In Somalia, a year-long military offensive by Kenyan and Somali forces has succeeded in capturing the strategic seaport of Kismayo from the jihadi group al-Shabaab. The liberation of Kismayo is a major setback for al-Shabaab, but is also a big test for the African peacekeeping force—the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM—and the new post-transition Somali government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. If the Kenyan forces win the war but lose the peace—by mishandling how the liberated city is administered by local authorities—it could create new clan conflicts, drive disaffected clans into tactical alliances with al-Shaabab, and undermine the new Somali national government. The stakes are very high. Read More »
“Gateway to the North,” a new report issued today by the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, documents the bombardment and destruction of a village in the Nuba Mountains region of war-torn South Kordofan, Sudan and shows the recent fortification of a new infantry garrison for the Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF. Read More »
Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal today that will resume oil flow and create a demilitarized zone between the two countries. However, a resolution on Abyei and border disputes was not included in the deal. Read More »
On August 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, voted to adopt conflict minerals regulations that require companies to publicly disclose whether any of the minerals they use originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country. If so, what steps they are taking to avoid sourcing from armed groups? The decision marked a major victory in the fight to end the trade in conflict minerals from eastern Congo—one that would not have happened without activist pressure on the SEC and the electronics industry. Our new guide for activists to the SEC’s ruling on conflict minerals explains what this vote means for companies, activists, and consumers. Read More »
In a new Enough Project policy brief published today, authors Aaron Hall and Sasha Lezhnev urged leaders attending tomorrow’s high-level meeting focused on the conflict in eastern Congo -- reignited with the emergence of the M23 rebellion earlier this year -- to use the U.N. General Assembly forum to launch a “revitalized peace process” with the gravitas to make an impact where current regional efforts are coming up short. Read More »
Four days into a presidential summit on a list of unresolved issues Juba and Khartoum appear close to a deal on security arrangements, in addition to a provisional financial deal the two sides agreed to in the last round. The two countries remain divided over the issue of Abyei, a contested border territory that was guaranteed a final status referendum under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Read More »
WASHINGTON -- Following four years of gradual progress toward peace, eastern Congo now stands on the precipice of disaster. The African Union must establish a revitalized peace process between Congo and the Rwanda-backed M23 rebellion to prevent the current conflict from escalating into inter-state war, according to a new Enough Project brief.
Tomorrow, September 27, a meeting at the United Nations between Congolese President Joseph Kabila, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and other world leaders offers a chance to launch a viable peace process for the region. At that meeting, the U.S. and its allies must convey strong messages to both Congo and Rwanda about a cessation of hostilities, the protection of civilians, and the establishment of a road-map towards a sustainable political solution to the crisis.
"While the U.S. must continue to press Rwanda to end its support to M23, it must also put pressure on Congo to address continued failures of the state to provide basic governance and security,” said Aaron Hall, co-author of the brief and Enough Project associate director of research. “The U.S. must also work with regional partners and the U.N. to create a process to address longstanding grievances between Congo and Rwanda. Military solutions alone will fail.”
Since June, the International Conference on the Great Lakes region has mediated talks between Kabila and Kagame on security issues, largely ignoring the underlying political and economic issues between the two countries. To bring about sustainable peace, the brief calls for a revitalized peace process that takes all of these issues into account, as well as holds perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable.
The brief asserts that the U.S., U.K., France and Belgium can play a key role in ensuring progress toward peace by supporting the process with strong international incentives and disincentives, including sanctions and conditional funding.
"Eastern Congo stands at the precipice of disaster, but Thursday's meeting at the United Nations offers a chance to reignite a peace process between Congo and Rwanda to resolve their underlying political and economic interests,” said Sasha Lezhnev, Senior Congo Policy Analyst at the Enough Project. “The regional talks should be mediated by a senior African leader, and the Obama administration has a golden opportunity to offer carrots and sticks for the peace process by first putting World Bank general budget support to Rwanda on hold until it agrees to dismantle the M23 rebellion."
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 global leaders meet in New York this week at the United Nations, pressing issues from a rising violent anti-American protests in the Middle East to rising sea levels in the arctic will be on the world’s table. But one often unknown and underserved humanitarian disaster is finally getting a look from the international community and from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, himself. Read More »