International Institutions

'Sometimes We See Ourselves As Apart': South Sudan's Response to Violence in Jonglei

Amid the host of challenges the South Sudanese people have faced, intercommunal violence has often been treated by South Sudanese leaders and the international community as a lesser priority for attention. This paper examines the government's efforts  to prevent and mitigate violence and outlines recommendations for lasting peace in Jonglei state. 

Sudanese man in Akobo.

Video and Report: South Sudan Must Change Response to Jonglei Violence

Date: 
Dec 18, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

BOR, JONGLEI STATE, South Sudan – The threat of escalating, mass violence against civilians in South Sudan's volatile Jonglei border-state looms large, according to a new Enough Project field report and video

Over the past year, violence in the world’s newest nation has been particularly severe in Jonglei state, accounting for more than half of all people killed in the country in 2012. The government of Sudan has historically been instrumental in facilitating the violence by providing arms, ammunition, and cash to spoilers in South Sudan. Currently, a rebellion allegedly backed by the government of Sudan and led by David Yau Yau poses a daily danger to Jonglei communities and threatens to undo any progress that has been made toward stability in the state—especially if the South Sudan military responds in a manner that isolates the civilian population, according to the report. 

To address the violence, the government of South Sudan must fully implement the peace process that it initiated in early 2012, engage deeper with the Jonglei communities, and modify its security strategy to prioritize the protection of civilians, the report said. Further, the international community must increase pressure on Khartoum to stop its assistance to rebels in South Sudan and ensure that this issue is addressed in the Sudan-South Sudan peace deal implementation talks.

Amanda Hsiao, co-author of the report and Enough Project Juba Field Researcher said:

"The violence in Jonglei presents a test case of the South Sudanese government’s ability to fulfill its responsibility to protect and to govern in a more inclusive and transparent manner. Representatives from throughout Jonglei state came together in May and identified some of the essential causes of the conflicts. The responsibility to translate those discussions into action—which has yet to take place in a coordinated fashion—falls to Juba."

While the government’s state-wide disarmament campaign has resulted in temporary stability in Lou Nuer ethnic communities during the rainy season, abuses committed by the army during the disarmament campaign in Murle ethnic communities have directly contributed to renewed insecurity, further stalling the Jonglei peace process.

Laura Heaton, co-author of the report and Enough Project Consultant said:

“The South Sudanese army’s disarmament in the Lou Nuer and the Murle areas has transpired very differently. Few people we spoke to in Akobo County deny that the disarmament campaign has been the primary factor contributing to the relative peace in the Lou Nuer areas in recent months, while at least 100 cases of beatings, torture, looting, and rape were committed in Murle communities in Pibor County. The South Sudan government needs to quickly demonstrate that it grasps the concerns of South Sudanese who have long believed that they must depend on their own communities for protection and to fulfill basic needs—and who have therefore made pragmatic decisions, like stealing their neighbor’s cattle or joining the local militia.”

The international community, including the U.S., can play a crucial role by supporting the South Sudan government in addressing the immediate and long-term threats to civilians in Jonglei. Projects aimed at addressing the root causes of violence in Jonglei, including helping establish rule of law and accountability mechanisms, promoting alternative livelihoods, and developing infrastructure, should be expanded, the report said.

The report and accompanying video are based on field research conducted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan; Bor, the capital of Jonglei; and Pibor and Akobo, the towns that serve as the centers of the Murle and Lou Nuer communities.

Read the full report‘Sometimes We See Ourselves as Apart:’ South Sudan’s Response to Violence in Jonglei

View the accompanying video: “Root Causes of Violence in Jonglei, South Sudan”  

#

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.

