Press Releases

Press Advisory: John Prendergast to Testify at Senate Hearing on South Sudan

Date: 
Jan 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Enough Project’s Co-founder, John Prendergast, will testify Thursday, January 9 at 10:15am at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, “The Situation in South Sudan", along with a panel of Africa and Sudan experts including Ambassador Princeton Lyman, The Honorable Linda Thomas Greenfield, The Honorable Nancy Lindborg, and The Honorable Kate Almquist Knopf.

Prendergast will discuss the recent violence in South Sudan, and a path forward for peace.

Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast states: 

"A quick and dirty power-sharing deal is not the answer to South Sudan’s problems. Simply redistributing power to combatant factions on the basis of the territory under their control would be a huge error. A cessation of hostilities is a first order priority, but what follows must be much more inclusive, transparent, and multi-layered than any of the processes that have come before if sustainable peace is to have a chance in South Sudan."

Read John Prendergast's full testimony here.

 

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Enough Project Applauds Madison's Resolution to go Conflict Free

Date: 
Dec 5, 2013

Enough Project Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

The Madison City Council in Wisconsin passed a resolution earlier this week symbolically declaring the city conflict free. The resolution comes after nearly two years of a growing student movement at University of Wisconsin-Madison that campaigned the city and University to denounce the use of minerals that fuel violence and change their electronics purchasing practices to favor verifiable conflict-free products.

Last month, student activists in Madison, WI seized energy from a rally for a conflict-free Congo with Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and celebrity activist Emmanuelle Chriqui. Their hard work was realized on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 when City Council leaders unanimously approved a city resolution (RES-13-00898).

Over the past several years, student activists throughout the U.S. have been working with the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, a student-led initiative that is active on 150 campuses across the country and abroad, to pass resolutions through campus administrations. Resolutions have been passed on 16 campuses, including Duke and Stanford, and in state-wide legislation in California and Maryland. Madison joins other cities such as Pittsburgh, PA, St. Petersburg, FL, and Edina, MN who have passed similar resolutions.

The Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign, an initiative of the anti-genocide group in Washington, commended the city’s leadership.

Raise Hope for Congo Campaign Manager JD Stier said:

"Wisconsin is home to U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Russ Feingold as well as Congo activist Aaron Rodgers, placing Madison at the forefront of the human rights movement for peace in Congo. By leading the call to go conflict-free, Madison can inspire other cities across the nation to join the conflict-free movement."

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

Central Africa: Access to Remote Areas Needed to Eliminate The LRA Rebel Group

Date: 
Nov 20, 2013

Enough Project Press Release

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org202-478-5314

Central Africa: Access to Remote Areas Needed to Eliminate The LRA Rebel Group

Washington, D.C. --- Today, as the U.N. Security Council meets to discuss the status of the counter-Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, mission, the Enough Project released a new report, highlighting gaps in the fight to eliminate the LRA. The report, “Blind Spots: Gaining Access to Where the LRA Operates”, based on field research across central Africa, emphasizes a major obstacle in eliminating the rebel group: the lack of access to remote areas in central Africa where the LRA is known to be hiding and operating.

The counter-LRA mission, led by Ugandan forces and backed by the U.S.-supported African Union Regional Task Force, or AU-RTF, has made significant progress in the past two years, including increased defections from the rebel group, a decrease of more than 50 percent in attacks, and significant improvement for human security and protection of civilians. 

“Gaining Access” argues that despite the AU-RTF’s progress in eliminating some of the LRA’s safe havens, including longtime strongholds in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC, LRA history reveals that the group can survive in a shrunken state and expand rapidly when circumstances and external support allow, a factor that can significantly curb the momentum of the mission, unless the senior leadership of LRA is removed and the group completely dismantled. The rebels are down to only 250-300 fighters, but are responsible for the displacement of more than 350,000 civilians. The LRA have found safe havens in remote areas of northeastern DRC, the eastern parts of Central African Republic and in the Sudan controlled Kafia Kingi enclave---where logistical and political blocks have denied the AU-RTF access to pursue the LRA.

Kasper Agger, author of the report, states:

“The endgame of removing LRA leader Joseph Kony from the battlefield and neutralizing the LRA is imperiled by the lack of access to wide swathes of central Africa where the group still hides. Expanded regional cooperation and increased logistical support for the mission are critical to boosting ongoing counter-LRA efforts and bringing a final end to the LRA rebel group.”

