Press Releases

The Enough Project and Mercer Street Records Present: RAISE Hope for Congo

Date: 
Jun 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ashley Bryan, ashley@pressherepublicity.com
 

 

The Enough Project and Mercer Street Records Present:
RAISE Hope For Congo
 

A compilation to help stop the world’s worst violence against women & girls as a result of conflict in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Curated by music expert Nic Harcourt, the compilation features exclusive tracks from renowned artists such as Norah Jones, Mos Def, Sheryl Crow, Angelique Kidjo,
Damien Rice, Amadou & Mariam & Bat For Lashes

AVAILABLE DIGITALLY ON JUNE 8th; PHYSICAL RELEASE ON JUNE 22nd

Raise Hope For Congo Album CoverNew York, NY – June 8, 2010 - Enough, a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity, has joined forces with Mercer Street Records to release a special compilation album curated by leading music expert Nic Harcourt (Los Angeles Times, KCRW Radio, A&E Network). The compilation, titled RAISE Hope For Congo, brings together many of contemporary music’s leading artists in solidarity with Congolese women who have been the target of violence and rape amidst war in the region fueled by the demand for conflict minerals used in electronics from cell phones to computers. The incredible genre-spanning album includes exclusive unreleased tracks from Norah Jones, Mos Def, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Bat For Lashes, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Amadou & Mariam and more as well as a special reading from Sheryl Crow. The compilation is set for digital release on June 8th and physical release on June 22nd.

RAISE Hope For Congo was conceived by executive principal of the Unison Agency, Shahin Shahida, who serves as the compilation’s executive producer. After reading Not on Our Watch, a book by the co-founder of Enough John Prendergast, Shahida saw the need for a compilation that would help open the world’s eyes to the crisis in the Congo. Shahida's vision for the compilation was shared by colleague Zeid Masri, an investor in Downtown Music, who helped set the wheels in motion to produce and make the release a reality. The Enough Project and Mercer Street Records have produced this compilation in the effort to make the protection and empowerment of Congo’s women a priority, as well as inspire individuals around the world to raise their voice for peace in Congo. John Prendergast, a prominent human rights activist and author who was the director of African Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, says, One of the principal reasons why there is little international response to the terrible human rights crimes in Congo -- particularly against women and girls -- is that people just don't know that these things are happening. This compilation album will be a beacon to light the path to educating hundreds of thousands of people about the issues in Congo and what all of us can do to help end the suffering there."

All profits raised through this compilation will help fund critical field research and awareness raising efforts that will work to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the insatiable worldwide demand for electronic products is fueling violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war. The conflict has become the deadliest since World War II and the most dangerous place in the world for women and girls.

The compilation track listing is:

1. Lonely Soldier – Damien Rice
2. Not Immune – Imaad Wasif
3. Angel Mom – Jesca Hoop
4. 40 – Meshell Ndegeocello
5. Je t’aime – Staff Benda Bilili
6. Leila – Angelique Kidjo
7. Na Miso – Chantal Kreviazuk
8. World of Trouble – Norah Jones
9. My Name is Mwamaroyi – Sheryl Crow
10. Don’t Let Me – Amel Larrieux
11. Raise Hope – Omékongo Dibinga & Shahin Shahida
12. Never Again – Ozomatli & The Agahoza Shalom Youth Village
13. Sleep Alone – Bat For Lashes
14. Before You Were Young (Live at Joe’s Pub) – Travis
15. Hora Zero (Live at Wecheter) – Rodrigo y Gabriela
16. Tambara – Amadou & Mariam
17. Nsimba & Nzuzi – Konono No 1
18. Priority (A Cappella) – Mos Def

Visit the website: http://raisehopeforcongomusic.org/

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ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT:
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in eastern Congo, Sudan, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org. Enough's RAISE Hope for Congo campaign aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists that will advocate for the protection and empowerment Congolese women and girls. The Enough Project will collaborate with national, grassroots, and Congolese organizations, across various constituencies and the political spectrum, to build this grassroots movement. Enough will also continue to provide policy analysis and recommendations. To learn more, visit
www.raisehopeforcongo.org.

ABOUT MERCER STREET RECORDS:
Mercer Street Records is a part of Downtown Music and the sister label to Downtown Records. Mercer Street Records releases consistently incredible music and videos from David Gray, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ozomatli, Kesiah Jones, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Asa, Jesse Harris, William Fitzsimmons, Femi Kuti and other remarkable artists from around the world.

Downtown Music, LLC is an independently owned company which operates Downtown Records, Downtown Music Publishing, Downtown Music Services (Licensing Group), RCRDLBL.com and Downtown Recording Studios. Downtown Records is comprised of its Downtown and Mercer Street imprints and joint venture partners Dim Mak, Fool’s Gold, and Mad Decent Records.
www.mercerstreetrecords.com / www.downtownmusic.com

Downtown Records is distributed by Universal Music’s Fontana Distribution, with certain releases distributed by ADA. Offices are located in New York and Los Angeles.

ABOUT UNISON AGENCY:
For nearly a decade, Unison has partnered with foundations, associations, multi-laterals, sovereign governments and non-governmental agencies as well as socially conscious companies to develop and enhance brands as a means to communicate real and lasting change in the world. They are dedicated to helping clients champion their causes and continue their lifelong work as activists through sustainable brand equity and cause marketing efforts.

Their clients include the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria, Friends of the Global Fight, United Nations, The Enough Project at The Center for American Progress, Ocean
Conservancy, The Endeavor Group, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, U.S. Green Building Council, The German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.

For more information, visit: http://www.unisonagency.com.

