Press Releases

Report: What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy Toward Sudan, and How to Fix It

Date: 
Jul 20, 2010
Author: 
John Prendergast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, +1-202-386-1618
 

Report: What's Wrong with U.S. Policy Toward Sudan, and How to Fix It

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The Enough Project has released a new report that argues that U.S. policy is not contributing in a meaningful way to creating peace and justice in Sudan, and suggests alternative steps that officials can take to make peace in Sudan a reality.

With only six months until the self-determination referenda for South Sudan and Abyei, the report describes how U.S. policymakers have failed to act decisively to prevent a return to war between North and South Sudan, or to resolve the escalating conflict in Darfur.

In the report, titled, “What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy Toward Sudan, and How to Fix It,” Enough Co-founder John Prendergast argues that the words and actions of U.S. officials have undermined the administration’s influence in Sudan, just when its efforts are needed most.

“The time has come for an urgent rethink of how the United States can contribute to peace in Sudan now, building on the lessons of the recent past,” writes Prendergast.

The report outlines four specific areas where U.S. policy is off course. These include a flawed peace process in Darfur, a hands-off approach to critical negotiations to prevent renewed North-South war, the role of the Unites States in building leverage for peace, and justice as an essential component of sustainable peace.

“The United States made a major contribution to peace-making in Sudan in the past decade,” argues Prendergast. “Sadly, the Obama administration is not building on the lessons of past success and thus is not positioning itself to play the role that is needed in averting all-out war in 2011.”

###

 

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, 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.

 

 

Rights Groups Respond to New 'Genocide' Arrest Warrant for President Bashir

Date: 
Jul 13, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contacts:

Janessa Goldbeck, goldbeck@genocideintervention.net, 202-559-7405
Neelam Mohammed, nmohammed@savedarfur.org, 202-556-2114
Joshua Berkman, jberkman@ajws.org,212-792-2893
Jenn Sturm,jsturm@enoughproject.org, 202-351-1892 
 

Rights Groups Respond to New 'Genocide' Arrest Warrant for President Bashir

International community must bring Bashir and other indictees to justice and prevent violent retaliation by Bashir regime

WASHINGTON, D.C. Four human rights advocacy organizations - the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress,  Genocide Intervention Network, the Save Darfur Coalition, and the American Jewish World Service - jointly issued the following statement in response.

The issuance of a second arrest warrant for President Al-Bashir for three counts of genocide requires the international community to fully support the ICC and renew its efforts to apprehend him and all others wanted by the ICC for crimes committed in Darfur. The Government of Sudan should immediately turn over President al-Bashir to face trial in The Hague. Barring this unlikely cooperation, the United States and the international community should work together to ensure Bashir’s swift arrest.

After the ICC issued the first warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest in March 2009, President Bashir evicted more than a dozen international aid groups from Sudan, putting thousands of lives at risk. The international community did little to challenge this retaliation, and critically needed services, including aid for survivors of sexual violence, were lost and never replaced in Darfur. President Obama, the UN Security Council, and other world leaders must make it clear to President Bashir that any new retaliation against humanitarian efforts will be met with clear consequences. Sudanese civilians should not be targeted as justice is pursued for those who have died and suffered in Darfur.

The Bashir regime's decades of crimes must end. While risk of a return to full-scale, national war grows and a referendum for southern Sudanese self-determination draws near, the Obama administration should put in action the consequences and pressures it promised for the lack of measurable progress and continued backsliding on key benchmarks by the Government of Sudan and other parties. The United States also needs to intensify its diplomatic efforts to find a path to peace in Sudan, with support from President Obama and other senior members of his foreign policy team.

“Accountability is a fundamental component of sustainable peace in Sudan,” says John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project. “President Obama should make abundantly clear his unequivocal support for peace rooted in justice in Sudan by sending the message that consequences will result from any retaliation against Sudanese civilians as a result of this warrant, and by building stronger international support for this warrant.”

“The American people are expecting President Obama to fulfill his campaign promises and forcefully support the ICC and protect civilians in Sudan,” says Mark Hanis, President of the Genocide Intervention Network. “The United States government should reaffirm its support for the ICC’s pursuit of justice in Darfur and should work together with UN Security Council and ICC member states to ensure the swift enforcement of this and all ICC arrest warrants for those accused of atrocities in Darfur, including al-Bashir.”

