Press Releases

Report Confirms Recent Renewal of Sudan's Support to LRA Leader Joseph Kony

Date: 
Apr 26, 2013

Joint Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org

+1 202-386-1618

Report Confirms Recent Renewal of Sudan’s Support to LRA Leader Joseph Kony

New report uses satellite imagery and testimony from Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) defectors to document the renewal of Sudan’s support to the LRA from 2009 until at least early 2013, and to pinpoint the likely location of rebel leader Joseph Kony’s recent camp in Sudanese-controlled territory

  • Eyewitnesses testify that elements from Sudan’s military actively provided Kony and other LRA leaders with periodic safe haven in Sudanese-controlled territory from 2009 until at least February 2013
  • Satellite imagery shows likely location of Kony’s recently abandoned camp
  • Sudan also provided limited material support to the LRA and has failed to fully cooperate with African Union and United Nations initiatives to arrest Kony

 

WASHINGTON -- A new report confirms Sudan’s renewal of support to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group from October 2009 through at least February of 2013. The report includes satellite imagery of a likely LRA encampment in Sudanese-controlled territory where rebel leader Joseph Kony was last sighted in late 2012 and reportedly remained for several more weeks. The imagery indicates the camp was abandoned by March 2013, but Kony reportedly remains nearby in neighboring Central African Republic and could seek to reestablish his presence in Sudanese-controlled territory in coming months.

“As long as Kony is able to find a safe haven in Sudan, he can avoid pursuit by Ugandan forces by simply crossing the border whenever they get close,” said Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director of The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative and one of the report’s primary authors. “Sudan should not be allowed to harbor one of the most brutal and notorious war criminals in the world with impunity.”

The report, Hidden in Plain Sight: Sudan’s Harboring of the LRA in the Kafia Kingi Enclave, 2009-2013, documents how Kony’s forces first reestablished contact with the Sudanese military in late 2009. LRA fighters then periodically used the area as a safe haven for more than three years, as pursuing Ugandan forces, authorized by the African Union, were not allowed access to the area. Kony himself was first sighted there in 2010 and was reportedly based in the area for significant portions of 2012.

“The LRA’s abandonment of their camp in Sudanese-controlled territory presents an opportunity for Sudan to definitively cut ties to the group,” said Paul Ronan, Director of Policy at The Resolve and another primary author. “International efforts to arrest Kony and stop LRA attacks are likely to fail unless the African Union and regional leaders secure Sudan’s full cooperation.”

The Resolve’s Poffenberger and Ronan co-authored the report, which is co-produced by Invisible Children and the Enough Project.

“Current international efforts to stop LRA violence are making significant gains, but they can only go so far as long as Sudan allows Kony and his fighters safe haven,” said Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children. “If regional and international leaders are serious about ending LRA violence once and for all, they must address this issue with Sudan and seek a solution.”

The safe haven and limited material support Sudan provided to the LRA from 2009-2013 represent the latest upswing in a long history of cooperation between the two actors. Sudan previously provided safe haven, arms, and training to the LRA from 1994 until 2004 before ties were rekindled again in 2009.

“For years, Sudanese support transformed the LRA into a significant threat to civilians and regional stability,” said Mark Quarterman, Research Director of the Enough Project. “At a time when US and regional operations to arrest Kony are more concerted than ever before, renewed support from Sudan seriously undermines these efforts. The Obama administration should work with the African Union and the United Nations to ensure that Khartoum does not provide safe haven or material assistance to the LRA.”

This paper provides the most definitive documentation to date of Sudan’s renewed ties to the LRA. It cites interviews with eight LRA defectors who were eyewitnesses to LRA movements into Sudanese-controlled territory, four of whom provided separate accounts of Kony’s presence and activities there. These testimonies are corroborated by satellite imagery analysis conducted by DigitalGlobe and commissioned by Amnesty International USA, as well as independent reports from government and other sources in the region.

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Read the report, Hidden In Plain SightLINKhttp://www.enoughproject.org/files/HiddeninPlainSight_Sudans_SupporttotheLRA_April2013.pdf

View satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe on Amnesty International USA’s Flickr account after the embargo expires: http://www.amnestyusa.org/LRA 

Note to editors: High-resolution satellite imagery can be downloaded immediately at http://bit.ly/LRASatImages

View or download still photos from The Resolve’s Flickr account: http://bit.ly/11Rmq4j

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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. 

NGOs Applaud Bipartisan Sponsorship of 'Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act'

Date: 
Apr 24, 2013

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON - On April 24, 2013, Rep. Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. McGovern (D-MA), along with 22 other original co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 1692 - the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013.This legislation is welcomed and supported by a coalition of nonprofit organizations including The Enough Project, United to End Genocide, American Jewish World Service, Jewish World Watch, and Act for Sudan.

The “Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act of 2013” would create a comprehensive U.S. strategy to end serious human rights violations in Sudan, provide genuine accountability for persons who have committed or assisted in serious human rights violations, support Sudanese aspiration for democratic reforms, encourage other governments and persons to end support of and assistance to the government of Sudan, and reinvigorate genuinely comprehensive and sustainable peace efforts that can end Sudan’s multiple crises.

“The bill comes at a critical moment: 2013 marks ten years from the start of crimes in Darfur that the U.S. government found to constitute genocide,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw. “It calls for a strategy that embraces the need for democratic change within Sudan and deals with the root causes of the human rights crisis unfolding in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and continued unrest in Darfur and Abyei."