 

Rights Groups Condemn U.S. Decision to Attend Bashir Inauguration

Date: 
May 28, 2010
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Susan Morgan, Investors Against Genocide, susan@paxcommunications.org, 617-797-0451
Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, 202-386-1618

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several U.S.-based human rights groups have criticized the U.S. government’s decision to send a representative to the inauguration of Omar al-Bashir as president of Sudan. 

Bashir, the sole sitting head of state wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC), was sworn in on Thursday after his re-election in voting that was marred by boycotts and widespread fraud. Human rights groups had urged countries to boycott the inauguration to demonstrate their commitment to international justice.

“The administration missed an opportunity to build leverage and lead by example,” states John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress.  “An announcement a week before the inauguration that the US would not participate would have stiffened the spines of other wavering countries and highlighted the issue, reasserting US leadership on principle. Getting nothing in return for this reversal of long-standing US policy is baffling and ineffective diplomacy."

According to news reports, the inauguration was attended by the presidents of Chad, Eritrea, Djibouti, Central African Republic, Malawi and Mauritania. No top Arab leaders were present. The UN was represented by the heads of its two peacekeeping missions in Sudan.

According to the above human rights organizations, the current implementation of the U.S. policy on Sudan has not addressed a number of extremely concerning developments including clear indications that the national election was neither free nor fair, non-implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ongoing government attacks on civilians, and ongoing obstruction by the Government of Sudan in access for aid workers and UN investigators to Darfur.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve.
 
Stop Genocide Now (SGN) is a grassroots community dedicated to working to protect populations in grave danger of violence, death and displacement resulting from genocide. Through active education, advocacy and policy change SGN resolves to change the way the world responds to genocide. SGN is currently focused on creating awareness and action to stop the genocide in Darfur and deal appropriately with its aftermath. All of our projects focus on and utilize the strength and power in grassroots connectivity. For information, visit
www.stopgenocidenow.org.

Investors Against Genocide is a non-profit organization dedicated to convincing mutual fund and other investment firms to change their investing strategy so as to avoid complicity in genocide. The organization works with individuals, companies, organizations, financial institutions, the press, and government agencies to build awareness and to create financial, public relations, and regulatory pressure for investment firms to change. The ultimate goals are that the Government of Sudan ends its deadly genocide in Darfur and that investment firms avoid investing in genocide. For more information, visit www.investorsagainstgenocide.org.

Press Release: New Law Gives President Obama Mandate to Help End LRA's Violence and Child Abductions in Central Africa

Date: 
May 25, 2010

 

Resolve Uganda Logo  Enough logo   Invisible Children
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contacts:
Michael Poffenberger, Resolve Uganda, michael@ resolveuganda.org, 202-596-2517
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project, jhutson@enoughproject.org, 202-386-1618

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama has signed landmark legislation giving him a clear mandate for robust action to help end Africa’s longest-running insurgency and rebuild communities devastated by the brutality and thousands of child abductions of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, state the Enough Project, Resolve Uganda, and Invisible Children.

The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, which Congress passed with broad bipartisan support on May 12, states that it is U.S. policy to support efforts “to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield in the continued absence of a negotiated solution, and to disarm and demobilize the remaining LRA fighters.” It also requires President Obama to develop a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to protect civilians in central Africa from LRA attacks and take steps to permanently stop the rebel group’s violence. Furthermore, it calls on the United States to increase humanitarian assistance to countries currently affected by LRA violence and to support economic recovery and transitional justice efforts in Uganda.  

President Obama signed the bill into law yesterday evening, during a White House ceremony that included key Members of Congress and representatives of Enough Project, Resolve Uganda, and Invisible Children.

“President Obama personally told us that he is committing his administration to do all it can to bring an end to the scourge of the LRA,” said Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast. “The bill made it to Obama's desk because of the untiring work of activists all over the U.S. Now that we know the activists are being heard, it is time to raise our voices even louder to make sure President Obama follows through with a robust and effective plan to neutralize Kony and the LRA leadership.”

The human rights groups applauded and thanked the Congressional co-sponsors for their leadership on this historic leglislation. The law was introduced into the US Senate and House of Representatives in May 2009, and has since become the most widely supported Africa-specific legislation in recent Congressional history. The law was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 65 Senators and 202 Representatives, representing 49 states.

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) said, “I look forward to seeing the implementation of the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.  For decades, the people of Uganda and surrounding countries have suffered under Joseph Kony’s LRA; under this act, the United States can begin working on bringing Kony to justice and instituting a roadmap to peace with the Ugandan leadership.”  

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) said, “I applaud President Obama for signing the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law.  This measure sends a clear message that the United States is committed to bring new leadership and resources toward ending the Lord Resistance Army’s reign of terror in Central Africa.  I look forward to working with the administration to develop a plan to enhance the protection of civilians, to disarm Joseph Kony and the LRA, and to bring a lasting resolution to this conflict.”

The legislation states that it is U.S. policy to support efforts “to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield in the continued absence of a negotiated solution, and to disarm and demobilize the remaining LRA fighters.” It also requires President Obama to develop a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to protect civilians in central Africa from LRA attacks and take steps to permanently stop the rebel group’s violence. And it calls on the United States to increase humanitarian assistance to countries currently affected by LRA violence and to support economic recovery and transitional justice efforts in Uganda.

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) said, “This bill’s success is due to the grassroots effort of young people across the U.S. committed to ending the atrocities of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.  This is just the first step.  This legislation should spur the administration to devise a strategy to put the LRA on the path to extinction.  Congress and human rights activists must press the administration to devise a credible strategy; and then have it executed. This is the moral policy given the unfathomable atrocities of the LRA.  It is also what is needed if the region is to have a chance at peace and stability.”