Currently, the largest hindrances to access are the lack of cooperation among regional governments and uncoordinated international support for the AU-RTF. Counter-LRA efforts are also undermined by the lack of full cross-border coordination, information sharing among regional forces, and limited logistical capabilities to cover large areas where the LRA reside. The report calls on international stakeholders, the United Nations, the African Union and the U.S. to use diplomatic leverage to forge an agreement between the leaders of the Sudans, Uganda, the DRC and the Central African Republic to ensure access for AU-RTF troops to all areas where the LRA operate  and general support for counter-LRA efforts within their territories. The international community can also play a key role in ensuring a fully operational AU-RTF, equipped with sufficient communications assets and increased logistical capacity.

Consolidating and increasing the support for the mission will not only boost the decades-long effort to eliminate the LRA, but could also serve as a model for how to secure the long-term security of remote border areas in Africa.

Read the full report, “Blind Spots: Gaining Access to Areas Where the LRA Operates”: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/BlindSpots-GainingAccesstoWhereLRAOperates.pdf

Conflict Minerals: Companies May Stop Buying Unless Certification is Sped Up

Date: 
Nov 11, 2013

Enough Project Press Release

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Conflict Minerals: Companies May Stop Buying Unless Certification is Sped Up

NAIROBI, KENYA and WASHINGTON, DC - Critical gaps in the minerals certification process in eastern Congo, Rwanda, and the surrounding region threaten to undo the development of a clean minerals trade in Central Africa, argues a new Enough Project report released today.  Minerals certification, a key component in building a transparent regional minerals trade, faces setbacks that could hinder global market access for minerals extractors, traders, and exporters in the Great Lakes region, unless regional governments implement the process. The report, “Coming Clean: A Proposal for Getting Conflict Minerals Certification Back on Track" is based on recent field research in the region.

Enough Project Field Consultant Aaron Hall, said:

“Certification is the most critical component of the entire conflict-free minerals system. If minerals from the Great Lakes region cannot be certified as conflict-free, then efforts to trace and audit become moot. Without functioning regional audits or an Independent Mineral Chain Auditor, minerals cannot be credibly certified according to regional and international standards."

Tremendous strides have been made in recent years to cut the conflict minerals trade in eastern Congo. In the past four years, governments, nonprofits, and private sector actors in Africa, the U.S., and Europe have built regulatory frameworks and stimulated the global market for responsibly sourced minerals. Additionally, a certification process, under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR, was established to ensure that minerals sold and exported from the Great Lakes region do not fund conflicts. Progress on reforming supply chains and demilitarizing mines has addressed many negative elements of the conflict minerals trade, as armed groups are much less present in mines.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

"Minerals can be a boon for peace in Congo and the region, not a conflict curse.  But if Rwanda, Congo, and regional states do not take urgent steps to complete the mineral certification process in the next few months, multinational companies may stop purchasing many minerals from the region that cannot credibly be certified as conflict-free. U.S. Special Envoy Russ Feingold and the World Bank should work closely with Rwanda and Congo to speed up the certification process, so that the system provides assurances to companies." 

Progress in certifying minerals from the Great Lakes region as conflict-free is at a crossroads. States are starting to issue certificates for easy-to-certify mines using ad hoc measures, but interim steps will not work for all mines. Rwanda issued its first conflict-free certificate on November 6, and Congo plans to begin issuing certificates for mines and exporters soon.

The report explains that the ICGLR governments have not yet fulfilled their commitments to the process designed to ensure transparency and accountability, and these gaps undermine the credibility of the system. The ICGLR certification process requires four components: mine inspection and traceability, a regional mineral tracking database, audits, and independent monitoring. The key components of accountability—auditing and independent monitoring—lack operational mechanisms to ensure that minerals are fully certified.

The report explains that existing "bag and tag" systems, used by tin and tantalum industries sourcing in Rwanda and in some locations in Congo, have been a brave first step but do not provide full conflict-free assurance because of the lack of the independent oversight mechanisms of the ICGLR certification process.  

The report calls on the U.S., E.U., and World Bank to focus energies on helping to complete the ICGLR certification process. These measures include setting a deadline for Rwanda, Congo, and the ICGLR to meet the four components of the certification process and formalizing interim measures to certify minerals to meet international standards. If the Great Lakes states fail to meet these standards, they may be deemed non-compliant with international due diligence standards.