What Blair's Takedown of Gossip Girl's Bart Bass Tells Us About Sudan Sanctions Enforcement

The CW's hit show Gossip Girl

Tonight, the CW's long running drama on the secret lives of New York's Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl, will air its final episode. Over its six seasons on the air, the cult favorite has never shied away from controversy. Last season, ruthless billionaire Bart Bass came back from the dead. This season, we learned that he went underground to avoid FBI prosecution for violating United States government sanctions prohibiting oil trade with the Sudan.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

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

The Devastating Crisis in Eastern Congo: John Prendergast’s Testimony on the Hill

Weeks after M23’s takeover of Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo faces a humanitarian and political crisis. On Tuesday, December 11, John Prendergast spoke before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights on the cycles of conflict in Congo and flawed peace process.  Read More »

Policy Brief: Issues That Must Be On the Table at Eastern Congo's Peace Talks

Representatives of the March 23 Movement, or M23, and the government of the Congo have been meeting in Kampala this week as a part of an International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR, mediated effort to bring the latest round of fighting to an end. We've seen this political theater many times before. In a report released today, the Enough Project's Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev and Co-founder John Prendergast suggest an alternate way forward.  Read More »

Congo Peace Process Must Address Economic, Political, and Security Issues

Date: 
Dec 13, 2012

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

WASHINGTON, DC – The existing peace process in eastern Congo must be enhanced to address the economic, political, and security issues that lie at the heart of the escalating conflict, according to a new Enough Project policy brief released today.

The brief argues that, to date, the regionally mediated peace talks in Congo have only focused on short-term security agreements and completely ignored the core drivers of conflict. The peace process must be built on a shared economic and political framework based on a broad inter-Congolese dialogue. If President Kabila does not address these issues through inclusive dialogue, he may not survive politically.

“An enhanced process must directly address the underlying economic, political, and security interests of the ‘3 K’s’—Kinshasa, Kigali, and Kampala—all of whom have profited from the chaos of eastern Congo, to end the cyclical horrors of regional intervention and state predation,” said John Prendergast, co-author of the brief and co-founder of the Enough Project. “To further ensure long-term stability in the region, the critical interests of eastern Congolese civil society must also be incorporated into the peace process.”

The brief calls on the international community to provide incentives, pressures, and lasting support for the peace process as a whole, as well as help with the implementation framework. Getting all parties to agree on these fundamental issues will be a revolutionary step toward peace in the region.

"Uganda has been aiding M23 and is not the right party to mediate the peace process for Congo,” said Sasha Lezhnev, co-author of the brief and Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst. “It is time to shake things up, appoint a serious, high-level mediator, and deal with the actual economic and political reasons why the groups have been fighting. The U.S. should appoint a presidential envoy to work on such a peace process."

The report also recommends that the U.S. and European Union help expand the economic pie for Congo and countries in the region by organizing a summit on responsible, transparent, conflict-free investment in the region. Dealing with the economic roots of war not only removes the main driver of the conflict, but creates the primary catalyst for state reconstruction. Recent economic transparency reforms in the region are starting to offer a new path for the future, whereby resources such as conflict minerals can be part of the engine for peace and development instead of war.

This brief is the second in a three-part series on the process, substance, and leverage necessary to create a path towards a viable peace in eastern Congo and the surrounding region.

Read the full brief: “‘What Is Not Said Is What Divides:’ Critical Issues for a Peace Process to End the Deadly Congo War

Read the first brief in the three-part series: “A Broadened Peace Process in Needed in Congo

#

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.

Sudan Caucus Briefing: Crisis in the Nuba Mountains

The Sudan Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives convened for a briefing on the escalating crisis in the Nuba Mountains last week. The Enough Project’s Jonathan Hutson joined panelists Jonathan Temin of the U.S. Institute of Peace, EJ Hogendoorn of the International Crisis Group, and Lauren Ploch Blanchard of the Congressional Research Service to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis and how the international community can work to end the suffering and address underlying causes of violence.  Read More »

29 Smelters Go Conflict Free, More Help from Aerospace Companies Needed

Last week, the electronics industry updated its list of audited conflict-free smelters to 29. This is up from 11 smelters in the Conflict-Free Smelter program, or CFS, at the start of 2012—nearly tripling the size of the program over the past year.  Read More »

Joint NGO Letter on Congo Crisis to President Obama

The Enough Project and a coalition of international NGOs call on President Obama to lead  the response on the crisis in eastern Congo and to appoint a special Presidental Envoy to support peace efforts in the region. 

President Obama
Syndicate content