U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) stated, “The signing ceremony was a tremendous tribute to the thousands of activists across the country who organized themselves, educated their neighbors, and pushed the Congress to do the right thing. We will need them to stay engaged as we move to make the goals of this legislation a reality.” He also stated on a YouTube video, “To all the people, especially the young people, who took time to write letters, to email their members of Congress, to come down to Washington, you made this happen. So congratulations.”

The law aims to help secure a lasting peace in Uganda by increasing assistance to war-affected communities in northern Uganda and supporting initiatives to help resolve longstanding divisions between Uganda’s north and south. It seeks to increase funding for transitional justice initiatives and calls on the Ugandan government to reinvigorate its commitment to a transparent and accountable reconstruction process in war-affected areas.

The White House issued a statement by President Obama on the signing of the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. The president recounted stories of loss and pain caused by the lawless actions of the LRA.

The president stated: “The Lord’s Resistance Army preys on civilians – killing, raping, and mutilating the people of central Africa; stealing and brutalizing their children; and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.  Its leadership, indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival.  It fills its ranks of fighters with the young boys and girls it abducts.  By any measure, its actions are an affront to human dignity. 

“Of the millions affected by the violence, each had an individual story and voice that we must not forget.  In northern Uganda, we recall Angelina Atyam’s 14-year old daughter, whom the LRA kidnapped in 1996 and held captive for nearly eight years -- one of 139 girls abducted that day from a boarding school.  In southern Sudan, we recall John Loboi -- a father, a husband, a brother, a local humanitarian assistance worker killed in an ambush while helping others in 2003.  Now, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, the people of Dungu and of Obo, too, have their stories of loss and pain. 

“We mourn those killed.  We pray for those abducted to be freed, and for those wounded to heal.  We call on the ranks of the LRA to disarm and surrender.  We believe that the leadership of the LRA should be brought to justice.”

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Resolve Uganda is a U.S.-based coalition of humanitarian, faith-based and advocacy organizations working to get U.S. political leaders to take the steps that will permanently end the war in northern Uganda. For more information, visit www.resolveuganda.org

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org

Invisible Children uses film, creativity, and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore Northern Uganda to peace and prosperity. Programs on the ground focus on long-term development through education and economic opportunities, while awareness and advocacy efforts focus on educating and inspiring the Western world to use their unique voice for change. The organization was created after the release of the 2004 film “Invisible Children: Rough Cut,” a revealing documentary about the plight of child soldiers in northern Uganda. For more information, visit www.invisiblechildren.com 

President Obama: Act to End Lord’s Resistance Army Violence in Central Africa

Date: 
May 24, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, 202-386-1618

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama should move swiftly to implement landmark legislation he signed today committing the US to help civilians in central Africa threatened by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a coalition of 49 human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based groups said today. The rebel group has carried out one of the world’s longest-running and most brutal insurgencies.

The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama during a White House ceremony today that included key Members of Congress and representatives of civil society organizations. It states that it is U.S. policy to support efforts “to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield in the continued absence of a negotiated solution, and to disarm and demobilize the remaining LRA fighters.” It also requires President Obama to develop a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to protect civilians in central Africa from LRA attacks and take steps to permanently stop the rebel group’s violence. Furthermore, it calls on the United States to increase humanitarian assistance to countries currently affected by LRA violence and to support economic recovery and transitional justice efforts in Uganda.

The coalition of supporting organizations includes groups in Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan – where communities face ongoing attacks by the LRA – as well as in Uganda, where the conflict originated.

Human rights defenders in Niangara, a town in northern Congo deeply affected by recent LRA attacks, in a public letter to President Obama, published last week, pleaded for concrete and urgent action against the LRA. “We feel forgotten and abandoned. Our suffering seems to bring little attention from the international community or our own government,” the letter says. “We live each day with the fear of more LRA attacks. What chance do we have if no one hears our cries and if no one comes to our aid?”

The law was introduced into the US Senate and House of Representatives in May 2009, and has since become the most widely supported Africa-specific legislation in recent Congressional history. The law was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 65 Senators and 201 Representatives, representing 49 states and 90% of US citizens. Tens of thousands of Americans mobilized in support of the legislation, participating in hundreds of meetings with Congressional offices across the country. 

“For years civilians in central Africa have suffered immensely from LRA violence,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This legislation gives President Obama a clear mandate to work with international and national partners to apprehend indicted LRA commanders as part of a comprehensive strategy to permanently stop LRA atrocities.”

“President Obama should move swiftly to take advantage of this historic opportunity to help bring closure to one of the worst human rights crises of our day,” added Van Woudenberg.

LRA violence has plagued central Africa for more than two decades. In northern Uganda, thousands of civilians were killed and nearly two million displaced by the conflict between the rebels and the Ugandan government.  In July 2005, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the senior leaders of the LRA for crimes they committed in northern Uganda, but the suspects remain at large. Though the rebel group ended attacks in northern Uganda in 2006, it then moved its bases to the northern Democratic Republic of Congo and has since committed acts of violence against civilians in Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Kony and his top commanders sustain their ranks by abducting civilians, including children, to use as soldiers and sexual slaves.

In December 2008, following the collapse of a negotiations process, Sudan, Uganda and Congo began a joint military offensive, “Operation Lightening Thunder,” against the rebel group, with backing from the United States. In the subsequent 17 months the LRA has dispersed into multiple smaller groups and has brutally murdered at least 1,500 civilians and abducted at least 1,600 people, many of them children. LRA violence has often targeted churches, school and markets, and includes the massacre of over 300 Congolese civilians in an attack last December.  

"If left unchecked, the LRA leadership will continue to kill and abduct throughout central Africa, threatening stability in four countries and potentially undermining the referendum in southern Sudan. The LRA is a clear threat to international peace and security,” said John Prendergast, Co-founder of the Enough Project. “The US now is tasked with leading a global effort to end this threat once and for all."