“The United States and broader international community must vigilantly monitor for any threats or acts of violence or other repression against civilians, Sudanese human rights activists, aid workers or peacekeepers,” says Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition. “While pushing for al-Bashir’s apprehension, the Obama administration must lead efforts to prevent a repeat of the merciless and cruel retaliation by the Khartoum regime last year.”

“Today’s decision comes at a perilous time for the Sudanese people,” said American Jewish World Service (AJWS) president Ruth Messinger. “The Obama administration’s vigilance in implementing the accountability mechanisms central to its Sudan policy is critical to ensure this decision is not used as a pretext to punish civilians and interrupt life-saving aid.”

###

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 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. Visit www.enoughproject.org

Genocide Intervention Network –Genocide Intervention Network is working to build the first permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to stop genocide when it occurs. Accessible online at www.GenocideIntervention.net, Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals with the tools to stop genocide.

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.

American Jewish World Service – 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.

Apple Ad Spoof Reveals Dirty Secret Shared by Mac and PC

Date: 
Jun 28, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, Cell +1-202-386-1618
 
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new video spoof of Apple’s classic “Get a Mac” ad campaign reveals that Mac and PC share a dirty secret.

Here’s what Apple’s classic “Get a Mac” ads don’t tell you: both Macs and PCs help fuel war in the Congo – the deadliest war in the world.

Actress/director Brooke Smith and cinematographer Steven Lubensky created a version of the ad for the Enough Project to show how both Macs and PCs help fuel war in the Congothe deadliest war in the world. They teamed up with actors Joshua Malina and John Lehr to create a version that wittily explains how.

The conflict in eastern Congo is fueled by a multi-million dollar trade in minerals essential to our electronic products. More than five million people have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped over the past decade in what experts term “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”. The armed groups perpetuating the violence earn hundreds of millions of dollars each year by trading in four main minerals tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold. These minerals are used in virtually every electronics product on the market today – from our cell phones and digital cameras to our laptops and fax machines – including Macs and PCs.

Because consumer demand to buy conflict-free products will help create a market for them, the Enough Project invites people to share the one-minute spoof video with friends, in hopes it will go viral. And it’s off to a roaring start.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof premiered the video in his op-ed column for the Sunday, June 27 edition of The New York Times. “Electronics manufacturers have tried to hush all this up. They want you to look at a gadget and think ‘sleek,’ not ‘blood,’” writes Kristof.

On Monday, The Huffington Post spotlighted the video on its homepage, with a link to an op-ed by Brooke Smith and Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast, “Hello, I’m a Mac, and Here’s How I Help Fuel the World’s Deadliest Conflict.”

High-tech tastemakers Gizmodo, ComputerWorld, GottaBeMobile, and Fast Company have featured the video, too. And in its daily Idea Feed for June 28, Big Think asks, “Are Phones the New Blood Diamonds?

To learn more and take action, visit: wwww.raisehopeforcongo.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

New Report Documents Under-Reported LRA Campaign of Terror in the Central African Republic

Date: 
Jun 24, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For more than two years, the Lord’s Resistance Army has been waging a ruthless campaign of terror – largely ignored by the outside world – against civilians in the Central African Republic, or CAR.

In a new report, “On the Heels of Kony: The Untold Tragedy Unfolding in the Central African Republic,” Enough Project Field Researcher Ledio Cakaj describes the LRA’s deadly but under-reported track record in a largely forgotten corner of Africa.

Based upon extensive interviews with eyewitnesses, the Enough Project report details 57 LRA attacks that resulted in hundreds of killings and abductions since February 2008.

“The LRA continues to brutalize and kidnap defenseless civilians across the Central African Republic,” states Cakaj. “There is a distinct risk that this widely dispersed rebel organization will regroup. The regional security threat posed by the LRA remains acute due to the lack of international attention to the ongoing violence in CAR.”

The report also reveals how LRA leader Joseph Kony, an internationally wanted war criminal, nearly fell into the grasp of the Ugandan army during the past year.

