On Tuesday, April 15, the director of Virunga National Park, Africa's oldest national park, was shot by unknown gunmen in North Kivu. Both the Human Rights Watch and Enough Project have made statements condemning the attack and calling for justice. Read More »
A week after President Obama announced potential targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for the ongoing violence in South Sudan both sides have expressed an overwhelming lack of concern that they will be affected. Read More »
Twenty years after Rwanda’s horrors, there are signs of hope for a more effective international response to future genocides—but only if we recognize the evolution in genocidal tactics. This op-ed by John Prendergast originally appeared in The Daily Beast on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Read More »
As the African Union prepares to reconvene talks between the Sudanese Government and Rebel Leaders, the stakes for peace and for civilians affected by the conflict are higher than ever. February 2014 was the deadliest month for civilians in South Kordofan due to aerial bombardment since 2011. Read More »
Addressing Root Causes of Sudan’s Wars Key to Sudan Peace Agenda
Washington, DC — As the African Union convenes talks with the Sudanese government and rebel leaders, a new Enough Project report advocates a more comprehensive and inclusive humanitarian ceasefire and an overall peace process that addresses urgent needs across Sudan’s periphery in a coordinated way. The report, “Sudan’s Tortured Peace Process,” urges African Union and American diplomats to recognize the interconnected nature of Sudan’s conflicts and pursue approaches that recognize the interests of all parties. It argues that a comprehensive approach, addressing marginalization across Sudan, can bring transformative political change that Sudanese people demand.
Sudan’s peace processes are currently segmented, with separate, ineffective frameworks for Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile). The separate structures fail to reflect the interconnected nature of the rebel coalition and the active conflicts--where a break in hostilities in one area can worsen the fighting elsewhere. As talks on the Two Areas resume in Addis Ababa, rebel leaders seek discussion of broader issues while Sudanese government officials and African Union mediators resist holistic talks. Many groups, including Sudanese civil society organizations, independent international analysts, African Union and European Union leaders, and U.S. officials have endorsed a comprehensive approach. The international community has failed, however, to commit the necessary diplomatic resources to build a broad international coalition to support such a peace process.
As violence escalates and urgent humanitarian needs increase, the divided approach to integrated problems undermines efforts to address urgent humanitarian needs.
Omer Ismail, Enough Project Sudan Advisor, says:
"The international community has done little to reject this stove-piping of Sudan’s conflicts. As conflicts in Sudan’s periphery worsen, the negotiating parties must stop pursuing this dead-end approach to the peace process that plays directly into Khartoum’s divide and conquer strategy."
To effectively advance a holistic peace agenda in Sudan, the report recommends that African Union and U.S. leaders take four critical steps:
1. African Union mediators should unify national dialogues and separate peace processes to comprehensively address conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and eastern Sudan.
2. The U.S. should build an international coalition to push for a comprehensive peace process and boost its diplomatic efforts by deploying an additional U.S. envoy.
3. American lawmakers should pass a measure to allow capacity-building support for Sudan’s opposition and civil society; and
4. The U.S. should use targeted sanctions and other sources of financial leverage to pressure combatants to pursue a comprehensive peace initiative.
Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Analyst, says:
"A divided peace process mounts especially high stakes for civilians living in Sudan’s conflict-affected areas. This year’s rainy season is beginning early, putting millions at risk of food insecurity. An estimated four million in Sudan now face “emergency level” insecurity."
Our generation went to college when green “Save Darfur” rubber bracelets were ubiquitous on campuses across the country. Congress passed a unanimous resolution in 2004 declaring that the situation in Darfur amounted to a state-sponsored genocide by proxy Janjaweed militias. We stood on the National Mall and chanted “never again starts right now.” A decade later … Darfur is up in flames once again. Read More »
Since the defeat of the M23 in eastern Congo, around 8,000 combatants of other rebel groups surrendered to the Congolese army. The surrenders are a very positive development, but the Congolese government together with are slow to put in place a robust disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration program (DDR). They risk losing a great opportunity for peace. Read More »
In Abyei, a small but strategically important disputed area on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, rising inter-communal tensions have resulted in a marked escalation in conflict in recent weeks.
New Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery shows at least 10 huts were burned since February 9, 2014 in Duk Payuel, in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. The area is home to the John Dau Foundation’s Duk Lost Boys Clinic and another project supported by former Lost Boy Joseph Akol Makeer: the African Heart American Soul Foundation's orphanage. Read More »