Sudan and South Sudan

NGOs Release Joint Statement Today as Angola, Russia Put Hold on Security Council Targeted Sanctions on South Sudan

Date: 
Sep 15, 2015

 

Enough, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty urge Security Council to impose new targeted sanctions

September 15, 2015 - The Russian and Angolan governments today chose to put a hold on the proposed imposition of UN Security Council sanctions on a leading South Sudan government official and leading rebel leader. This blocking action undermines the pledge by the Security Council to impose serious consequences for those obstructing peace in South Sudan.

To reinforce the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for human rights abuses, the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International issued a joint statement today. The statement calls for further targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations of human rights in South Sudan, as well as imposition of a comprehensive arms embargo.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "It is imperative that continued human rights abuses and ceasefire violations in South Sudan be met with real consequences from the international community.  Decisions are being made on both the government and rebel side to undermine the implementation of the peace deal. If there is no cost for that intransigence and for the human rights crimes that result, then we can expect the war to continue, business as usual."

Link to today’s joint statement by the Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International: http://eno.ug/1Ko5tZz

Read the full statement below:

September 15, 2015

Dear Ambassador,

We understand the UN Security Council will deliberate this week on the situation in South Sudan.

As you know, although South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar signed a binding agreement to end the conflict in their country, fighting has continued in Unity and Upper Nile states. As our organizations have documented in detail, the 21-month conflict in South Sudan has been characterized by war crimes and other acts that may also amount to crimes against humanity, and it has clearly been fueled by impunity.

Given the high probability of continuing serious abuses against civilians as part of the ongoing fighting, we urge you to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.

Since this conflict began, fighting and abuses have forced over 2 million people to flee their homes and thousands of civilians have been killed, often targeted because of their ethnicity or perceived political allegiance. The likelihood of further attacks on civilians in South Sudan remains high. A well-monitored arms embargo can reduce the flow and entry of weapons and military equipment into the country that could be used to commit further crimes against civilians.

The Council should also continue to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes under international law and serious violations and abuses of human rights. While the August peace deal may prove to be an important step forward to ending conflict and abuse in South Sudan, it cannot absolve those most responsible for human rights abuses.

Sincerely,

Amnesty International
Enough Project
Human Rights Watch

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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 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

NGOs Urge UN Security Council to Impose Targeted Sanctions and Arms Embargo in South Sudan

The Enough Project and partners sent letters to the United Nations Security Council, asking them to fulfill their commitment to impose sanctions on individuals who have committed abuses against civilians in South Sudan and calling for an arms embargo.   Read More »

NGOs Urge UN Security Council to Impose Targeted Sanctions and Arms Embargo in South Sudan

The Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International sent letters to the United Nations Security Council, asking them to fulfill their commitment to impose sanctions on individuals who have committed abuses against civilians in South Sudan and calling for an arms embargo. See letter below.

 

A Most Unwelcome Guest

While it appears that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is no longer considering a visit to this year’s United Nations General Assembly, his repeated intentions to travel to U.N. Headquarters in New York raise serious political and ethical challenges, as well as two important legal questions.  Read More »

U.S. Special Envoy Booth's Khartoum Visit: Opportunity to Refocus U.S. Policy on Sudan

Date: 
Aug 25, 2015

Current international approach has done little to end the conflict, address corruption, or prevent mass atrocities, says Enough Project

August 25, 2015 – As U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth visits Khartoum, the Enough Project published a statement today urging an enhanced policy of increased financial pressures on political elites in Sudan, in order to end ongoing armed conflict and suffering, address corruption, and pave the way for a credible national dialogue. The statement also lauded Ambassador Booth’s willingness to meet with civil society organizations while in Sudan, which demonstrates U.S. support of their important work in an increasingly constrained political environment.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "As long as it is able to benefit from conflict and silence opposition, the Bashir regime has no incentive to pursue peace. To escalate financial pressure on key decision-makers in Khartoum, the U.S. government should increase targeted sanctions enforcement against political elites and their financial enablers, support stolen asset recovery and return, and open criminal investigations and possible prosecutions into economic crimes where they have a nexus to the United States.”

Omer Ismail, Enough Project Senior Advisor, said: “During his visit to Sudan, Ambassador Booth should make clear that normalized relations with the U.S. government, including U.S. support for debt relief to Sudan under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, are not possible until the Sudanese government ends its deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, stops the obstruction of humanitarian aid, and revamps the framework for the national dialogue to allow a credible, genuine conversation about Sudan’s future.”

Read the full Enough Project statement below:

August 25, 2015 -- The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan’s visit to Khartoum provides an important opportunity to enhance U.S. policy on Sudan. The current international approach emphasizes endless peace negotiations and a sham national dialogue while allowing the Bashir regime to determine—and effectively deny—humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations suffering from state violence. This approach has done little to end the conflict, ameliorate suffering, or prevent mass atrocities.

To create the pressure necessary to change calculations in Khartoum, the U.S. government should employ a much broader strategy of financial pressure to target those individuals and entities that profit from this untenable status quo. Ambassador Booth can use his trip to Khartoum to signal this new approach, as follows:

  • Ambassador Booth should make clear that normalized relations with the U.S. government, including U.S. support for debt relief to Sudan under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, are not possible until the Sudanese government ends its deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians—including aerial bombardment, stops the obstruction of humanitarian aid, and revamps the framework for the national dialogue to allow a credible, genuine conversation about Sudan’s future.
     
  • To escalate financial pressure on key decision-makers in Khartoum, the U.S. government should increase targeted sanctions enforcement against political elites and their financial enablers, support stolen asset recovery and return, and open criminal investigations and possible prosecutions into economic crimes, like pillage and money laundering, where they have a nexus to the United States. During his engagements with high-level Sudanese officials, Ambassador Booth should emphasize that the U.S. government will move beyond relying on existing blanket country-wide sanctions to also focus more targeted financial pressure on the individuals and entities benefitting from corruption and conflict and preventing peace.
     
  • Ambassador Booth should cite recent examples of violent contestation and displacement around gold mines in Darfur and Blue Nile, and he should publicly state that gold being exported from Sudan is conflict-affected, high-risk, and that Sudan’s gold trade is helping to destabilize Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan, the country’s main conflict zones.
     
  • Following Ambassador Booth’s visit, the United States should remain committed to Sudanese civil society organizations, especially human rights, anti-corruption, and transparency groups. We appreciate Ambassador Booth’s willingness to meet with civil society organizations while in Sudan, which demonstrates U.S. support of their important work in an increasingly constrained political environment. Beyond this trip, Ambassador Booth should also engage more deeply with the Sudan Call, a coalition that prioritizes a peaceful transition to democratic rule through an inclusive and comprehensive political process, by building the coalition’s capacity to advance a coherent economic policy platform and participate in future negotiations and dialogue.

The Bashir regime has survived for more than 25 years by successfully looting the state and its considerable resource wealth and by responding to all opposition with unsparing violence. Past policy approaches have failed to counter the regime’s ability to finance conflict and to remain in power through corruption and patronage. As long as it is able to benefit from conflict and silence opposition, the regime has no incentive to pursue peace.

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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 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

Enough Project Statement on the Signing of the South Sudan Peace Agreement

The Enough Project welcomes the decision by the Government of South Sudan and President Salva Kiir to sign the compromise peace agreement, adding his signature to that of armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other stakeholders, to hopefully bring their country’s brutal civil war to an end.  Read More »

The Daily Beast Op-ed: Saving South Sudan From Kleptocracy

Saving South Sudan from Kleptocracy

South Sudan’s belligerents have signed a peace deal, but it is far from certain that the brutal 20-month civil war is over. If the next steps the parties take are simply to restore the status quo that existed before the war’s eruption, the odds are wildly in favor of a return to deadly conflict.  However, if the implementation of the agreement is seen as a chance to restart the construction of a viable state in the world’s newest country, dismantling the violent kleptocracy that it’s become since independence in 2011, then South Sudan has a chance for peace.  Read More »

Enough Project Welcomes South Sudan Peace Agreement, Warns of Challenges Ahead

Date: 
Aug 26, 2015

 

International Pressures Key to Compromise Deal and Successful Implementation, Say Experts

August 26, 2015 – In a statement published today, the Enough Project welcomed the signing by the President of South Sudan of a peace agreement to end the civil war that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths since the conflict began in December 2013.

The Enough Project lauded newly unified efforts and pressure by regional leaders and the international community, including direct engagement by U.S. President Obama, as President Salva Kiir added his signature today to a compromise peace deal signed last week by opposition leader Riek Machar. The statement also warned of ongoing challenges, offering recommendations for implementation in support of a sustainable peace for the world’s newest nation.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "Concerted pressure from neighboring governments and the broader international community has been instrumental in convincing the government to sign after missing the August 17 deadline. President Obama’s direct engagement with regional leaders during his trip to Africa in late July was essential in cultivating what had been missing so far in the negotiations -- international leverage aimed at pressuring the warring parties towards peace.”

Justine Fleischner, Enough Project Policy Analyst, said: “The compromise agreement does not resolve the multiple crises facing South Sudan on issues of governance, security, accountability, and economic development, but rather provides a starting point for the parties to come back together and get down to the business of rebuilding their war-torn nation. Only by putting the interests of their people ahead of their own self-interests may peace prevail in South Sudan.”

Lindsey Hutchison, Enough Project Policy Analyst, detailed ongoing challenges: “Both sides contain hardline factions and interests that openly oppose the signing of the compromise agreement and continue to benefit financially from the misery of the South Sudanese people. There will be winners and losers as a result of this deal, and the losers could very well attempt to undermine the agreement, potentially through further violence."

"The successful implementation of the agreement also depends largely on ending impunity for economic and atrocity crimes. The U.S., UK, and other partners should pursue global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan,” said Prendergast, adding, “Those that profit from the war should not be able to do so with impunity, even if a peace agreement is signed.”

Read the full Enough Project statement below:

Enough Project Statement on the Signing of the South Sudan Peace Agreement  

August 26, 2015 - The Enough Project welcomes the decision by the Government of South Sudan and President Salva Kiir to sign the compromise peace agreement, adding his signature to that of armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other stakeholders, to hopefully bring their country’s brutal civil war to an end. Concerted pressure from neighboring governments and the broader international community -- including the circulation of a UN Security Council draft resolution by the United States focused on potential high-level targeted sanctions and an arms embargo -- has been instrumental in convincing the government to sign after missing the August 17 deadline. President Obama’s direct engagement with regional leaders during his trip to Africa in late July was essential in cultivating what had been missing so far in the negotiations: international leverage aimed at pressuring the warring parties toward peace.

Nevertheless, the challenges of implementing the agreement far exceed the challenges of negotiating one. Both sides contain hardline factions and interests that openly oppose the signing of the compromise agreement and continue to benefit financially from the misery of the South Sudanese people. Provisions for economic transparency and accountability contained in the agreement directly threaten the kleptocratic system of governance, the entrenched patronage networks, and the opaque business transactions that have provided the warring parties with the funds necessary to sustain the war effort on the ground.  There will be winners and losers as a result of this deal, and the losers could very well attempt to undermine the agreement, potentially through further violence.   

In order to ensure the agreement is signed in good faith and implemented accordingly, the regional and international communities must maintain their diplomatic and financial pressure on both sides, including the credible threat of targeted sanctions and other diplomatic and financial measures. Steps must be taken to ensure potential spoilers are denied access to material and financial support in the region, including those that have recently defected from the armed opposition and have based themselves in Khartoum. Uganda must also withdraw its troops based on the timetable outlined in the agreement. The U.N. Security Council should urgently adopt a global arms embargo to stem the flow of weapons and ammunition to the rival parties and allow for the imposition of secondary sanctions designations against those that facilitate arms transfers and profit directly from the civil war. Regional enforcement is key and should be closely monitored by the UN Panel of Experts.

The successful implementation of the agreement also depends largely on ending impunity for economic and atrocity crimes. International support for the South Sudan-African Union hybrid court should include legal and investigative teams with experience in prosecuting economic crimes, including pillage and grand corruption. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative should investigate instances of grand corruption focusing on assets, properties, and businesses in the United States. The United States, United Kingdom, and other partners should pursue global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan. For their part, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia should share intelligence through the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Eastern Africa. Efforts to improve their compliance with international financial, legal, and regulatory regimes would increase donor and investor confidence as well.

Finally, South Sudan’s leaders must be accountable to the people of South Sudan. Civil society groups’ participation at the peace process was often drowned out by the demands of the warring parties. Donors must redouble their efforts to amplify the voices of South Sudanese through public opinion polling, support for free media, and assistance to campaigns for financial transparency and accountability based on South Sudan’s existing public disclosure laws. Space for civil society participation during the transition and protections for journalists should be made preconditions for the resumption of normal donor activities.

South Sudan has once again been devastated by war; this time a tragic conflict between the very elites that fought for their nation’s independence. The compromise agreement does not resolve the multiple crises facing South Sudan on issues of governance, security, accountability, and economic development, but rather provides a starting point for the parties to come back together and get down to the business of rebuilding their war-torn nation. Only by putting the interests of their people ahead of their own self-interests may peace prevail in South Sudan. In the meantime, those that profit from the war should not be able to do so with impunity, even if a peace agreement is signed.

###

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 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

Enough Project Statement on the Signing of the South Sudan Peace Agreement

The Enough Project welcomes the decision by the Government of South Sudan and President Salva Kiir to sign the compromise peace agreement, adding his signature to that of armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other stakeholders, to hopefully bring their country’s brutal civil war to an end.

Read the full statement below.

Enough Project Statement on U.S. Special Envoy Booth’s Visit to Khartoum

The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth, is traveling to Khartoum, Sudan this week. Today, the Enough Project released a statement to the Special Envoy encouraging him and the U.S. government to use this trip to enhance U.S. policy on Sudan by employing a much broader strategy of financial pressure to target the individuals and entities that profit from corruption and illicit financial activities and benefit from ongoing conflict.  Read More »

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