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Mass Atrocity Prevention Post Rwanda and Darfur
Washington, DC – Today, Rwandans and the international community will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days. As commemorations unfold worldwide, an Enough Project report, released today, discusses modern mass atrocity prevention as we mark the anniversary of Rwanda’s genocide and recognize the 10th year of genocide in Darfur. The report “Rwanda 20 and Darfur 10: New Responses to Africa's Mass Atrocities” calls for a renewed approach to addressing the interlinked nature of modern-day African conflicts and mass atrocity crimes.
In the twenty years since the Rwandan genocide, Africa’s wars have become increasingly marked by integrated conflict systems, which spill over borders and include an array of armed groups. The conflicts, spanning the Horn of Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa, have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Conventional peace processes and peacekeeping operations, however, are limited in scope and have largely failed to address the complexities of modern African conflict and mass atrocities. As a result, they fail to address the core systemic drivers of violence.
Enough Project co-founder and author of the report, John Prendergast, says:
"Without addressing the complicated transnational root causes of conflict and mass atrocities, without being much more inclusive, without dealing decisively with spoilers, and without integrating broader regional actors, today’s peace processes have no chance of producing sustainable peace."
To combat this, the report argues for new approaches to peacemaking and civilian protection that make a real difference in the lives of people in conflict-ridden regions. A new strategy should be marked by broader peace mechanisms, which include an effective response system from the international community and comprehensive and regional peace processes that address core drivers of conflict.
New Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery of the strategic town of Kaka in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state confirms the burning of 1071 huts and tukuls and some limited damage to the central market. 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 »
April is designated as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month each year, as it marks important anniversaries for multiple acts of genocide in the 20th century. Throughout the month, individuals and organizations join together to commemorate and honor victims and survivors, educate the public about past and contemporary genocides, and advocate for prevention against future mass atrocities. To support activists as they take action in their communities this April, the Enough Project has teamed up with partner organizations to create a Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month Toolkit. 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."
The Heiban Bible College, located in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan, was bombed on March 23, 2014, for the second time in a little over a year. The Nuba Mountains, alongside the Blue Nile region, have been the staging ground for the conflict between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebel group and the government of Sudan for more than three years. Read More »
New Satellite Sentinel Project imagery provides independent confirmation of Sudan Air Force, or SAF, bombardments in the mountainous Jebel Marra area of North Darfur, where civilians have been bombed for years.Read More »
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 »
On March 20, the Co-Chairs of Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan including Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), and Michael McCaul (R-TX), along with 48 other Members of Congress, led a bipartisan letter to the Administration, calling for targeted action and continued engagement on the violence occurring in South Sudan. Read More »
A little over three years ago, in advance of the referendum for South Sudan's independence, the great fear of the Sudanese and the broader international community was that the war between the north and south -- a war that was perhaps the second-deadliest globally since World War II -- might reignite. Read More »