The law also aims to help secure a lasting peace in Uganda by increasing assistance to war-affected communities in northern Uganda and supporting initiatives to help resolve longstanding divisions between Uganda’s north and south. It seeks to increase funding for transitional justice initiatives and calls on the Ugandan government to reinvigorate its commitment to a transparent and accountable reconstruction process in war-affected areas.

“Until now the world has turned its back to the suffering of our people,” said Bishop Samuel Enosa Peni of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan’s Nzara Diocese, which has been deeply affected by LRA violence. “We are praying for US and international leaders to hear our cries and end this violence once and for all.”

To read the letter to President Obama from human rights defenders in Niangara, click here.

With questions, please contact:

Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch (English, French): London +44-77-1166-4960 (mobile)

Michael Poffenberger, Resolve Uganda (English): Washington, DC +1 202-596-2517 / michael (at) resolveuganda.org

Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project (English): Washington, DC +1-202-386-1618 / jhutson (at) enoughproject.org

Supporting organizations include:

Human Rights Watch

Resolve Uganda, USA

Enough Project, USA

Invisible Children, USA

Refugees International, USA

Athletes for Africa / GuluWalk, USA

Genocide Intervention Network, USA

Global Action for Children, USA

Citizens for Global Solutions, USA

Institute on Religion and Democracy, USA

International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, USA

Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment, Uganda

Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Uganda

Grassroots Reconciliation Group, Uganda

Centre d’Intervention Psychosociale (CIP), Niangara, Democratic Republic of Congo

Voix des Opprimes, Niangara, Democratic Republic of Congo

Commission Paroissiale Justice et Paix, Niangara, Democratic Republic of Congo

Société Civile Niangara, Democratic Republic of Congo

Société Civile Faradje, Democratic Republic of Congo

Commission Justice et Paix (Dungu-Duru), Democratic Republic of Congo

Encadrement des Femmes Indigènes et Ménages Vulnérables (EFIM), Democratic Republic of Congo

Centre de Recherche sur l’Environnement, la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (CREDDHO), Democratic Republic of Congo

L’Action Humanitaire pour le Développement Intégral (AHDI), Democratic Republic of Congo

Centre d’Appui pour le Développement Rural Communautaire (CADERCO), Democratic Republic of Congo

Fondation Mères et Enfant (FME), Democratic Republic of Congo

Campagne Pour Paix (CPP), Democratic Republic of Congo

Fondation Point de vue des Jeunes Africains pour le Développement (FPJAP), Democratic Republic of Congo

Action Sociale pour la Paix et le Développement (ASPD), Democratic Republic of Congo

Programme d’Appui a la lutte contre la misère (PAMI), Democratic Republic of Congo

Groupe d’Hommes pour la Lutte Contre les Violences (GHOLVI), Democratic Republic of Congo

Association des Jeunes Engagés pour le développement et la santé (AJDS), Democratic Republic of Congo

Action Globale pour la Promotion Sociale et la paix (AGPSP), Democratic Republic of Congo

Union d’Action pour les Initiatives des Développement (UAID), Democratic Republic of Congo

Africa Justice Peace and Development (AJPD), Democratic Republic of Congo

Synergie des Femmes pour les Victimes des Violences Sexuelles  (SFVS), Democratic Republic of Congo

Ligue pour la Solidarité Congolaise (LSC), Democratic Republic of Congo

Collectif des Organisations des Jeunes Solidaires du Congo (COJESKI), Democratic Republic of Congo

Nzara Diocese, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, South Sudan

Tombura-Yambio Diocese, Catholic Church, South Sudan

Nabanga Development Agency, South Sudan
Maridi Service Agency, South Sudan
Young Women Christian Association, South Sudan
Mundri Relief & Development Association, South Sudan 
New Sudan Women Association, South Sudan
Gbudue Construction Company, South Sudan
Yubu Development Association, South Sudan
Zande Cultural Association, South Sudan
Yambio Farmers Association, South Sudan
Joint Effort for Support of Orphans, South Sudan

 

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org
 
 

Rights Groups Respond to Today’s Testimony by Obama Administration’s Envoy to Sudan

Date: 
May 12, 2010

Supporting NGO logos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

Contacts: 
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project, jhutson@enoughproject.org,
202-386-1618
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, andrea@savedarfur.org, 202-460-6756
Joshua Berkman, American Jewish World Service, jberkman@ajws.org, 212-792-2893
Mame Annan-Brown, Genocide Intervention Network, annan-brown@genocideintervention.net,
202-559-7409

 


Rights Groups Respond to Today’s Testimony by Obama Administration’s Envoy to Sudan

Why the U.S. Must Exert More Pressure and Hold Parties Accountable to Prevent a Return to Full-Scale War

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a hearing today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, retired Major General Scott Gration, testified on the Obama administration’s approach to Sudan. Four leading anti-genocide and Sudan advocacy organizations -- the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, American Jewish World ServiceGenocide Intervention Network, and the Save Darfur Coalition– jointly issued the following statement in response.

The Special Envoy rightly emphasizes the urgency and enormity of issues to be addressed in the brief period before the scheduled January independence referendum for South Sudan. Yet, it is perplexing to hear the Special Envoy maintain that he has all the resources he currently needs to do his job in both South Sudan and Darfur. Since the Sudanese peace process remains stagnant, while risk of a return to full-scale, national war grows and a referendum to split Africa’s largest country draws near, the Obama administration should introduce the consequences and pressures it promised for the lack of measurable progress and continued backsliding on key benchmarks. President Obama should empower Secretary of State Clinton and Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to provide their personal, sustained leadership in implementing the policy and renew a diplomatic push for peace, backed by pressure-based leverage.

Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry was blunt in expressing concern that the U.S. government needs to do more and more at senior levels to help divert potential disaster. “You need increased leverage,” Senator Kerry told the Special Envoy, noting that the Director of National Intelligence has warned that Sudan is the country most at risk of a new genocide or round of mass atrocities. Through the implementation of its own pressure- and incentive-based policy, the Obama administration could create real leverage in pursuit of peace.

John Norris, Executive Director of the Enough Project, commented, “While it was welcome to hear the Special Envoy condemn renewed Sudanese Government attacks in Darfur for what seems to be the first time, there still seems to be a real reluctance to take concrete measures and impose tangible costs for Sudanese President al-Bashir’s continued abuses -- ranging from attacks on civilians to stealing the national election. In order to prevent a return to full-scale, national war, the U.S. must marshal more resources, exert more pressure, and hold all parties accountable.”

“We appreciate General Gration’s honesty today in assessing the dangerous realities that currently exist in Darfur and the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the people of Sudan,” said Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition. “Before it’s too late and the referendum becomes as disastrous as the recent elections, General Gration, Secretary of State Clinton and Ambassador Rice must begin working with international partners and start putting points on the board. They must put sufficient pressure on all parties to protect millions of civilians in Sudan still at risk of violence, implement the final stages of the 2005 peace agreement on time, and restore the rule of law and democratic governance so the Sudanese people can finally control their own destinies.”

“General Gration’s repeated assertion that success will require a truly international response underscores the need for personal leadership at the top levels of the Obama administration,” said American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger. “Our government must send a clear signal that peace and security for millions in Sudan is a priority and that the administration’s Sudan policy of incentives and disincentives will be fully implemented.”

While we welcome the effort at today’s hearing to raise Sudan as a priority following the rigged elections, Special Envoy Gration’s testimony was short on critical details about the Obama administration’s plans to implement the Sudan policy,” states Mark Hanis, President of Genocide Intervention Network. “We need transparency around key benchmarks if we are going to avert bigger crises as we approach the 2011 referendum.”

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community. Visit www.ajws.org

Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently focused on conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Democratic Republic of Congo, among other areas of concern, Genocide Intervention Network envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities.  The organization is building a permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to prevent and stop genocide. For more information, please visit www.genocideintervention.net

The Save Darfur Coalitionan alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org

‘A Benchmarks Report Card for Sudan’: Rights Groups Find Sudanese Peace Process is Stagnating and Backsliding

Date: 
May 6, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project, jhutson@enoughproject.org,
202-386-1618
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, andrea@savedarfur.org, 202-460-6756?
Joshua Berkman, American Jewish World Service, jberkman@ajws.org, 212-792-2893
Mame Annan-Brown, Genocide Intervention Network, annan-brown@genocideintervention.net, 202-559-7409
Gabriel Stauring, iAct/Stop Genocide Now, gabriel@stopgenocidenow.org, 310-415-2863
Susan Morgan, Investors Against Genocide, susan@paxcommunications.org, 617-797-0451
 

 

‘A Benchmarks Report Card for Sudan’: Rights Groups Find Sudanese Peace Process is Stagnating and Backsliding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An independent review by six leading human rights and Sudan advocacy groups reveals that the Sudanese peace processes for Darfur and Southern Sudan show no significant progress. They are at best stagnating and at worst backsliding toward complete failure and a return to full-scale, national war.

The report released today, “A Benchmark Report Card for Sudan,” analyzes 28 leading indicators of progress across nine overarching categories of benchmarks over the past six months. The report concludes that 17 indicators show significant worsening of the situation on the ground, while the remaining 11 indicators show a stalemate. The Enough Project and the Save Darfur Coalition developed the report along with partners American Jewish World Service, Genocide Intervention Network, iAct/Stop Genocide Now, and Investors Against Genocide.

John Norris, the Enough Project’s Executive Director, stated, “The report card for Sudan reveals an absence of progress. This clear-eyed, transparent, and independent analysis makes painfully clear how much work remains to be done and how dire the situation remains on the ground. The administration indicated it would apply pressures if the parties failed to make progress. Well, the parties have slowed to a halt and are sliding backward in critical areas.”

“Six months ago the Obama administration released its strategy to bring peace to Sudan,” said Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition. “While the new policy included no public benchmarks to measure progress in conditions on the ground, the policy was backed by strong statements of support for a policy of incentives and pressures by Secretary of State Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice."

“Assessment of progress and decisions regarding incentives and disincentives will be based on verifiable changes in conditions on the ground. Backsliding by any party will be met with credible pressure in the form of disincentives leveraged by our government and our international partners.”  -- Secretary of State Clinton, October 19, 2009

“There will be no rewards for the status quo, no incentives without concrete and tangible progress. There will be significant consequences for parties that backslide or simply stand still. All parties will be held to account.” -- UN Ambassador Susan E. Rice, October 19, 2009

“Our report card for Sudan calls for Clinton and Rice to fully implement the Sudan policy and be ready to respond with multilateral pressure when Sudan’s dictator Omar al-Bashir fails to make progress towards peace,” said Lotwis.

A Benchmark Report Card for Sudan” demonstrates that, despite the initially encouraging signs that the administration was committed to seeing verifiable change in Sudan, there has been a lack of change since the administration’s policy was put into place. It argues that President Obama should empower Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to personally step up and make sure that the regime in Khartoum is held accountable for a lack of progress and for backsliding away from peace.

Read ”A Benchmark Report Card for Sudan.

###

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org
 
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community. Visit
www.ajws.org
 
Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently focused on conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Democratic Republic of Congo, among other areas of concern, Genocide Intervention Network envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities.  The organization is building a permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to prevent and stop genocide. For more information, please visit
www.genocideintervention.net

i-ACT/Stop Genocide Now seeks to empower individuals within communities, institutions, and governments to take personal responsibility to act on behalf of those affected by genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity.  i-ACT is a global team dedicated to putting a face on the numbers of dead, dying, and displaced while creating mutually enriching relationships between those in danger and those willing and able to act, fostering a new culture of participation.  For more information, please visit www.stopgenocidenow.org
 
Investors Against Genocide is a non-profit organization dedicated to convincing mutual fund and other investment firms to change their investing strategy so as to avoid complicity in genocide. The organization works with individuals, companies, organizations, financial institutions, the press, and government agencies to build awareness and to create financial, public relations, and regulatory pressure for investment firms to change. The ultimate goals are that the Government of Sudan ends its deadly genocide in Darfur and that investment firms avoid investing in genocide. For more information, visit
www.investorsagainstgenocide.org
 
The Save Darfur Coalition –an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at
www.SaveDarfur.org
 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: How Sudan Is Backsliding on Benchmarks Crucial to Peace: Rights Groups

Date: 
Apr 29, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project, 202-386-1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org
Julia Thornton, Humanity United, 650-587-2016, jthornton@humanityunited.org
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, 202-460-6756, andrea@savedarfur.org
Joshua Berkman, American Jewish World Service, 212-792-2893, jberkman@ajws.org
Mame Annan-Brown, Genocide Intervention Network, 202-559-7409, annan-brown@genocideintervention.net
Gabriel Stauring, Stop Genocide Now, 310-415-2863, gabriel@stopgenocidenow.org
Susan Morgan, Investors Against Genocide, 617-797-0451, susan@paxcommunications.org
Ben Greenberg, Physicians for Human Rights, 617-510-3417, bgreenberg@phrusa.org

 

How Sudan Is Backsliding on Benchmarks Crucial to Peace: Rights Groups Why the U.S. Must Bring Pressure to Head Off Full-Scale War
 

READ the strategy paper by eight leading Sudan advocacy organizations
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A return to full-scale war can be headed off, say eight leading anti-genocide and Sudan advocacy organizations, but only if the Obama administration quickly implements its policy to pressure parties who are backsliding on benchmarks crucial to a durable peace in Sudan.

The Obama administration has stated that the parties in Sudan would be held accountable and incentives and pressures would be deployed in response to their measure of progress or backsliding on the ground.
 
Now, almost six months after the Obama administration’s initial Sudan policy review, which promised an assessment of certain leading indicators of progress – or lack thereof – the Obama administration has yet to make clear that it is actually pursuing its policy as stated while holding the parties accountable for their actions on the ground. To that end, an eight-member group of Sudan advocacy organizations has released an independent accounting and action plan, entitled “Grading the Benchmarks.”
 
“Grading the Benchmarks” argues that President Obama must own Sudan policy far more directly, and actually implement pressures and incentives where appropriate, or face growing risk that violence in Sudan will spiral.
 
The group includes the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Humanity United, American Jewish World Service, Genocide Intervention Network, iACT/Stop Genocide Now, Investors Against Genocide, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Save Darfur Coalition.
 
“A clear assessment of the situation on the ground in Sudan reveals a number of disturbing trends and the continued potential for much broader, renewed violence,” states Enough Project Executive Director John Norris. “However, we have yet to see a firm response from the administration despite its promise to bring a new approach to Sudan policy based on deeds, not rhetoric.”
 
The Obama administration built a diplomatic approach to Sudan around periodic, hard-nosed policy assessments of the situation on the ground. Yet to date, there are virtually no indications that the administration has held any of the parties to account for their actions.

“It’s been six months since President Obama’s Sudan policy went into effect and there has been no demonstrable progress towards peace, security, or justice in Sudan,” said Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition. “It’s time for the administration to back its words with deeds and increase the pressure on all parties in Sudan to end the conflict in Darfur, ensure a peaceful referendum for the South, and advance democracy and human rights throughout Sudan.”

READ “Grading the Benchmarks."
 
Also this week, Sudan Now, a campaign by anti-genocide and human rights organizations, has rolled out an ad campaign calling on President Obama to empower Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to take charge of implementing U.S. policy on Sudan. The organizations are running a series of print ads in the Washington Post and Washington Express, and in Politico.

###

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org

Humanity United is a philanthropic organization committed to building a world where mass atrocities and modern-day slavery are no longer possible. By helping to build permanent constituencies to end atrocities and slavery, supporting efforts that empower affected communities, and addressing the root causes of conflict and injustice, Humanity United seeks to help restore human dignity in places where it has been lost and to help create a lasting global peace. To learn more, visit www.HumanityUnited.org

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community. Visit www.ajws.org
 
Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently focused on conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Democratic Republic of Congo, among other areas of concern, Genocide Intervention Network envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities.  The organization is building a permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to prevent and stop genocide. For more information, please visit www.genocideintervention.net

i-ACT/Stop Genocide Now seeks to empower individuals within communities, institutions, and governments to take personal responsibility to act on behalf of those affected by genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity.  i-ACT is a global team dedicated to putting a face on the numbers of dead, dying, and displaced while creating mutually enriching relationships between those in danger and those willing and able to act, fostering a new culture of participation.  For more information, please visit www.stopgenocidenow.org
 
Investors Against Genocide is a non-profit organization dedicated to convincing mutual fund and other investment firms to change their investing strategy so as to avoid complicity in genocide. The organization works with individuals, companies, organizations, financial institutions, the press, and government agencies to build awareness and to create financial, public relations, and regulatory pressure for investment firms to change. The ultimate goals are that the Government of Sudan ends its deadly genocide in Darfur and that investment firms avoid investing in genocide. For more information, visit www.investorsagainstgenocide.org

Physicians for Human Rights(PHR) mobilizes the health professions to advance the health and dignity of all people by protecting human rights. As a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. For more information, visit www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