“With the introduction of this new Sudan legislation, the message is clear: the crisis in Sudan is far from over and neither should be the outcry for peace, security, and accountability,” said United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews. “The spreading abuses of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir show that the cost of inaction is human life. We thank the courageous lawmakers who are standing with the people of Sudan and demanding action to protect those at risk.”

"With ongoing government-sponsored mass atrocities and grave human rights violations in Sudan, this legislation is a crucial step towards creating effective policy that re-asserts the important role the U.S. should play in saving lives, encouraging democratic transformation and ending impunity,'' said Act for Sudan Co-Founder Martina Knee.

“Ten years after beginning our campaign to end the genocide in Darfur, we are gravely concerned that the Sudanese government is blocking the delivery of food and medicine and bombing its own people," said American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger. "This legislation is a step in the right direction towards ending this unacceptable assault on human dignity."

The legislation seeks to do the following:

  • Create a strategy focused on all of Sudan;
  • Demand free and unfettered access for international humanitarian aid to all parts of Sudan and take steps to mitigate the lack of such humanitarian aid;
  • Promote free and transparent democratic reform in Sudan;
  • Increase engagement with other stakeholders who have influence over the Sudanese government in Khartoum, such as the African Union, Arab League, and China;
  • Create a broad-based sanctions regime to target governments and individuals whose support assists the Sudanese government in committing serious human rights abuses;
  • Seek more effective enforcement of existing sanctions including adequate resources and personnel and extending to all of the existing Sudan sanctions regimes included in prior enacted legislation that were specific only for “Darfur”; and
  • Provide genuine accountability for crimes committed in Darfur and encourage other countries to expand international accountability efforts to include crimes committed in other regions of Sudan.

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

Rights Groups Statement on the Sudans on the Release of the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012

Date: 
Apr 22, 2013

Enough Project and Humanity United Press Release 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

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

Today, Humanity United, along with Act for Sudan, American Jewish World Service, The Enough Project and United to End Genocide, released a statement on the release of the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. The rights groups commended the Department on efforts to document human rights abuses in the world and called for its focus on ongoing atrocities in Sudan and South Sudan. 

 

Statement on Sudan:

On April 19, 2013, the U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2012.  We commend the Department on its continuing efforts to document ongoing human rights abuses around the world, and in particular for its focus on the increasingly desperate situation in Sudan.

We, the undersigned organizations, want to express our own continuing and growing concern about the grave human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of Sudan. The people of Sudan have consistently faced a failure of governance, repeated and continuing severe humanitarian crises, and indiscriminate attacks against civilians that have resulted in the displacement of millions, uncounted deaths from violence, and emergency levels of food insecurity.

The past year was no different.  In 2012 the Government of Sudan has continued to commit mass atrocities and human rights abuses including:

  • Continued indiscriminate attacks on the people of the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, including aerial bombing of non-military targets, other indiscriminate violence and rape. 
  • Restricted humanitarian access in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Eastern Sudan, and non-implementation of agreements providing for such access.
  • Extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrest of opposition party members, members of civil society, including members of youth movements. 
  • Continued censorship and restrictions on free press including closure of newspapers and suspension of journalists.
  • Continued impunity for security forces and others who caused human rights abuses and failure to either extradite or prosecute individuals indicted by the International Criminal Court.

We strongly condemn these abuses and urge the United States and the international community to take immediate action to pressure the Government of Sudan to stop these mass atrocities and grave abuses, resolve the conflicts that it has provoked, allow unimpeded international humanitarian access throughout the country, and end the suppression of lawful protests so people can enjoy freedoms guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

These atrocities and abuses stem from the many conflicts in Sudan, and point to the need for a comprehensive approach to all of Sudan’s conflict.  In addition, given the scale of the atrocities perpetrated by the regime, international donors should not provide significant assistance or debt-relief until real and verifiable steps towards peace and democratic transformation are taken.  The United States should also work with like-minded countries and the African Union to overcome the differences that are leading to inaction in the UN Security Council and move towards addressing these critical issues immediately.

 

Statement on South Sudan:

Statement on South Sudan: 
On April 19, 2013, the Department of State released its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2012.  We commend the Department on its continuing efforts to document ongoing human rights abuses around the world.  The report included for the first time a review of an entire year in the life of the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan.

We, the undersigned organizations, want to express our concern about the human rights situation in South Sudan.  According to the 2012 report, elements of the Government of South Sudan have engaged in human rights violations or failed to bring perpetrators to justice, including:

  • Extrajudicial killings, rape, torture and other violence by security forces during the Jonglei disarmament operation, in other areas suffering intercommunal conflict and in other situations. 
  • Arbitrary detention of independent journalists and perceived opponents of the government by security forces.
  • Military detention of opposition party members and figures accused of rebel activities without charges
  • Failure to promote accountability for extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses by investigating or funding investigation of, including insufficient response to  intercommunal violence in Jonglei, the shooting of peaceful protesters in Wau by security forces, the murder of an independent journalist, and other cases of violence against individuals perceived as opponents of the government.

These abuses were compounded by the expulsion without warning of a senior member of the UNMISS mission responsible for human rights.  

We believe this report is an opportunity for the Government of South Sudan to address these abuses, both through investigation and by ensuring such abuses do not occur in the future, as well as carrying out the action plan it has signed with the UN, acceding to all relevant human rights treaties, and moving forward with the planned national reconciliation process.  We urge the Government of South Sudan to rededicate itself to these efforts.

