Sudan and South Sudan

Daily Beast Op-ed: From FIFA to Sudan, Let’s Make the World Unsafe for Kleptocracy

The U.S. Department of Justice has gone after the soccer federation and the government of Sudan with many of the same tools. It needs to keep ratcheting up the pressure.  Read More »

Deadly Enterprise: Dismantling South Sudan's War Economy and Countering Potential Spoilers

Political Economy of African Wars Series

“Deadly Enterprise” is the third in a series of in-depth, field research-driven reports on the dynamics of profit and power fueling war in the Horn, East and Central Africa. Violent kleptocracies dominate the political landscape of this region, leading to protracted conflicts marked by the commission of mass atrocities by state and non-state actors. Enough's Political Economy of African Wars series will focus on the key players in these conflicts, their motivations, how they benefit from the evolving war economies, and what policies might be most effective in changing the calculations of those orchestrating the violence–including both incentives and pressures for peace.

Deadly Enterprise

Testimony of John Prendergast - Independent South Sudan: A Failure of Leadership

Testimony of John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing on “Independent South Sudan: A Failure of Leadership,” given on December 10, 2015.

Enough Forum Release - Kleptocracy in Khartoum

On December 2, 2015, the Enough Project published an Enough Forum piece, “Kleptocracy in Khartoum: Self-Enrichment by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party,” written by Eric Reeves. This piece analyses the mechanisms that the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) uses to maintain power and secure wealth, including manipulating the oil market, illicit land sales and expropriations, systemic bureaucratic corruption, financial mismanagement, and state-sponsored violence.https://www.transparency.org/cpi2014/results  Read More »

Sudan Regime Engaged in Massive Theft

Date: 
Dec 2, 2015

 

Enough Forum report describes “brutal kleptocracy”: land grabs, grand corruption, military plunder

A new report published today details how the governing regime in Sudan is structured to extract the nation’s wealth in order to maintain power, benefit elites, and sustain violent and repressive campaigns against its citizenry. Published by the Enough Project in its “Forum” series, “Kleptocracy in Khartoum: Self-Enrichment by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party,” is authored by Professor Eric Reeves of Smith College, a Senior Fellow at the Enough Project.

Eric Reeves, report author and Senior Fellow at the Enough Project, said: “For the past five years, the current regime in Khartoum has continued to engage in massive theft of Sudanese national wealth.  Such theft occurs against a backdrop of some of the world’s highest rates of malnutrition as well as a series of brutal and costly civil wars.  Agriculture is in decline as is the economy as a whole, largely because of the brutal kleptocracy that rules and plunders Sudan by force of arms from Khartoum.”

Selected highlights from “Kleptocracy in Khartoum”:

  • The primary means by which the regime in Khartoum presently enriches itself is the sale and leasing of valuable Sudanese land—both urban areas as well as large tracts of arable land—mortgaging Sudan’s future to Arab and Asian countries interested in their own long term food security and cheap, profitable real estate deals.
  • The regime’s complete control of the federal bureaucracy, the Central Bank of Sudan, and the Central Bureau of Statistics ensures that very large amounts of money can be easily siphoned off without detection and economic danger signals muffled.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) currently provides no meaningful oversight of the collapsing Sudanese economy, accepting at face value untenable figures provided to the Fund by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
  • Waging war against the marginalized citizens of Sudan’s vast peripheral areas, and deploying a ruthlessly efficient set of security services, is all that keeps the regime in power.
  • The character of the wars enabled by the massive misallocation of national wealth has often been genocidal, as it continues to be in Darfur, in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, and in Blue Nile State.  Ethnically-targeted human destruction is the norm rather than the exception in the government’s conduct of counter-insurgencies.

Presented by the Enough Project, the Enough Forum is a platform for dynamic discourse engaging critical issues, challenges, and questions among thought leaders, field researchers, and policy experts.  Opinions and statements are those of the authors and participants in the forum, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy recommendations of the Enough Project.

Link to “Kleptocracy in Khartoum”: http://eno.ug/1HB4Mx9

For media inquiries and to arrange an interview with the report author, 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. 