The Save Darfur Coalition –an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org
 

Sudan Now Campaign Calls on Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice to Make Sudan a Priority

Date: 
Apr 26, 2010
Author: 
Jonathan Hutson

Contacts:
Jonathan Hutson, the Enough Project, (202) 386-1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, (202) 460-6756, andrea@savedarfur.org
Julia Thornton, Humanity United, (650) 587-2030, jthornton@humanityunited.org

 

Sudan Now Campaign Calls on Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice to Make Sudan a Priority and Personally Lead U.S. Policy for Africa’s Largest Country

State Department officials’ leadership needed to guide Obama administration’s stalled policy on Sudan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following this month’s flawed national elections in Sudan, a group of anti-genocide and human rights organizations is calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to increase their oversight of the faltering U.S. policy on Sudan. The organizations are making the call as part of the Sudan Now campaign, which is running a series of print ads beginning today in the Washington Post and Washington Express, and in Politico on Wednesday. Sudan Now is concerned that the current implementation of the six-month-old U.S. policy on Sudan has not addressed a number of troubling developments, including clear indications that the national election held earlier this month was neither free nor fair, ongoing government attacks in recent months have killed hundreds and displaced thousands, and ongoing obstruction by the Government of Sudan in access for aid workers and UN investigators to Darfur. Meanwhile, the country faces a vote for southern independence in January 2011—a possible trigger to a return to civil war.

“Sudan is entering into a critical period, with the aftermath of the elections still upon us and a referendum on southern Sudan’s independence immediately ahead. Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice need to get personally engaged if the United States wants to avoid a return to widespread bloodshed in Sudan,” said Randy Newcomb, president and CEO of Humanity United. “Only high-level engagement can ensure that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement is fully implemented and the international community acts together to ensure peace in Africa’s largest nation. The administration laid out a promising policy last year—it is time for President Obama and his top advisers to fully implement it.”

The Obama administration’s Sudan policy, announced in October 2009, clearly stated that tough benchmarks would be applied to Sudan, and that a committee of deputies from various cabinet agencies would assess progress “based on verifiable changes in conditions on the ground.” However, neither the administration nor the deputies’ review process have addressed the many disturbing developments on the ground:
• National elections that were neither free nor fair.
• A continuing offensive in Jebel Marra in Darfur that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands, and continued inability for relief organizations to access this area.
• Ongoing violence and clashes in South Sudan that have claimed more than 2,000 lives in the last year and driven a quarter-million people from their homes.
• Ongoing violations of a U.N. arms embargo on Darfur by both the Government of Sudan and rebel groups.
• The resistance of the Government of Sudan to cooperate in any form with the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Sudan.

“Any fair reading of the situation on the ground in Sudan should make clear that the benchmarks established for Sudan by the Obama Administration simply have not been met,” said John Norris, executive director of the Enough Project. “If the administration turns a blind eye to such backsliding, the likelihood of greater conflict will only grow.”

“Looking to the future, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice must push hard for a peace process that not only includes the government of Sudan and rebel leaders, but also the voices of Sudanese civil society. Concrete and lasting peace that addresses the root cause of the conflict can only be achieved by including all those who have a stake in the outcome—not just armed parties,” said Mark Lotwis, acting president of the Save Darfur Coalition. “One step the United States must insist on immediately is for the new government in Khartoum to open its doors to independent human rights monitoring and to stop harassing domestic human rights activists.”

Organizations participating in this week’s campaign include Humanity United, the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Save Darfur Coalition, Genocide Intervention Network, Stop Genocide Now, and Investors Against Genocide.

###

Sudan Now is a campaign led by a group of prominent anti-genocide and human rights advocacy organizations committed to bringing meaningful and lasting peace to Sudan and encouraging strong American leadership and action to achieve this goal. The campaign challenges President Barack Obama and top U.S. administration officials to live up to their promises to take strong and immediate action to help end the international crisis in Sudan and bring a lasting peace to the people of that country.

 

Sudan Now Campaign Calls on Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice to Make Sudan a Priority and Personally Lead U.S. Policy

Date: 
Apr 16, 2010
Sudan Now Campaign Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contacts:
Jonathan Hutson, the Enough Project,  (202) 386-1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, (202) 460-6756, andrea@savedarfur.org
Julia Thornton, Humanity United, (650) 587-2030, jthornton@humanityunited.org
 
 

Sudan Now Campaign Calls on Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice to Make Sudan a Priority and Personally Lead U.S. Policy for Africa’s Largest Country

State Department officials’ leadership needed to guide Obama administration’s stalled policy on Sudan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following this month’s flawed national elections in Sudan, a group of anti-genocide and human rights organizations is calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to increase their oversight of the faltering U.S. policy on Sudan.
 
The organizations are making the call as part of the Sudan Now campaign, which is running a series of print ads beginning today in the Washington Post and Washington Express, and in Politico on Wednesday. Sudan Now is concerned that the current implementation of the six-month-old U.S. policy on Sudan has not addressed a number of troubling developments, including clear indications that the national election held earlier this month was neither free nor fair, ongoing government attacks in recent months have killed hundreds and displaced thousands, and ongoing obstruction by the Government of Sudan in access for aid workers and UN investigators to Darfur. Meanwhile, the country faces a vote for southern independence in January 2011—a possible trigger to a return to civil war.
 
“Sudan is entering into a critical period, with the aftermath of the elections still upon us and a referendum on southern Sudan’s independence immediately ahead. Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice need to get personally engaged if the United States wants to avoid a return to widespread bloodshed in Sudan,” said Randy Newcomb, president and CEO of Humanity United. “Only high-level engagement can ensure that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement is fully implemented and the international community acts together to ensure peace in Africa’s largest nation. The administration laid out a promising policy last year—it is time for President Obama and his top advisers to fully implement it.”
 