We believe the United States and the international community should continue to urge the Government of South Sudan to address these violations immediately and to assist in efforts, in partnership with the Government of South Sudan, to increase training for South Sudan’s military and security forces in human rights, civilian protection and accountability.  The U.S. government and the international community should also support strengthening existing accountability mechanisms within the Government of South Sudan, including efforts to combat impunity of the security forces, and to support an independent and transparent South Sudan National Human Rights Commission.  The United States should also ensure full funding for its contribution to UNMISS.

 

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

 

Africa: Enough Project Launches Senior Fellows Program

Date: 
Apr 3, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

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

WASHINGTON, DC — The Enough Project – an international organization dedicated to ending genocide and crimes against humanity – launched its non-resident senior fellows program, which features a unique and diverse group of 26 distinguished policy experts, scholars, front line activists, and celebrity upstanders.

The fellows will collaborate with the Enough Project on a variety of projects and products regarding human rights and conflict resolution in the Sudans, DR Congo, Somalia, and areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army.

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast said:

"Policy discussions can become stale and predictable at times in Washington. The Enough Project wanted to put together an unconventional group of individuals with wildly diverse attributes to bring fresh perspectives to our efforts to end mass atrocities and support peace initiatives. The Enough Project fellows will help to influence the discourse and shape the debate on policies concerning some of the most important human rights issues in the world today."

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

"The Enough Project looks forward to working with this impressive array of experts toward the shared objective of ending genocide and crimes against humanity. The Enough Project fellows will provide strategic advice, policy recommendations, and analysis on a full range of issues and we look forward to collaborating with this unique and talented group of individuals."

Enough Project senior fellows include:

  • Bonnie Abaunza, Former director of Artists for Amnesty program at Amnesty International, currently runs Hans Zimmer's Special Projects and Philanthropy division
  • Sister Pauline Acayo, Head of Catholic Relief Services' Gulu, Uganda Office
  • Taisier Ali, Sudanese expert, Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto
  • Nicole Ball, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy
  • Immaculee Birhaheka, Congolese activist, Founder and Executive Director of Promotion and Support of Women's Initiatives
  • Susan Braden, Former Policy Advisor at the U.S. State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues
  • Mia Farrow, Actress, activist, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
  • Melanie Cohen Greenberg, President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Ambassador Howard Jeter, Career diplomat, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria
  • Douglas Johnson, Sudan scholar
  • Ashley Judd, Actress, humanitarian
  • Ambassador Stephen Lewis, Canada's former Ambassador to the U.N., former U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and current Co-Director of AIDS-Free World
  • Ken Menkhaus, Somalia expert, Political Science Professor at Davidson College
  • Colonel Rick Orth, Retired U.S. Army Colonel, Business Lead for International Diplomacy and Defense Services
  • Ambassador Pierre Prosper, Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
  • Sarah Cleto Rial, Program Director at My Sister's Keeper, Boston
  • Governor Bill Richardson, Former New Mexico Governor and U.N. Ambassador
  • Sheri Rosenberg, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Director of Human Rights and Genocide Clinic & Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies at Cardozo School of Law
  • Peter Rosenblum, International Law and Human Rights Professor, Bard College
  • Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih, Darfuri activist
  • Ambassador David Scheffer, Director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern Law School, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
  • Eric Schwartz, Dean of Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
  • Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, Foreign policy expert and former U.S.  Alternate Representative to the U.N.
  • Stephen Stedman, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, former U.S. Assistant Secretary General and Special Advisor to the Secretary General, U.N.
  • Margot Wallström, Chairman of Lund University, former U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

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

Rights Groups Release Legal Analysis of Evidence of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan

Date: 
Apr 3, 2013

Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

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

WASHINGTON – A new legal analysis by the Enough Project and its Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, finds compelling evidence that since June 2011, the government of Sudan has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

Two years of eyewitness reports, photos, videos, and satellite imagery -- analyzed by the DigitalGlobe Analytics Center and informed by the Enough Project’s sources on the ground, field research, and legal analysis -- present a strong dossier of evidence for referral to the International Criminal Court and to the United Nations. 

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“The evidence of atrocity crimes that we have compiled is extensive and needs to be reviewed by the UN. SSP has documented the deliberate burning of 292 square miles (756 km²) of farms, orchards, and grasslands used for grazing cattle, and the deliberate destruction of 26 civilian villages in South Kordofan state and 16 villages in Blue Nile state. These actions appear to represent widespread and systematic government activities. Establishment of a U.N. commission of inquiry and possibly further investigations by the U.S. government and other international actors is necessary to uncover the full extent of the Sudanese government’s crimes.”

Ambassador David Scheffer, an Enough Project Senior Fellow, said:

“The weight of this information – eyewitness reports, photos, videos, and open-source documentation, corroborated by satellite imagery and analysis – demonstrates that the government of Sudan and its agents should be thoroughly investigated, immediately, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The way forward lies in this report's recommendations for the creation of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry, national initiatives, and ultimately, a U.N. Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court.”

