstructing peace in South Sudan.
To reinforce the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for human rights abuses, the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International issued a joint statement today. The statement calls for further targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations of human rights in South Sudan, as well as imposition of a comprehensive arms embargo.
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "It is imperative that continued human rights abuses and ceasefire violations in South Sudan be met with real consequences from the international community. Decisions are being made on both the government and rebel side to undermine the implementation of the peace deal. If there is no cost for that intransigence and for the human rights crimes that result, then we can expect the war to continue, business as usual."
Link to today’s joint statement by the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International: http://eno.ug/1Ko5tZz
Read the full statement below:
September 15, 2015
We understand the UN Security Council will deliberate this week on the situation in South Sudan.
As you know, although South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar signed a binding agreement to end the conflict in their country, fighting has continued in Unity and Upper Nile states. As our organizations have documented in detail, the 21-month conflict in South Sudan has been characterized by war crimes and other acts that may also amount to crimes against humanity, and it has clearly been fueled by impunity.
Given the high probability of continuing serious abuses against civilians as part of the ongoing fighting, we urge you to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.
Since this conflict began, fighting and abuses have forced over 2 million people to flee their homes and thousands of civilians have been killed, often targeted because of their ethnicity or perceived political allegiance. The likelihood of further attacks on civilians in South Sudan remains high. A well-monitored arms embargo can reduce the flow and entry of weapons and military equipment into the country that could be used to commit further crimes against civilians.
The Council should also continue to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations and abuses of human rights. While the August peace deal may prove to be an important step forward to ending conflict and abuse in South Sudan, it cannot absolve those most responsible for human rights abuses.
Human Rights Watch
About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org
The Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International sent letters to the United Nations Security Council, asking them to fulfill their commitment to impose sanctions on individuals who have committed abuses against civilians in South Sudan and calling for an arms embargo. See letter below.
In this May 5 op-ed that originally appeared in The Hill, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Molly Elgin-Cossart urges the U.S. Senate to quickly confirm the President's appointment of Gayle Smith as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Read More »
A trade in illegally mined and smuggled “conflict gold” is fueling both high-level military corruption and violent rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new report by the Enough Project. “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing gold into the legal trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” by the Enough Project’s Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev, offers an in-depth portrait of the conflict gold supply chain, from muddy artisanal mines where gold is dug out with shovels and pick-axes, through illicit transport routes in Uganda, Burundi, and Dubai. Based on seven months of field research at mines and in regional capitals, the report provides an in-depth discussion of solutions to the conflict gold supply chain. The U.S. government, European Union, jewelers, socially responsible investors, the World Bank, and activists all have important roles to play. Read More »
This op-ed originally appeared on The New York Times and was written by Dr. Denis Mukwege, the founder and medical director of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, and founder of the PanziFoundation USA. Read More »
A trade in illegally mined and smuggled “conflict gold” is fueling both high-level military corruption and violent rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new report by the Enough Project. “Congo’s Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing gold into the legal trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” by the Enough Project’s Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev, offers an in-depth portrait of the conflict gold supply chain, from muddy artisanal mines where gold is dug out with shovels and pick-axes, through illicit transport routes in Uganda, Burundi, and Dubai. Based on seven months of field research at mines and in regional capitals, the report provides an in-depth discussion of solutions to the conflict gold supply chain.
By Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev | Apr 21, 2015
January 13, 2015 --- Dominic Ongwen, one of the most senior commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), will be transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to the U.S. State Department. Enough Project analysts are available for interviews, background on Ongwen, and expert commentary on the LRA and significance of the ICC referral in this case.
Kasper Agger, Enough Project LRA expert and Uganda-based field researcher, said: “The transfer of Dominic Ongwen to the ICC is a major victory for the thousands of LRA victims and a chance for Ongwen to go through a fair trial. Hopefully this can draw attention to massive rebuilding tasks in LRA affected areas, including the need for a comprehensive reconciliation and transitional justice process in Northern Uganda.”
Holly Dranginis, Enough Project Policy Analyst, said: “Ongwen's transfer to the ICC is historic - a victory for the victims of the LRA's brutality, many of whom have been bravely demanding justice for over a decade now. It's also a welcome confirmation that the United States is increasingly supportive of the ICC's efforts in this region. The next step is for Ongwen to have a fair and thorough trial, with full consideration of crimes committed against him as a child, and robust protection for victims and witnesses.”
Abducted by the LRA at the age of 10, Ongwen rose in the ranks of the militia as a protégé of LRA leader Joseph Kony, and has been indicted by the ICC for multiple crimes against humanity including murder, pillaging, and enslavement.
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.
From the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to Al-Shabaab, many of the world’s most infamous and destabilizing armed actors today finance their activities in part through the illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources. Theft in the context of armed conflict constitutes the war crime of pillage, which is punishable in most domestic jurisdictions and at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Depuis l'État islamique d'Irak et du Levant (ISIL : Islamic State of Irak and the Levant) de l’Armée de Résistance du Seigneur (LRA : Lord’s Resistance Army) jusqu'à Al-Shabaab, de nombreuses forces armées, les plus infâmes et les plus déstabilisatrices du monde d’aujourd'hui, financent en partie leurs activités grâce au trafic et à l'exploitation illicites des ressources naturelles. Tout vol commis dans le cadre des conflits armés est considéré comme crime de guerre de pillage, lequel est punissable dans la plupart des juridictions nationales ainsi qu’à la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI).