Sudan and South Sudan

New Brief: Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis

As conditions for ordinary South Sudanese people continue to deteriorate, government mismanagement is combining with economic and political crises to create a “toxic situation,” according to a newly released Enough Project brief. The brief, Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis, calls for action by the international community, and also for commitment by the warring parties to put the needs of the people ahead of their own.  Read More »

South Sudan Mismanagement Fuels “Toxic” Crisis

Date: 
Feb 12, 2016

As people face severe hardship, report slams Juba’s fiscal and economic policies, calls for international pressure and assistance, revised spending priorities, renewed commitment to peace

February 12, 2016 – As conditions for ordinary South Sudanese people continue to deteriorate, government mismanagement is combining with economic and political crises to create a “toxic situation,” according to a newly published briefing report by the Enough Project.

The report, “Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis,” calls for action by the international community, and also for commitment by the warring parties to put the needs of the people ahead of their own. The country’s population currently suffers from severe shortages of food, fuel, and medical supplies.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan’s economic and political crises are exacerbating each other, and the population is paying dearly. These interlocking crises and the gross mismanagement of resources by the government have undermined prospects for international support. However, living conditions are deteriorating dramatically. Internationally provided expert technical assistance and oversight at this critical time could potentially stabilize and ease the worst fallout from South Sudan’s poorly managed fiscal and monetary policies. The kind of international pressure exerted on the warring parties in support of the signing of the August 2015 peace accord is again needed at this critical stage to fight mass corruption and adopt responsible economic policies.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The government's ill-advised monetary policies create a toxic situation. South Sudan's policymakers must re-balance skewed government spending to ensure that the current food crisis caused by depreciation of local currency and inflation does not threaten the whole population.”

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan's fiscal crisis is a painful illustration of how the country's leaders have strong incentives to seize power but extremely weak incentives to govern effectively.”

Briefing report excerpts:

  • The government’s spending is skewed in favor of security even in the face of the current urgent humanitarian crisis and growing concerns of potential widespread famine.
  • Consumers must either pay five times as much for essential food items or purchase a fifth of the volume of food that they need. Many people cannot afford to buy food or other basic goods and services.
  • Fuel prices have tripled—almost quadrupled—by some reports.  Fuel shortages have been responsible for the deaths of some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

Link to policy brief: http://eno.ug/1PFOMIl

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, 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

Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis

As conditions for ordinary South Sudanese people continue to deteriorate, government mismanagement is combining with economic and political crises to create a “toxic situation,” according to a Enough Project brief. The brief, Addressing South Sudan’s Economic and Fiscal Crisis, calls for action by the international community, and also for commitment by the warring parties to put the needs of the people ahead of their own.

Russia Blocks Security Council Sanctions on Darfur Gold

Date: 
Feb 10, 2016

“Deeply disappointing” decision maintains impunity for trafficking connected to violence and instability

February 10, 2016 -- In the UN Security Council today, Russia blocked U.S. and U.K. efforts to address conflict-affected gold in Darfur. Russia’s blocking action came despite findings from the Sudan Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts that link illegal exploitation and trafficking of gold and other minerals to violence and instability in Darfur.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “It is deeply disappointing that Russia, China, and other elected members of the Security Council refuse to recognize the findings of the Panel of Experts that clearly link the illicit gold trade to continued violence and instability in Darfur. By doing so, these Security Council members undermine important efforts to bring peace and stability to Darfur and allow those profiting from this illicit trade to continue doing so with impunity.”

Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor to the Enough Project, said: “Russia’s refusal to acknowledge the connection between the illicit gold trade and conflict in Darfur is highly irresponsible and unreflective of the conditions in Darfur. The link between the illicit gold trade, including smuggling and imposed taxes, and continued conflict in Darfur is well established and incredibly harmful to Darfur civilians.”

In its new report, which has not yet been made public, the UN Panel of Experts recommended sanctions designations for individuals and entities that impose illegal taxes on artisanal miners in Darfur, as well as on individuals and entities engaged in the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources, including gold.

Omer Ismail added: “The impact of conflict-affected gold is perhaps most evident near Jebel Amer, where former Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal controls a significant mining operation outside of the control of the Government of Sudan. Despite his sanctions designation, Hilal and his armed group makes millions from Sudanese gold at the expense of the local population. The refusal of some Security Council members to accept these well-known facts or to act on them ensures that conflict will continue and Hilal will remain unaccountable.”