Satellite imagery included in this report cites specific examples of apparent crimes, including:

  • The deliberate burning and looting of at least 80 civilian structures, including a church, a mosque, and a grinding mill, in Um Bartumbu village, South Kordofan, in November 2011;
  •  The deliberate burning of 33 civilian structures in ‘Amara village, Blue Nile, in November 2011;
  • The deliberate destruction of civilian structures in Toroge village, South Kordofan, sometime between November 2011 and January 2012;
  •  The indiscriminate aerial bombing of civilian populations near the village of Angarto, South Kordofan, in March 2012;
  • The deliberate burning and looting of civilian structures, including a school compound, in the village of Gardud al Badry, South Kordofan, in May 2012 and the subsequent indiscriminate bombardment of the village in July 2012;
  •  The indiscriminate bombardment, razing, and looting of El Moreib village, South Kordofan, in August 2012;
  • The deliberate burning of 13 villages and 31 square miles of fields and forests to the southwest of the town of al Abassiya, South Kordofan, in November 2012;
  •  The deliberate burning of at least 26 villages and 54 square miles of fields and grasslands in three areas of South Kordofan state in November 2012.

The report concludes:

"The acts discussed in this report are likely only an outline of the realities on the ground in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and DigitalGlobe satellites continue to monitor the situation alongside citizen journalists operating in the two areas. The international community must do more to investigate the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture being perpetrated by Sudanese government forces against their own people. If implemented quickly, a commission of inquiry and the involvement of the International Criminal Court prosecutor could serve as a substantial deterrent force against future violence."

Read the report, Architects of Atrocity: The Sudanese Government’s War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States - http://www.satsentinel.org/sites/default/files/Architects_of_Atrocity.pdf

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The Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, a partnership between the Enough Project and DigitalGlobe, conducts monitoring of the border between Sudan and South Sudan to assess the human security situation, identify potential threats to civilians, and detect, deter and document war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Enough Project provides field research, policy context, and communications strategy. DigitalGlobe provides imagery from its constellation of satellites and geospatial analysis from the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center. SSP is funded primarily by Not On Our Watch. To learn more about Enough, go to www.satsentinel.org.

 

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

Fix the Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans: Enough Project

Date: 
Mar 28, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 28, 2013

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

Fix the Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans: Enough Project

WASHINGTON – The international community should not be lulled into a false sense of security because of the incremental steps Khartoum has recently taken in its bilateral relationship with South Sudan, argues a new Enough Project paper. These types of small steps forward after months of delay have been Khartoum’s standard operating procedure for years. 

The UN has announced that a joint monitoring mission visited two hot spots, Kiir Adem and Tishwin, in the buffer zone between the two countries. The mission confirmed that both sides' armed forces had withdrawn from those locations. Although this is significant, the Enough Project's new report, The Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans, puts these developments into a broader context by explaining why such incremental progress contains the seeds of even more conflict. The paper spotlights the dangerous cycle of incremental agreements, whose implementation is delayed until yet another incremental step is hailed as a breakthrough.

Enough Project Senior Advisor Omer Ismail said:

The international community is celebrating the incremental steps forward in March 2013 as a breakthrough. Efforts to secure peace between the Sudans are trapped in a cycle where the international community applauds incremental progress while tolerating dangerous delays. Continued reluctance to put a stop to Khartoum's bad faith tactics undermines efforts to secure a durable peace. When combined with the ineffectiveness of the African Union's mediation efforts and the perverse incentives produced by internal political dynamics within the Sudans, tolerance of Bashir's intransigence perpetuates conflict. We need to hold both Sudans to all of their September 2012 commitments.

The paper offers three recommendations for a more effective peace process. First, the Enough Project stresses the needs to leverage pressure on the two Sudans to move them towards durable and enforced agreements.  Second, it suggests shifting the focus away from high-stakes summits towards technical discussions since real negotiations will require stronger channels of bilateral communication between the Sudans. Finally, the paper argues that the U.S. government needs to strengthen Sudanese opposition and civil society to help create the space necessary to shift internal political pressures towards peace.

Enough Project Research Associate Akshaya Kumar said: 

We keep allowing Khartoum to move the goalposts and redefine success. Real progress towards a durable peace needs a new approach. Effectively leveraging international pressure on both parties and shifting the focus away from high stakes summits will help. Since a lack of political will within the Sudans is the root cause of much of the trouble, support for opposition efforts to widen the political space will be essential.

 

Read the report, The Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans:  http://www.enoughproject.org/files/BrokenApproachtoPeaceSudans.pdf

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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

 

The Enough Project on the Surrender of Congolese Warlord Bosco 'The Terminator' Ntaganda

Date: 
Mar 18, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2013

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

GOMA, DR CONGO, AND WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. government has confirmed that Bosco "The Terminator" Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, has entered the U.S. embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, to surrender.
 
State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated:
 
"I can confirm that Bosco Ntaganda, ICC indictee and the leader of one of the factions of the M23 rebel group and the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant, walked into the U.S. Embassy in Kigali this morning.  He specifically asked to be transferred to the ICC in The Hague."
 
She also said, "We are working to facilitate his request to be transferred to the Hague.  We strongly support the ICC and their investigation on the atrocities committed in the DRC."
 
Enough Project Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba, based in Goma, DR Congo, said: 
 
"Bosco Ntaganda would have considered all his options before deciding to surrender to the US embassy. He may have felt that his best chance for survival was to surrender to people he believes can ensure his safety. Now that Bosco is in custody, justice can be done for the Congolese people."
 
Enough Project Associate Director of Research Aaron Hall said:
 
"Ntaganda's surrender is a significant moment for accountability and reconciliation in Congo and Rwanda. He must be delivered to The Hague to face the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity pending against him, especially for rape, sexual slavery and the forcible recruitment of child soldiers. Only immediate arrest and transfer to The Hague will give assurance to eastern Congo's communities that justice will be done."  
 
Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:  
 
"Bosco Ntaganda is not called The Terminator for nothing. The US should immediately hand him over to the International Criminal Court for trial. This would send serious signals to current and future warlords who continue to perpetrate atrocities in eastern Congo. The ICC should also investigate and indict M23 and FDLR officers most responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity."
 
Ntaganda lived for years in a comfortable villa in Goma, rubbing elbows with humanitarian workers, Congolese security officials, and in plain view of United Nations peacekeeping mission. Despite his war criminal status, he has remained able to consolidate power and move freely throughout the region with total impunity while amassing a fortune from exploitation of the region's illicit minerals trade according to an Enough Project fact sheet that sheds light on the former general.
 
Ntaganda, a Congolese Tutsi with links to the government of Rwanda, fought for years with various rebel groups in both Rwanda and Congo before taking over the Rwandan-backed rebel group the CNDP in 2009. At that point, Ntaganda's forces were integrated into the Congolese army in a still opaque peace deal between Rwanda and Congo. Since then, he has continued a campaign of corruption, murder, rape, extortion and intimidation, under the umbrella of the Congolese state security apparatus.
 
Enough Project Field Researcher Timo Mueller said:
 
"Bosco's decision to turn himself over is indicative of a profound crisis within M23. Over the recent weeks, the group has been consumed by merciless infighting. With the Terminator in custody, the International Community has a prime opportunity to increase its leverage to dismantle a group that wreaks havoc over eastern Congo."
 
"Ntaganda has been called both a war criminal and a lynchpin to regional stability," according to the Enough Project fact sheet. "Yet as a member and leader of several armed groups, he has left a bloody trail across the eastern Congo."
 
Read the Enough Project fact sheet (PDF), "Who is Bosco Ntaganda: Lynchpin to Security or International War Criminal?" LINK: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/BoscoNtaganda.pdf
 
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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org

Congo Peace Framework Incomplete without Follow-on Negotiations, US Envoy

Date: 
Feb 22, 2013

Enough Project Press Briefing 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Washington, DC, and Goma, DR Congo -- The “Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region” to be signed on February 24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will only succeed if it is followed up by a robust peace process led by a capable United Nations mediator and strong backing from the United States. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will preside over the signing by Congo and neighboring countries.      

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast said:

“If not accompanied by the swift appointment of a U.N. envoy and the initiation of a focused peace process between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda led by that U.N. envoy, this Framework agreement will end up having no impact on ending the violence in eastern Congo.” 

The Framework lays a foundation for two main elements: regional negotiations over key economic and security issues and processes leading to real institutional reform within Congo, in part through what should be an inclusive and impartially mediated Congolese national dialogue. 

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

“President Obama’s second term offers a major opportunity to pursue peace in eastern Congo, the world’s deadliest war in 50 years. The administration can take three steps toward a new peace strategy. First, the U.S. should urge the U.N. to appoint a senior envoy with extensive negotiating experience to act as mediator. Second, the U.S. could work with the U.N. envoy to build a peace process to operationalize the commitments made in the Framework.  And finally, President Obama should appoint a senior U.S. envoy to support the U.N.-led peace process.”

Enough Project Associate Director of Research Aaron Hall said:

“Now is an opportune moment for peace, despite several repeated cycles of violence. The status quo is no longer acceptable, as the international community has finally acted against Rwanda’s alleged support to armed groups contributing to the destabilization of Congo and against Congo’s lack of transparency in the mining and exploitation of its natural resources. The conflict minerals trade is finally less profitable for armed groups targeting civilians because of legislative and corporate reforms.”

If the U.S. and U.N. envoys proactively engage, a peace process would allow Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda to finally address their underlying interests that have fomented conflict and give Congolese civil society a voice at the table to discuss critical internal reforms. The process should also not be a place to extend immunity from prosecution for those who have committed war crimes and mass atrocities. Accountability should be ensured throughout, particularly as it relates to bringing the leadership of M23, including Bosco Ntaganda, to justice, as well as other perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The U.N. Framework establishes several critical commitments that must be addressed in regional talks in order to achieve success.  It will be incumbent upon the U.N. envoy to operationalize the implementation of the Framework’s commitments. 

The Framework’s language regarding economic integration should be operationalized through regional negotiations to establish a series of agreements around infrastructure and conflict-free investment priorities. Security measures should also be negotiated to address cross-border threats such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and spoiler elements of the M23 rebel group. 

More specifically, violent contestation over the control of the illicit trade in natural resources remains a principal driver of conflict. Already, the profits from the illegal trade in minerals have decreased as a result of market reforms such as the Dodd-Frank legislation on conflict minerals, which has caused the price of the illicitly smuggled minerals tin, tantalum, and tungsten to be one-third the price of conflict-free minerals.  Negotiating agreements that will allow for the expansion of the existing conflict-free trade will benefit all regional states.  Agreements would be most beneficial around the following:  tariff reform, mineral certification monitoring, investment code revision, the formation of specialized economic zones, and transparent concession-bidding processes to incentivize long-term, conflict-free investment in natural resources.

One of the starting points could be finalizing an agreement on the development of the potentially lucrative methane gas reserves along the Congo-Rwanda border. Such an agreement could lower electricity costs for the two countries, which are approximately double those of other regional states. 

Several substantive issues raised in the Framework specific to Congo should be discussed in the institutional reform process. These include decentralization, security sector reform, mining code reform, and local reconciliation efforts. Though not mentioned in the Framework, electoral reform should also be a centerpiece of institutional reform.   