“The fact that the Ugandan army almost apprehended Kony by stumbling upon him demonstrates that the apprehension of the LRA’s leadership is an achievable task,” states Enough Project Executive Director John Norris. “However, the operations of the Ugandan army – the only military force pursuing the LRA in CAR – risk morphing into a war of attrition that will further endanger civilians. So it is incumbent upon the United States to lead a renewed international effort to protect civilians and apprehend the LRA’s leaders. Absent a new level of effort, the international community continues to do too little, too late to end the scourge of the LRA.”

Read the report, “On the Heels of Kony: The Untold Tragedy Unfolding in the Central African Republic.”

###

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project 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 

RELEASE: Tracy McGrady and Ted Leonsis Team with Georgetown, Duke Students to Build Darfuri Refugee School

Date: 
Jun 17, 2010

 

Darfur Dream Team
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, 202-386-1618

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -To commemorate UN World Refugee Day on June 20, Georgetown and Duke Universities’ students and alumni, businessman Ted Leonsis, and NBA star Tracy McGrady have jointly announced that they have raised funds to sponsor a Darfuri refugee camp school in Chad.

Georgetown and Duke Universities launched a partnership to support the Darfuri schools at their January 30 basketball game at the Verizon Center. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were among the fans in attendance, along with Leonsis and McGrady.

Georgetown and Duke students and alumni raised $21,661 at the game, which was matched by Ted Leonsis, a member of the Georgetown University’s Board of Directors and owner of the Washington Wizards, Mystics, and Capitals. McGrady then donated the remaining funds needed to support Aboutalib A, a school in Chad’s Goz Amer refugee camp. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, will oversee the delivery of the aid.

Forty three million people are currently uprooted around the world; UNHCR provides assistance to the displaced in 110 countries. UN World Refugee Day raises awareness for the millions of refugees around the world, including the 2 million people who have been displaced by the ongoing conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Children constitute more than 60 percent of the population in the Darfuri refugee camps. They face major educational challenges, such as poorly built school buildings, a shortage of qualified teachers, and a lack of supplies.

After visiting the Darfuri refugee camps in 2007, McGrady and John Prendergast of the Enough Project co-founded the Darfur Dream Team to address the challenges. The Darfur Dream Team is a dynamic partnership of organizations and professional basketball players working together on the Sister Schools Program, an initiative linking American middle schools, high schools, and universities with schools in 12 Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad

The program, launched in March 2009, raises funds for the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings, and provides teacher training, school supplies and sports equipment to the Darfuri refugee camps. More than 200 U.S. schools are participating, and more than $649,000 in donations and pledges have been raised since its launch.

NBA stars Derek Fisher, Baron Davis, Luol Deng, Etan Thomas, and Jermaine O’Neal have joined McGrady as co-captains of the Darfur Dream Team. Additional partners include USA for UNHCR, the Enough Project, TakePart.com, the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, Facing History and Ourselves, and I-ACT.

#### 

The Darfur Dream Team’s Sister Schools Program links American middle schools, high schools, and universities with schools in the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.  U.S. sister schools will raise funds to improve the education of their Darfuri peers through the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings and by providing supplies, sports equipment, and teacher training. The program will also foster cross-cultural relationships and mutual understanding between U.S. and Darfuri refugee students through letter exchanges and video blogging. The Sister Schools Program is a dynamic partnership involving professional basketball stars Tracy McGrady, Derek Fisher, Baron Davis, Luol Deng,  Etan Thomas, and Jermaine O'Neal; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);USA for UNHCR, the Enough Project; TakePart.com; Education Partnership for Children in Conflict, co-founded by Angelina Jolie and Gene Sperling; Facing History and Ourselves; and i-ACT. The partnership will expand to include additional professional basketball players. More than 350 U.S. schools have signed up to participate in the program. For more information about the Darfur Dream Team’s Sister Schools Program, see www.darfurdreamteam.org or contact Stella Kenyi at skenyi@enoughproject.org.

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values.

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, and the 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. To set up an interview, go to www.enoughproject.org, or contact Jonathan Hutson, 202-386-1618, jhutson@enoughproject.org.

 

 

 

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/

###

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.

####

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.”

 ###

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

 

###
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.”

###

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

Syndicate content