The report also recommends that the World Bank and/or electronics companies should help digitize the traceability system in Congo, so that data is transparent, and that the U.S. and E.U. should urge Rwanda to publish minerals production data as soon as possible.  Finally, the U.S. and E.U. should offer incentives to source fully certified minerals from the region, such as offering a high-level award for companies that help build a clean trade and purchasing clean minerals. 

Read the report, "Coming Clean: A Proposal for Getting Conflict Minerals Certification on Track": http://www.enoughproject.org/files/ComingClean-Getting-Conflict-Minerals-Certification-on-Track.pdf

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Enough Project Statements on M23 Surrender

Date: 
Nov 5, 2013

ENOUGH PROJECT MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2013

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

GOMA, DR CONGO, AND WASHINGTON, DC – The M23 rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has agreed to end its insurgency says M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa in a statement released today.

Fighting between the rebel group and Congo's army has displaced more than 800,000 people since M23 took over the eastern provinces in 2012.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

"The end of M23 rebellion is cause for joy in eastern Congo. But until there is a peace process that deals with the refugee, economic, and security issues between Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, instability in the region will continue. US and UN envoys Russ Feingold and Mary Robinson should partner with the African Union to help organize these negotiations and ensure that they are inclusive of Congo's civil society."

Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast said:

"The demise of the M23 shows what is possible when the international community unites around a specific objective and deploys the diplomatic and military assets necessary to succeed.  Deeper issues driving violence in Congo remain, so it is imperative that current momentum leads into broader regional negotiations aimed at improving relations, particularly between Rwanda and Congo, as well as a more credible internal political process aimed at improved governance and army reform."

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

Enough Project Urges US and African Union to Act on Abyei

Date: 
Nov 1, 2013

Enough Project Press Release

Embargoed Until:  November 1, 2013, 12:01am

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Enough Project Urges US and African Union to Act on Abyei

Frustrated residents of the contested Abyei region that lies between Sudan and South Sudan announced the results of a historic unilateral referendum on Thursday.  A new Enough Project report contextualizes the Ngok Dinka community's vote to join South Sudan and calls for the U.S. and the African Union to take immediate action to help determine Abyei’s final status.

The fate of Abyei is one of the most important issues left unresolved since South Sudan became an independent state in 2011. The region is home to the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya, nomadic Arab herders, who migrate across the Abyei region twice a year. The two groups have lived there together in mutual interdependence, but a long history of unfulfilled promises for self-determination and the politicization of Abyei’s final status has raised tensions. In 2008 and 2011, Sudanese army attacks left towns burned to the ground, and resulted in the displacement of 120,000 people.

The report,"What Happens to a Dream Deferred" calls on the African Union to carry out its intended visit to the region, report on key findings, outline a clear timeline for a credible and internationally-sanctioned vote as called for in the African Union’s proposal, and hold Sudan to its existing wealth-sharing promises for Abyei.  

Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst, and co-author of the report, says, "The people of Abyei's dreams have been deferred for too long. Unless the African Union makes it clear that it is willing to stand behind President Mbeki's proposal, violence could once again seize the region."

Over 99 percent of the Ngok Dinka who voted on the unilateral ballot expressed a desire to transfer the Abyei territory from Sudan’s sovereignty to South Sudanese control.The Misseriya tribe has now vowed to hold their own referendum to voice their desire to stay with Sudan.

Timothy May, Enough Project Field Researcher, and co-author of the report, says "The Sudanese government already owes both the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya 2% of the region's oil revenues since 2005. While they might not agree on the area's final status, both groups can work together to push Khartoum to turn over those funds, which could help develop their communities."

Neither Sudan nor South Sudan recognize the validity of the vote. The report authors explain that the Ngok Dinka’s unsanctioned vote is an expression of collective will and should be seen as a precursor to an internationally-recognized referendum for the disputed area.

John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-Founder, explains, "Abyei's peace can be secured only by honoring the multiple past agreements allowing its residents to vote on their future.  The UN peacekeeping mission led by Ethiopia acts as a deterrent to armed conflict, but they cannot stay forever. The international community must use this moment to support a lasting resolution."

Read the full report, "What Happens to a Dream Deferred? The Case for Immediate African Union Action on Abyei": http://www.enoughproject.org/files/What-Happens-to-a-Dream-Deferred.pdf

Explore the interactive timeline.

View or download images from the Enough Project’s recent trip to the region.