Food Culture and Conflict in South Sudan

A local carries a bag of food at a WFP warehouse in Pibor, South Sudan in 2013

On October 22, 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme (WFP) released a joint statement on the impending famine in South Sudan stating, “At least 30,000 people are living in extreme conditions and are facing starvation and death.”  Read More »

Enough Forum - Kleptocracy in Khartoum

Presented by the Enough Project, the Enough Forum is a platform for dynamic discourse engaging critical issues, challenges, and questions among thought leaders, field researchers, and policy experts. Opinions and statements herein are those of the authors and participants in the forum, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy recommendations of the Enough Project.

South Sudan Justice Minister Acknowledges Existence of Corrupt Government Officials

South Sudan’s Minister of Justice Paulino Wanawilla recently acknowledged the existence of corrupt officials in the Ministry of Justice, as well as throughout the government. This is a significant statement highlighting the pervasive nature of corruption in South Sudan. In a recent article, the Sudan Tribune quotes the Minister as saying, ““I know in South Sudan corruption is not in one place, but it’s very sad when everybody is stealing.”  Read More »

AU Inquiry Report Highlights Need for Justice, Anti-Corruption in South Sudan

Date: 
Nov 10, 2015

Washington DC -- In a statement published today, the Enough Project presents analysis and key recommendations in response to the long-delayed African Union Commission of Inquiry (AU COI) report on the crisis in South Sudan. The “Final Report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan,” points to corruption and the unequal distribution of the proceeds of natural resources as major factors sparking and fueling atrocities and armed violence in South Sudan. 

The 315-page AU COI report details events leading up to the massacre in Juba in December 2013, and deduces that the killing of Nuer people at that time were “crimes committed pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy.” Likewise, the report’s documentation of targeted killings based on ethnicity perpetrated by rebel forces provide important information for understanding the culpability of both sides of the conflict. While calling for accountability, the Enough Project’s lauds the AU COI report’s emphasis on reconciliation, peace, justice, and institutional reforms.

In its statement today, the Enough Project puts forward recommendations, including:

  • The looting of South Sudan’s natural resource wealth by high-level elites reflects the practices of a kleptocracy that must be dismantled.
  • The international community should invest in global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan.
  • Those with the greatest responsibility for the atrocities at the highest level must be held accountable, and prosecution should be prioritized.
  • The role of the proposed hybrid court spelled out in the August 2015 peace agreement should be supported, including the prosecution of economic crimes. Steps must be taken to ensure that the court has the necessary funding and the legal and technical resources to enable it to investigate and prosecute economic crimes, including pillage and grand corruption.
  • Support for civil society referenced in the commission’s report should focus on strengthening South Sudanese-led efforts to press for the full implementation of South Sudan’s own beneficial ownership and public disclosure rules.

The AU COI report is based on testimonies from key government and rebel leaders, civil society, and ordinary South Sudanese. The report’s public release was delayed for many months, and its cover page is dated October 15, 2014.

Full statement by the Enough Project below:

African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan Report
By the Enough Team
November 10, 2015

The African Union’s long-awaited report on the crisis in South Sudan strongly makes the case that sustainable peace must not only address justice for victims of atrocities but also tackle the underlying economic sources of the conflict, which Enough argues include the pursuit by individuals of their own economic interests at the expense of the South Sudanese people.

The AU report’s substantive focus on human rights abuses committed by the government and rebels, including their affiliate militias, in various locations in the country, is commendable and important for both understanding the human toll of the conflict and also for devising strategies for healing. The report’s emphasis on reconciliation, peace, justice, and institutional reforms holds the potential for a new beginning for South Sudanese leaders.

The report sheds light on events leading up to the massacre in Juba in December 2013, and the AU Commission of Inquiry deduces that the killing of Nuer people at that time were “crimes committed pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy.”

Likewise, the report’s documentation of targeted killings based on ethnicity perpetrated by the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) in towns such as Malakal, Bor, and Bentiu provide important information for understanding the culpability of the rebels.

The focus on recruitment of children into government and rebel armies and the extensive sexual and gender-based violence committed by both sides exposes the diversity of the atrocity crimes in the conflict. In concluding that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that these crimes were committed in a wide spread or systematic manner, and that evidence points to the existence of a state or organizational policy to launch attacks against civilians based on their ethnicity or political affiliation,” the report is a powerful  reminder of the need to bring the perpetrators to account for their actions.