Because Congolese President Joseph Kabila faces an internal legitimacy crisis, it will be important to closely involve Congolese civil society and political parties in these reform processes, including in the holding of an impartially mediated national dialogue.  Those actors should have a prominent voice at the table.

#

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.

44 Leading Congolese and International NGOs Welcome Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework but Call for Further Action To Make Peace a Reality

Date: 
Feb 24, 2013

Joint Press Release - Version française ci-dessous

Groups say agreement is not enough and outline concrete steps that need to be taken

Reiterate call for UN, US and EU to appoint Special Envoys and greater regional involvement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Goma/Washington/Kinshasa -- A group of prominent Congolese and international NGOs today called on countries in the Great Lakes region, along with their international partners, to ensure that the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in Addis Ababa is given the political backing necessary to bring an end to war in the eastern Congo.

In a published policy response, the groups welcomed the Framework Agreement as an opportunity for a new kind of decisive engagement in a conflict that has persisted for two decades and ravaged the lives of millions of Congolese.

However, they also suggest that the Agreement will be hollow without specific additional measures, including the appointment of a high-profile UN Special Envoy with the power to mediate on both a domestic and regional level; the inclusion of Congolese civil society and Kinshasa’s main bilateral and multilateral donor partners in the proposed national oversight mechanism; and the tying of donor aid to clear and agreed benchmarks and genuine collaboration between government, donors, and civil society.

The groups also called for the creation of a donor fund to support projects aimed at deepening regional economic integration to emphasize the benefits of regional stability; UN-mediated negotiations with armed groups that avoid the impunity characteristic of past deals; and substantial donor engagement to promote demobilization of rebel soldiers and regional economic integration.

“We need a new approach, a peace process based on the principles of justice,” says Raphael Wakenge, Coordinator of the Congolese Initiative for Justice and Peace (ICJP).  “Past peace deals have often closed their eyes toward impunity, allowing war criminals to be integrated into the army, police and security services. This has undermined the legitimacy of the peace process and the reputation of the security services, including the judiciary.”

The Framework Agreement is based on two main points: bringing an end to foreign backing of Congolese rebellion movements, and fostering the comprehensive reform of state institutions such as the national army, police and judicial sectors. The groups today called on the facilitators and the eleven state signatories of the Framework to make sure that there are clear benchmarks in order to carry out these goals. They further suggested that donors should tie their aid to progress in the peace process. 

“The Framework Agreement is a strong promise to the Congolese people, but past peace processes have stumbled due to a lack of transparency, weak international engagement and the absence of a comprehensive process,” says Federico Borello, Great Lakes Director for Humanity United. “This time, it is imperative to tackle once and for all the Congo’s root problems of impunity, regional interference, and state weakness. Without them, our best chance for peace will fail.”

In addition, the groups also called on the international community to show steadfast commitment that goes beyond the technocratic approach of recent years. In addition to calling for a UN Special Envoy, the groups called on the United States and the European Union to name special envoys to support the process, and on the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to continue providing support to the process. They also called for a donor conference to commit the resources necessary to promote cross-border economic collaboration and deep-rooted reform of Congolese institutions.

“There has not been a solid peace process in the Congo since 2006, despite the escalation of violence since then,” says Jason Stearns, Usalama Project director for the Rift Valley Institute. “The Framework Agreement provides hope, but it will require substantial political and financial capital to overcome entrenched interests.”

The groups releasing the policy paper today included:

Action Aid, Action des Chrétiens pour l'Abolition de la Torture (ACAT), Action Humanitaire et de Développement Intégral (AHDI), Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Africa Faith and Justice Network, Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO), Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (ASSODIP asbl), Atma Foundation, Bureau d'Etude et d'Accompagnement des Relations Internationales en RDC (BEARIC), Centre des Etudes et de Formation Populaire pour les Droits de l'Homme CEFOP/DH, Centre pour la Paix et les Droits de l'Homme- Peace and Human Rights Center (CPDH – PHRC), Christian Aid, Collectif des Organisations des Droits Humains et de la Démocratie au Congo (CDHD), Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l'Homme (CODHO), Conciliation Resources, CordAid, Danish Refugee Council, Dynamique Synergie des Femmes, Enough Project, Eurac, Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (FFC), Forum de la Femme Ménagère (FORFEM), Groupe Justice et Libération, Humanity United, IFDP, International Refugee Rights Initiative, Invisible Children, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Jesuit Refugee Service, Jewish World Watch, Justice Plus, Ligue des Electeurs (L.E), Ligue pour la Cohabitation Pacifique et de Prévention des Conflits (LCPC), MDF, Norwegian Refugee Council, Réseau pour la Réforme du Secteur de Sécurité et de Justice (RRSSJ), Resolve, Société Civile du Territoire de Nyiragongo et le point focal du COJESKI Nyiragongo, Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (Sofepadi), Solidarité pour la Promotion sociale et la Paix (SOPROP), The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, Union des Jeunes Congolais pour la Paix et le Developpement Intégral (UJCPDI), Voix des Sans Voix (VSV), Youth Program for the Development of Africa (YPDA)

A copy of the groups’ recommendations can be found at – http://humanityunited.org/drcf/A_Comprehensive_Approach_FINAL_v5.pdf

For more information in English, please contact:

Nina Blackwell | Humanity United, nblackwell@humanityunited.org, +1-917-584-4314

Jonathan Hutson | Enough Project, jhutson@enoughproject.org
    

Pour de plus amples renseignements,  veuillez contacter:

Jason Stearns | Rift Valley Institute, English | Français | Swahili, jasonkstearns@yahoo.com, +254 787899568

 

~~~

44 ONG CONGOLAISES ET INTERNATIONALES DE PREMIER PLAN SALUENT L’ACCORD-CADRE POUR LA PAIX, LA SÉCURITÉ ET LA COOPÉRATION MAIS APPELLENT À DES ACTIONS COMPLÉMENTAIRES POUR QUE LA PAIX DEVIENNE RÉALITÉ

Les groupes considèrent que l’accord n’est pas suffisant et proposent des mesures concrètes à prendre

Ils réitèrent leur demande à l’ONU, aux États-Unis et à l’UE de nommer des Envoyés spéciaux et d’accroître l’implication régionale

(Goma/Washington/Kinshasa, le 24 février 2013)

Un groupe d'ONG congolaises et internationales bien connues a appelé aujourd'hui les pays de la région des Grands Lacs, ainsi que leurs partenaires internationaux, à garantir que l'accord-cadre pour la paix, la sécurité et la coopération signé à Addis Abeba recevra l'appui politique nécessaire pour mettre un terme à la guerre dans l'est de la RDC.

Dans un document d’orientation publié ce jour les groupes ont fait part de leur accueil favorable à l'accord-cadre comme une occasion d’instaurer un nouveau type d'engagement décisif dans un conflit qui perdure depuis deux décennies et a ravagé les vies de millions de Congolais.

Cependant, ils suggèrent également que l’accord sera vain sans des mesures spécifiques supplémentaires, notamment la nomination d’un ancien chef d’État en qualité d’Envoyé spécial des Nations Unies habilité à servir de médiateur au niveau national et régional ; l’intégration de la société civile congolaise et des principaux partenaires donateurs bilatéraux et multilatéraux de Kinshasa dans le mécanisme de surveillance national ; l’introduction d’une politique de conditionnalité basée sur des critères clairs et convenus et sur une collaboration véritable entre le gouvernement, les donateurs et la société civile.

Les groupes exigent également la création d’un fonds par la communauté internationale pour soutenir des projets visant à renforcer l’intégration économique régionale pour mettre l’accent sur les avantages de la stabilité régionale, l’introduction de mesures positives que les pays voisins doivent adopter pour démontrer leur engagement en faveur de la fin du conflit, des négociations réalistes avec les groupes armés pour éviter l’impunité judiciaire qui a caractérisé les accords passés, et un engagement significatif des donateurs pour favoriser la démobilisation des soldats rebelles et l’intégration économique régionale.

« Nous avons besoin d’une approche nouvelle, d’un processus de paix basé sur les principes de justice », déclare Raphael Wakenge, coordinateur de l’Initiative congolaise pour la justice et la paix (ICJP). « Les accords de paix précédents ont souvent fermé les yeux sur l’impunité, permettant aux criminels de guerre d’être intégrés dans les services de l’armée, la police et la sécurité. Cela a compromis la légitimité du processus de paix et la réputation des services de sécurité, y compris du système judiciaire. »

L’accord-cadre est basé sur deux points principaux : mettre fin au soutien étranger aux mouvements de rébellion congolaise et favoriser la réforme globale des institutions étatiques telles que les secteurs de l’armée nationale, la police et la justice. Les groupes ont appelé aujourd’hui les facilitateurs et les onze États signataires de l’accord-cadre à s’assurer de l’existence de critères clairs afin d’atteindre ces objectifs. Ils suggèrent, de plus, aux donateurs de subordonner leur aide à la progression dans le processus de paix.

« L’accord-cadre est une promesse forte faite au peuple congolais, mais les processus de paix antérieurs ont échoué en raison du manque de transparence, du faible engagement international et de l’absence de processus global », explique Federico Borello, directeur pour la région des Grands Lacs chez Humanity United. « Cette fois-ci, il est impératif de s’attaquer une bonne fois pour toutes aux problèmes profonds du Congo que sont l’impunité, l’interférence régionale et la faiblesse de l’État. Sans cela, nous passerons à côté de notre meilleure chance de paix. »

De plus, les groupes ont exhorté la communauté internationale à faire preuve d’un soutien constant allant au-delà de l’approche technocratique des dernières années. Outre la demande d’un Envoyé spécial des Nations Unies, les groupes ont appelé les États-Unis et l’Union européenne à nommer des Envoyés spéciaux pour soutenir le processus et ont demandé à l’Union africaine, la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL) et la Communauté de développement de l’Afrique australe (SADC) de continuer d’apporter leur soutien au processus. Ils ont aussi préconisé l’organisation d’une conférence de donateurs pour engager les ressources nécessaires afin de promouvoir la collaboration économique transfrontalière et la réforme en profondeur des institutions congolaises.

« Il n’y a pas eu de processus de paix solide au Congo depuis 2006, malgré l’escalade de la violence depuis lors », précise Jason Stearns, directeur du projet Usalama pour le Rift Valley Institute. « L’accord-cadre apporte de l’espoir, mais il exige un capital politique et financier considérable pour surmonter les intérêts bien enracinés. »

Les groupes ayant publié le document d’orientation aujourd’hui incluent :

Action Aid, Action des Chrétiens pour l'Abolition de la Torture (ACAT), Action Humanitaire et de Développement Intégral (AHDI), Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Africa Faith and Justice Network, Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO), Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (ASSODIP asbl), Atma Foundation, Bureau d'Etude et d'Accompagnement des Relations Internationales en RDC (BEARIC), Centre des Etudes et de Formation Populaire pour les Droits de l'Homme CEFOP/DH, Centre pour la Paix et les Droits de l'Homme- Peace and Human Rights Center (CPDH – PHRC), Christian Aid, Collectif des Organisations des Droits Humains et de la Démocratie au Congo (CDHD), Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l'Homme (CODHO), Conciliation Resources, CordAid, Danish Refugee Council, Dynamique Synergie des Femmes, Enough Project, Eurac, Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (FFC), Forum de la Femme Ménagère (FORFEM), Groupe Justice et Libération, Humanity United, IFDP, International Refugee Rights Initiative, Invisible Children, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Jesuit Refugee Service, Jewish World Watch, Justice Plus, Ligue des Electeurs (L.E), Ligue pour la Cohabitation Pacifique et de Prévention des Conflits (LCPC), MDF, Norwegian Refugee Council, Réseau pour la Réforme du Secteur de Sécurité et de Justice (RRSSJ), Resolve, Société Civile du Territoire de Nyiragongo et le point focal du COJESKI Nyiragongo, Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (Sofepadi), Solidarité pour la Promotion sociale et la Paix (SOPROP), The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, Union des Jeunes Congolais pour la Paix et le Developpement Intégral (UJCPDI), Voix des sans Voix (VSV), Youth Program for the Development of Africa (YPDA)