New Report: UN, US should address FDLR and M23 rebel threats in Congo

Date: 
Oct 28, 2013

Enough Project Press Release
 
For Immediate Release
 
Contact:
Sandi Fox, sfox@enoughproject.org, 202-478-6325 

New Report: UN, US should address FDLR and M23 rebel threats in Congo
 
A new Enough Project report argues that the United Nations and U.S. government should address regional security threats in Africa's Great Lakes region by working with Congo, Rwanda, and the U.N. Intervention Brigade to contain the rebel groups Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and M23. “Taking Back Eastern Congo: Comprehensively Addressing the FDLR and M23 Rebel Groups” discusses Congo and Rwanda’s most prominent security concerns, blending analysis, field research, and interviews in Goma and the surrounding region.
 
The report also provides recommendations for regional envoys. These recommendations include promoting a sustained focus on core security issues; developing disarmament and reintegration plans for the M23 and Congolese armed groups; and improving operational intelligence, humanitarian measures as well as public outreach for the U.N. peacekeeping mission and new intervention brigade.
 
The report takes stock of the strength levels and recent battlefield dynamics involving two key rebel groups with different connections to Rwanda that shape security concerns for governments on both sides of the Congo-Rwanda border. The FDLR is headed by some of the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and it has attacked Rwanda in the past year. Kigali believes the FDLR poses an existential security threat. The M23 is an offshoot of several previous rebel groups, and the U.N. and other groups have linked it to the Rwandan government, but Kigali denies the link. “Taking Back Eastern Congo” argues that neutralizing a weakened FDLR through a more robust and comprehensive strategy could mitigate Rwanda’s security concerns in eastern Congo. Alleviating these Rwandan security concerns could, in turn, result in a more rapid solution to the M23.
 
Goma-based Enough Project field researcher and report co-author Timo Mueller says, “As the U.N. peacekeeping force and the Intervention Brigade work to improve their capabilities on the ground, it is also as important that the U.N., U.S., African Union, and European Union envoys encourage substantive talks to take place as soon as possible on the security interests of states in the region, including support for rebel groups.”
 
Enough Project field researcher and report co-author Fidel Bafilemba adds,“The people of eastern Congo have been bearing the brunt of the many atrocities of the FDLR rebel group. Regional leaders must finally commit to resolving this issue once and for all.”

Read the report, Taking Back Eastern Congo: Comprehensively Addressing the FDLR and M23 Rebel Groups: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/TakingBackEasternCongo-report.pdf

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

Clooney's Satellite Sentinel Issues Human Security Alert for Sudan's South Kordofan and Abyei

Date: 
Oct 22, 2013

Satellite Sentinel Project Press Release 

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5349

Clooney's Satellite Sentinel Issues Human Security Alert for Sudan's South Kordofan and Abyei

The Satellite Sentinel Project, which George Clooney founded along with John Prendergast in 2010, is issuing a human security warning for civilians living south of Kadugli in Sudan’s South Kordofan state and for those in the hotly contested Abyei area. Satellite images  reviewed by DigitalGlobe Analytics show unusually high levels of activity at several Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, military installations in Sudan’s North and South Kordofan states, which could signal planned deployments toward several locations, including the highly contested Abyei area. DigitalGlobe satellite imagery also corroborates earlier reports of SAF destruction at Buram bridge in September 2013. The bridge destruction isolates two rebel-held towns, Tess and Buram, leaving civilians vulnerable to attack from SAF troops based nearby.

The destruction of Buram bridge, the increased troop buildup, and the appearance of new ground and air materiel at several military installations collectively point to a possible new SAF military campaign before the end of the rainy season. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians in South Kordofan are potentially at risk.

Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project said: 

“Our ongoing satellite surveillance of Sudan can do more than document abuses after they happen. By combining credible information from citizen journalists in South Kordofan with analysis of satellite imagery, we're shining a spotlight on the potential for an attack, even before troops deploy. ”

Satellite Sentinel Project Co-Founder John Prendergast added, 

“The Sudanese government has repeatedly bombed this area and denied humanitarian access to people for years. The military buildup that is growing at once across several areas is a chilling indication of what could quickly escalate, particularly with the planned referendum in Abyei. The international community must send a strong signal to the Sudanese government it will not tolerate attacks on innocent Sudanese civilians and the deliberate destruction of homes and farmland.”

DigitalGlobe satellites and the Enough Project analysts will continue to monitor the Abyei area and watch for increased activity near Buram and Kadugli. The Satellite Sentinel Project will issue additional alerts on signs of the Sudanese army's southbound movement.