Of important note is the report’s identification of the underlying sources of conflict in South Sudan. The report identifies crippling capacity shortfalls in almost all of the country’s institutions and exposes how these issues helped fuel dissent, anger, resentment, and friction among communities in South Sudan. With regard to the genesis of the ongoing conflict, the report notes that significant weaknesses in the internal institutions of the ruling SPLM party were instrumental in triggering the country’s descent into civil war.

Most significantly, however, the report highlights how economic factors played a key role in contributing to the outbreak of war. Specifically, the report draws attention to pervasive weaknesses in the management, allocation, and distribution of the country’s natural resources. The report underscores that factors such as corruption and the unequal distribution of oil proceeds greatly compromised the government’s capacity to deliver services, thus fueling anger and resentment within the population.

The factors described above served as the key ingredients that fueled the war in South Sudan, and these findings shape the substance of key recommendations in the report.

In addition to calling for institutional reforms, the report’s recommendations on human rights hit the right notes and point toward ratification of all international pacts on human rights by the government, strengthening of national institutions for protection of human rights, and building a cogent disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program to transform the security forces.

The report notes that there is support for holding the two principals in this conflict—President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar—accountable for the atrocities. The report’s heavier emphasis, however, on truth-telling, reconciliation, traditional justice, reparations, and institutional reforms risks overshadowing and underestimating the South Sudanese public’s appetite for the criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of violence according to international standards as part of a process for achieving holistic justice in South Sudan.

In light of the fact that international law was broken and the fact that the report identifies reasonable grounds to believe that the atrocities amount to crimes against humanity, recommending that “those with the greatest responsibility for the atrocities at the highest level” be held accountable, it is our contention that this is a crucial aspect for justice and that emphasis on prosecution should be prioritized.

With regard to the economic factors of the conflict, the report underscores that the “struggle for political power and control of natural resources revenue, corruption and nepotism” were key factors behind the outbreak of conflict. Consequently, the report notes that the mismanagement of oil revenues caused frustration among different groups in the country. The report adds that the resources of the country, including oil revenues, have largely come under the purview of “top politicians and their families” at the expense of the general populace.

To address this situation, the report recommends sound measures in resource governance: the strengthening of legal frameworks and equitable distribution of natural resource revenues.

It is important to observe, however, that the recommendations are notably silent on prosecuting economic crimes, despite the direct relevance of economic factors in contributing to war.

We contend that economic crimes constitute a major reason for the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan. In this respect, we support the role of the proposed hybrid court spelled out in the August 2015 peace agreement, which includes the prosecution of economic crimes. In this light, steps must be taken to ensure that the court has the necessary funding and the legal and technical resources to enable it to investigate and prosecute economic crimes, including pillage and grand corruption.

The signed peace agreement also gives the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) a significant role in resource and financial oversight. Nevertheless, given the commission’s vast mandate, it is important that JMEC identify and prioritize specific financial accountability and transparency interventions that have the greatest potential for stabilizing the economy and ending impunity for economic crimes, such as closing all non-official oil accounts.

In addition, support for civil society referenced in the commission’s report should focus on strengthening South Sudanese-led efforts to press for the full implementation of South Sudan’s own beneficial ownership and public disclosure rules.

The looting of South Sudan’s natural resource wealth by a clique of high-level elites reflects the practices of a kleptocracy that must be dismantled. In addition to strong support for JMEC and the hybrid court, the international community should also invest in global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan. Finally, the U.S. and other partners should maintain the threat of targeted sanctions by continuing their efforts to identify the assets of politically exposed elites who threaten the implementation of the peace agreement for their own political or economic gain.

Link to statement by the Enough Project: http://eno.ug/1PA6uzN

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

African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan Report

The African Union’s long-awaited report on the crisis in South Sudan strongly makes the case that sustainable peace must not only address justice for victims of atrocities but also tackle the underlying economic sources of the conflict, which Enough argues include the pursuit by individuals of their own economic interests at the expense of the South Sudanese people.  Read More »

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