Un exemplaire des recommandations des groupes est disponible à l’adresse – http://humanityunited.org/drcf/A_Comprehensive_Approach_FINAL_v5.pdf

Congo Peace Framework Incomplete without Follow-on Negotiations, US Envoy

Date: 
Feb 22, 2012

Enough Project Press Briefing 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2013

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

Washington, DC, and Goma, DR Congo -- The “Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region” to be signed on February 24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will only succeed if it is followed up by a robust peace process led by a capable United Nations mediator and strong backing from the United States. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will preside over the signing by Congo and neighboring countries.      

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast said:

“If not accompanied by the swift appointment of a U.N. envoy and the initiation of a focused peace process between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda led by that U.N. envoy, this Framework agreement will end up having no impact on ending the violence in eastern Congo.” 

The Framework lays a foundation for two main elements: regional negotiations over key economic and security issues and processes leading to real institutional reform within Congo, in part through what should be an inclusive and impartially mediated Congolese national dialogue. 

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

“President Obama’s second term offers a major opportunity to pursue peace in eastern Congo, the world’s deadliest war in 50 years. The administration can take three steps toward a new peace strategy. First, the U.S. should urge the U.N. to appoint a senior envoy with extensive negotiating experience to act as mediator. Second, the U.S. could work with the U.N. envoy to build a peace process to operationalize the commitments made in the Framework.  And finally, President Obama should appoint a senior U.S. envoy to support the U.N.-led peace process.”

Enough Project Associate Director of Research Aaron Hall said:

“Now is an opportune moment for peace, despite several repeated cycles of violence. The status quo is no longer acceptable, as the international community has finally acted against Rwanda’s alleged support to armed groups contributing to the destabilization of Congo and against Congo’s lack of transparency in the mining and exploitation of its natural resources. The conflict minerals trade is finally less profitable for armed groups targeting civilians because of legislative and corporate reforms.”

If the U.S. and U.N. envoys proactively engage, a peace process would allow Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda to finally address their underlying interests that have fomented conflict and give Congolese civil society a voice at the table to discuss critical internal reforms. The process should also not be a place to extend immunity from prosecution for those who have committed war crimes and mass atrocities. Accountability should be ensured throughout, particularly as it relates to bringing the leadership of M23, including Bosco Ntaganda, to justice, as well as other perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The U.N. Framework establishes several critical commitments that must be addressed in regional talks in order to achieve success.  It will be incumbent upon the U.N. envoy to operationalize the implementation of the Framework’s commitments. 

The Framework’s language regarding economic integration should be operationalized through regional negotiations to establish a series of agreements around infrastructure and conflict-free investment priorities. Security measures should also be negotiated to address cross-border threats such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and spoiler elements of the M23 rebel group. 

More specifically, violent contestation over the control of the illicit trade in natural resources remains a principal driver of conflict. Already, the profits from the illegal trade in minerals have decreased as a result of market reforms such as the Dodd-Frank legislation on conflict minerals, which has caused the price of the illicitly smuggled minerals tin, tantalum, and tungsten to be one-third the price of conflict-free minerals.  Negotiating agreements that will allow for the expansion of the existing conflict-free trade will benefit all regional states.  Agreements would be most beneficial around the following:  tariff reform, mineral certification monitoring, investment code revision, the formation of specialized economic zones, and transparent concession-bidding processes to incentivize long-term, conflict-free investment in natural resources.

One of the starting points could be finalizing an agreement on the development of the potentially lucrative methane gas reserves along the Congo-Rwanda border. Such an agreement could lower electricity costs for the two countries, which are approximately double those of other regional states. 

Several substantive issues raised in the Framework specific to Congo should be discussed in the institutional reform process. These include decentralization, security sector reform, mining code reform, and local reconciliation efforts. Though not mentioned in the Framework, electoral reform should also be a centerpiece of institutional reform.   

Because Congolese President Joseph Kabila faces an internal legitimacy crisis, it will be important to closely involve Congolese civil society and political parties in these reform processes, including in the holding of an impartially mediated national dialogue.  Those actors should have a prominent voice at the table.

#

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.

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