Read the alert, "Human Security Warning: Sudan Army Poised for Offensive in South Kordofan or Abyei": http://www.satsentinel.org/report/human-security-warning-sudan-army-poised-offensive-south-kordofan-or-abyei

Report: Rwanda's Stake in Congo: Understanding Interests to Achieve Peace

Date: 
Oct 16, 2013
Author: 
Sandi Fox

Enough Project Press Release

Date: 10/16/ 2013
Contact: Sandi Fox, sfox@enoughproject.org, (202) 478-6325

Report: Rwanda's Stake in Congo: Understanding Interests to Achieve Peace

WASHINGTON -- Conflict resolution efforts to end the war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo will be unsuccessful if Rwanda's security, economic, and political interests that play central roles in the war are not addressed within the peace process, argues a new Enough Project report released today. Contentious relations between Congo and its neighbors have been a critical factor in making Congo the deadliest war in the world over the past 19 years. The report, “Rwanda's Stake in Congo: Understanding Interests to Achieve Peace” focuses on the Congo-Rwanda relationship and argues that U.N. and U.S. envoys to the region, Mary Robinson and Russ Feingold, should use a combination of incentives and pressures to address these interests.

“Rwanda and Congo are elephants in each other's living rooms," says Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast. “Until that relationship is addressed, and the interests that underlie it, there will be blood in eastern Congo."

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

"The key to unlocking peace is to expand the economic pie for Congo, Rwanda, and the region by bringing in a much more robust private sector that practices responsible investment in conflict-free minerals. Right now, the fighting is over surface-level mines, but the fact is that there are billions of dollars worth of mining deposits in the ground that lie undeveloped. If the U.N. and U.S. envoys build the right incentives for cooperation in the peace process, this investment will benefit all parties. Some will benefit from financial services, others will benefit from mining revenues, and others will benefit from new roads and infrastructure. Rwanda, Congo, and the region will then be financially invested in peace instead of war.”

The aftermath of the Rwandan genocide spilled into Congo in the mid-1990s, exacerbating preexisting intercommunal tensions and conflict. These tensions, coupled with the Congolese government’s deep corruption and bad governance created conditions in which the Congolese army and a host of militias have operated with impunity and destabilized eastern Congo. Additionally, Rwanda’s direct intervention in Congo at times and its periodic support for armed groups in eastern Congo have been central drivers of continuing conflict, states the report.

Rwanda’s core concerns include what it believes to be an existential security threat posed by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, the Hutu extremist armed group based in eastern Congo, which has attacked Rwanda four times over the past year. Furthermore, Rwanda has economic interests in Congo in natural resources, land, and cross-border trade. Some of its interests have led to illicit activities, while it has pursued other interests through legitimate means. Rwanda has a domestic minerals sector but is also a transit point for Congolese minerals. Rwanda’s economy is reliant on the minerals trade because of the country’s significant trade deficit, and minerals are critical in filling this gap, as they are the country’s second-highest generator of foreign exchange. Illustratively, Rwanda's tantalum exports increased by 112 percent in the first six months of 2013 over the same period in 2012. The protection of Tutsi populations in Congo’s eastern provinces and the return of over 50,000 Congolese refugees to Congo are also core interests as stated by Rwanda.

To address these core interests, the report offers recommendations to the U.N. and U.S. envoys to build on the "11+4" Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework signed in February 2013. Specifically, the envoys should work to incentivize both countries to create transparent, legitimate regional economic cooperation and to work to remove the security threats to regional governments, including the FDLR, the M23, and other armed groups. The report also emphasizes that verified state support from any government in the region to any armed group should result in targeted sanctions or other escalating repercussions. Furthermore, it recommends that the U.S. and U.N. envoys support increased efforts at accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, both through the International Criminal Court and domestic processes.

While previous international peace initiatives have largely circumvented Rwanda’s role in the continuing conflict, this report emphasizes that any solution must address Rwandan economic and security concerns and push for Congo’s institutional reforms in order to be successful. The political will for peace and cooperation will develop only when these two states begin to invest financially in regional economic integration and work together on certain security issues while critical institutional reforms take place in Congo. Combining a conflict-free mining sector and improved infrastructure in Congo with Rwanda’s attractiveness for potential investments could initiate a process of transformation, argues the report.