The Obama administration’s Sudan policy, announced in October 2009, clearly stated that tough benchmarks would be applied to Sudan, and that a committee of deputies from various cabinet agencies would assess progress “based on verifiable changes in conditions on the ground.” However, neither the administration nor the deputies’ review process have addressed the many disturbing developments on the ground:
  • ·         National elections that were neither free nor fair.
  • ·         A continuing offensive in Jebel Marra in Darfur that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands, and continued inability for relief organizations to access this area.
  • ·         Ongoing violence and clashes in South Sudan that have claimed more than 2,000 lives in the last year and driven a quarter-million people from their homes.
  • ·         Ongoing violations of a U.N. arms embargo on Darfur by both the Government of Sudan and rebel groups.
  • ·         The resistance of the Government of Sudan to cooperate in any form with the International Criminal Court investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Sudan. 
 
“Any fair reading of the situation on the ground in Sudan should make clear that the benchmarks established for Sudan by the Obama Administration simply have not been met,” said John Norris, executive director of the Enough Project. “If the administration turns a blind eye to such backsliding, the likelihood of greater conflict will only grow.”
 
“Looking to the future, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice must push hard for a peace process that not only includes the government of Sudan and rebel leaders, but also the voices of Sudanese civil society. Concrete and lasting peace that addresses the root cause of the conflict can only be achieved by including all those who have a stake in the outcome—not just armed parties,” said Mark Lotwis, acting president of the Save Darfur Coalition. “One step the United States must insist on immediately is for the new government in Khartoum to open its doors to independent human rights monitoring and to stop harassing domestic human rights activists.”
 
Organizations participating in this week’s campaign include Humanity United, the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Save Darfur Coalition, Genocide Intervention Network, Stop Genocide Now, and Investors Against Genocide.
 
###
 
Sudan Now is a campaign led by a group of prominent anti-genocide and human rights advocacy organizations committed to bringing meaningful and lasting peace to Sudan and encouraging strong American leadership and action to achieve this goal. The campaign challenges President Barack Obama and top U.S. administration officials to live up to their promises to take strong and immediate action to help end the international crisis in Sudan and bring a lasting peace to the people of that country. 

In Wake of Rigged Election, Rights Groups Call on White House to Take Firm Stance to Ensure Peace and Justice in Sudan

Date: 
Apr 20, 2010
Author: 
Jonathan Hutson

Contacts:
Jonathan Hutson, the Enough Project, 202-386-1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org
Andrea Clarke, Save Darfur Coalition, 202-460-6756, andrea@savedarfur.org
Susan Morgan, Investors Against Genocide, 617-797-0451, susan@paxcommunications.org
Suzanne Offen, American Jewish World Service, 240- 620- 5207, soffen@ajws.org

 

IN WAKE OF RIGGED ELECTION, RIGHTS GROUPS CALL ON WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE FIRM STANCE TO ENSURE PEACE AND JUSTICE IN SUDAN

U.S. Should Increase Pressure on Recalcitrant Actors To Reduce Risk of Full-Scale War, as Per Sudan Policy

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the White House issued a statement that Sudan’s recent elections fell short of international standards and that political rights and freedoms were violated, leading human rights groups are calling on the Obama Administration to implement a policy of pressure and consequences to reduce the risk of full-scale war and prevent further manipulation by spoilers in Khartoum during the run-up to the January 2011 referendum on independence for Southern Sudan.

Mark Lotwis, Acting President, Save Darfur Coalition: “The Obama administration’s strategy for Sudan promised to hold Sudan’s regime accountable for its actions on the ground. Yet today’s statement neglects to assign responsibility and consequences for the failure of dictator Omar al-Bashir to create the conditions for a free and fair election. President Obama must lead world leaders to not recognize Bashir as a legitimately elected leader and to press for meaningful steps towards political freedom in Sudan in the run up to next year’s referendum to determine independence for South Sudan.”

John Prendergast, Enough: “Each time the Obama administration does not stand on principle and build international consequences for further abuses of human and civil rights, a powerful signal is sent to the Sudanese parties that fulfillment of commitments and agreements is not important. Unless President Obama implements his own stated policy of imposing consequences for unmet benchmarks, the potential increases for obstructions around the referendum and Darfur peace negotiations and thus a return to full-scale national war. The stakes continue to get higher in Sudan, and the administration's bar for moving forward continues to get lower."

Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Service: “The elections are over and fundamentally little has changed. Darfur remains without a viable peace process, a host of issues remain unresolved ahead of the referendum in January and the NCP government once again confirmed its refusal to allow a true democratic transformation in Sudan. The administration must demonstrate that peace in Sudan is a priority worthy of the continued personal attention of the President, Vice President and Secretary of State."

Gabriel Stauring, Director, Stop Genocide Now: “Marginalized people in Sudan are being left behind and unprotected, in this rush to meet a time-line. U.S. Sudan policy is, in effect, promoting abuses and impunity, when it does not go beyond statements of regret and move towards true consequences and pressures. As we have seen with recent attacks in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur where hundreds died and thousands were displaced, real lives are at stake, and regrets do not do the job.

################

The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org.

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, visit www.enoughproject.org.

Stop Genocide Now is a grassroots community dedicated to working to protect populations in grave danger of violence, death and displacement resulting from genocide. Through active education, advocacy and policy change SGN resolves to change the way the world responds to genocide. SGN is currently focused on creating awareness and action to stop the genocide in Darfur and deal appropriately with its aftermath. All of our projects focus on and utilize the strength and power in grassroots connectivity. For more information, please visit www.stopgenocidenow.org
 

American Jewish World Service is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community. www.ajws.org

 

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