As penholder on the sanctions resolution, the U.S. attempted to add language reflecting the Panel’s final report that demonstrated a clear link between the illicit gold trade and continued violence. The U.S., U.K., and other Council members supported this recommendation, but Russia, China, and others did not. Russia proved most unreceptive to the Panel’s report, rejecting proposed compromise language that would have only “expressed concern” over the Panel’s finding that armed groups control artisanal gold mines in Darfur.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, 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

Russia Blocks U.N. Security Council Action on Conflict-Affected Gold in Darfur

In the UN Security Council, Russia blocked U.S. and U.K. efforts to address conflict-affected gold in Darfur. Russia’s blocking action came despite findings from the Sudan Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts that link illegal exploitation and trafficking of gold and other minerals to violence and instability in Darfur.  Read More »

Civil War Depletes South Sudan’s Elephant Population

In South Sudan’s two-year old civil war, oil was a key factor in fueling the war economy. But reports are emerging that elephants may have contributed to this war economy. As reported last week by Bloomberg News, South Sudan's wildlife service says at least 500 elephants were killed during the fighting over the past two years.  Read More »

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Op-ed: Voices for War and Peace in South Sudan

Alice (not her real name) was living in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, when war erupted in December 2013. As soldiers went from house to house shooting anyone they found, she witnessed the killing of seven of her relatives and her pastor. Her pastor had been gathering people together to try to protect them. But when the soldiers found him, they shot him and poured beer on him.  Read More »

Corruption Continues in Sudan’s Oil Sector

A new report from Sudan Democracy First Group shows how systemic corruption in Sudan’s oil sector continues even after the oil boom has ended. This report also shows how pervasive corruption undermines openness and transparency and allows a small circle of political elites to amass great personal wealth through undue influence and patronage.  Read More »

“Command Responsibility” by President Kiir, Former VP Machar for Atrocities in South Sudan

Date: 
Jan 25, 2016

Enough Project calls for targeted sanctions on government and opposition leaders for “deliberate continuation of the war”

January 25, 2016 – Government and opposition leaders, including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, have “command and control” responsibility for the majority of mass atrocities and human rights violations in South Sudan’s war, according to a UN Security Council Panel of Experts (PoE) report, published today.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said, “It is critical that the Experts Group established command and control responsibility for mass atrocities all the way to the very top of both the government and rebel militaries.  The onus is on the UN Security Council to act on that evidence by holding accountable those leaders on both sides responsible for mass atrocities. Without accountability, the current peace process is doomed to implode under the weight of impunity for both human rights abuses and mass corruption.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Key individuals in this Panel of Expert report have been named as being behind a deliberate continuation of the war in South Sudan. It has long been our position that a few elite politicians in South Sudan have seized control of government for their personal economic gain. When competing factions among the elite wanted a bigger share of the spoils of state, they pushed the country into war. Some of these top-level politicians oppose the end of the war because they are profiting from it. The Enough Project welcomes the identification of these individuals. This report opens the path forjustice, and an end to impunity. Now that these individuals have been exposed, the U.S, other governments, and organizations such as the UN, must use the tools at their disposal to hold these individuals accountable."

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "The report highlights several cases in which asset freezes and travel bans imposed on high-level South Sudanese officials directly responsible for abuses have been blatantly violated. Moving forward, the international community -- and especially countries in the region -- must take steps to ensure that the current UN sanctions are adequately enforced."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, added: “The peace deal faces existential threats from the war profiteers among the elite. We have seen the deliberate enactment of policies, such as the creation of new states that violate the stipulations of the deal. The ceasefire has been violated so many times by both sides in the conflict. Unless conflict no longer holds any economic value for the war profiteers among the elite, South Sudan will not enjoy peace. That’s why it is important to hold those responsible for the war to account for their actions.”

More analysis by the Enough Project:

  • Real accountability means enacting specific sanctions on these individuals, with the ultimate aim of limiting their ability to move assets and ill-gotten wealth in the global financial system.  In the U.S, several tools exist, ranging from legislation to presidential orders that would empower government to seize assets, limit the potential of these individuals to seek support from regional governments, and disrupt the economic activities of these individuals so that they don’t profit from war.
     
  • For the UN Security Council, the time is ripe to enforce targeted sanctions on these individuals. The report depicts a gloomy forecast for South Sudan, pointing out that conflict may endure. To stop war in South Sudan, now is the time for the Security Council to enforce an arms embargo and sanctions on individuals and other entities involved in arms trading with South Sudan.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org 

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, 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

Sudan Government Forces Employ Barrel Bombs, Murder, Rape, and Plunder as Military Offensive Continues in Central Darfur

Widespread violence continues throughout Central Darfur, as a government military offensive entered its sixth day. The military offensive began on January 15, when Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and other government-supported militias attacked the stronghold of the Sudan Liberation Movement–Abdul Wahid al-Nur (SLM–AW) in Jebel Marra.   Read More »

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