Read the report, “Rwanda's Stake in Congo: Understanding Interests to Achieve Peace

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Sudan Minister Speaks on Resilience As Dire Need in Nuba Mountains Made Public

Date: 
Oct 10, 2013

Enough Project Press Release

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

Sudan Minister Speaks on Resilience As Dire Need in Nuba Mountains Made Public

WASHINGTON -- Today, Sudan’s Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamad takes the platform to speak on “Strengthening the Resilience of Communities” at the International Peace Institute in New York. In recent weeks, Hamad has himself challenged the resilience of Sudanese people by supervising the government’s brutal repression of peaceful demonstrators, activists, press, and civil society organizations. Although hundreds were killed in the streets and at least a thousand remain detained by state security, Hamad, whose government shut down the internet for almost a day, still publicly claims that the grisly photos leaking out on social media are being recycled from the Egyptian revolution. Hamad’s responsibility extends beyond the recent crackdown; he also handles negotiations on humanitarian access to civilians living in war-torn Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The Enough Project has made public the pressing humanitarian needs of 800,000 civilians still living in rebel-held part of Sudan’s South Kordofan state in its new report, “Life in the Nuba Mountains.” The facts in the report challenge Hamad’s narrative on the government’s efforts to promote and strengthen resilience with the release of a new policy brief and report about the humanitarian condition of people living in the Nuba Mountains area. Hamad’s work, and his government’s policies throughout Sudan have had devastating consequences for the Sudanese people, particularly those in the country’s war-torn border regions. The report, which is based on research secretly conducted in rebel-held parts of South Kordofan, which experience aerial bombardment on a daily basis, proposes a set of immediate humanitarian interventions to support those struggling for survival. The Enough Project’s accompanying policy brief, “Aid as a Weapon of War in Sudan,” contextualizes the situation and argues that the Sudanese government’s ongoing manipulation of aid access across the country offers another reason for the adoption of a comprehensive approach to the problems affecting Sudan.

For decades my people have been living off the land and providing for themselves despite drought and conflict,” says Rev. Andudu Adam Elnail, the bishop of Kadugli diocese “Now they face bombings timed specifically so that they are prevented from planting their crops and tending their fields. Adults go hungry so that their children can eat. But many still continue to die from hunger and diseases. Thousands of children are living in caves in the mountains without education. People are living life under siege and in constant fear.

Enough Co-Founder John Prendergast said, "The Sudan regime continues to use the denial of humanitarian aid as a weapon of war. The result of this is a steady diminishing of the capacity of Nuba communities to cope with this imposed deprivation.  It is a most cynical approach to warfare, slowly bleeding the people of their ability to survive.  The international community must become more robust in its efforts to break this humanitarian blockade.  Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese lives depend on it."

The “Life in the Nuba Mountains” report finds that households in the region are cultivating 73 percent less land than they were before the conflict erupted. These patterns amplify the recent findings of the Sudan Consortium, which tracked the timing of bombing attacks in both 2012 and 2013 and found evidence of a deliberate and ongoing intention to disrupt the planting and harvesting of food crops. Currently, in South Kordofan, 62% of adults are restricting their own food consumption so that children can eat. 43% of surveyed households do not even have enough food to last a week. 83% of those surveyed say they are reducing the number of meals they eat around 3.5 times a week to cope with the lack of food, 80% are limiting the portion sizes with similar frequency.

Steven Hansch, an expert on humanitarian aid with Relief International, reviewed the report’s methodology and findings. He found “the researchers’ assessment techniques are consistent with international practice and the analysis covers hunger, water access, education, health care, displacement, sanitation issues --- metrics that effectively capture a snapshot of life in the area.

Life in the Nuba Mountains” argues that concrete steps, such as food distribution, agricultural support, hand pump repairs, and latrine construction, could alleviate these immediate food, health, and sanitation needs, as well as improve the long-term ability to cultivate the land. The policy brief augments this argument, highlighting that the current isolated negotiations for access to conflict regions must be brought under one umbrella conversation about ending the war in South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile. Otherwise, Akshaya Kumar, Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst at the Enough Project argues, “the Sudanese government will continue to wield aid as a weapon of war and the urgent humanitarian needs identified in the “Life in the Nuba Mountains” report will remain unmet.

Read the policy brief, "Aid as a Weapon of War in Sudan": http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/aid-weapon-war-sudan

Read the report, "Life in the Nuba Mountain": http://www.enoughproject.org/reports/life-nuba-mountains

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

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