Press Releases

Congo Peace Talks Must Be Broadened to Include Economic and Political Issues – Enough Project

Date: 
Dec 7, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

GOMA, DR CONGO and WASHINGTON, DC – Regional peace talks on eastern Congo’s crisis due to begin today in Kampala, Uganda are not enough to resolve the protracted conflict, says the Enough Project.

The regional talks—which include Congolese President Joseph Kabila, the M23 rebel movement, and a very limited number of Congolese civil society groups—must be broadened to include wider representation of civil society, political parties, and the private sector in order to address the systemic economic and political drivers of the war, according to an Enough Project policy brief.

Fighting between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese army escalated two weeks ago, when the rebels seized control of Goma, a key city in eastern Congo. To address the growing violence, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will broker the Kampala talks, the first round of which is expected to take no more than one week. However, Museveni’s role as mediator is particularly concerning because a U.N. Group of Experts report recently linked Uganda to support for the M23.

John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-founder, said:

“The UN Security Council must act quickly to appoint a senior, respected African mediator to work with the African Union and help lead a broadened peace process quickly. Regional governments can't be both negotiating and mediating at the same time, as that excludes the vast majority of eastern Congolese voices and issues from consideration. The Obama administration should support the process robustly and appoint a senior presidential envoy to work with the UN and AU mediators. This is only the start of the process, but the international community must be swift, before a hasty deal is made that will only patch over the real issues at hand.”

Sasha Lezhnev, Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst, said:

“The peace process, as it currently stands, is going to be far too narrow, both on the issues it covers and the players that are involved. The bigger political issues remain for President Kabila, which is going to be a major problem for him, because his power is waning. Congolese civil society and political parties must be brought in through a wider inter-Congolese dialogue. If the talks only focus on security, rather than the critical underlying political and economic issues, the crisis will repeat itself again in two years.” 

Aaron Hall, co-author of the brief and Enough Project Associate Director of Research, said:

“The current conflict in eastern Congo has revealed new evidence of support for armed groups from the governments of Rwanda and Uganda and confirmed evidence of continued mismanagement within the governance and security sectors of Congo. However, the causes and dynamics of the long-standing conflict are unchanged. If the cycle of regional foreign intervention, economic exploitation, and rapacious governance in eastern Congo is not broken, there is no chance for peace in the region.”

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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.

New Report Warns UN and AU Are Failing to Defeat the LRA

Date: 
Dec 5, 2012

Joint Press Release (PDF)

Contact: Enough Project - Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

Nearly six months on from the launch of a U.N. strategy aimed at ending 26 years of violence by the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, a joint report by a coalition of non-governmental organizations reveals today that the strategy has failed to make meaningful progress toward its core objectives. The report is released ahead of U.N. Security Council consultations on the LRA set for December 18th.

Tepid political commitment from regional governments, lack of urgency from the U.N., and an under-resourced African Union mission are the key causes of the failure.

For too long, the people of the central Africa have suffered from unspeakable atrocities committed by the LRA. Their children have been abducted and murdered. Their families have been forced from their homes and their livelihoods destroyed. The UN has shown great leadership, and invested a great deal, in developing a strategy to support these populations and respond to the horrors of the LRA. It must not fall short now. There is too much at stake and too much to lose,” Ben Keesey, Chief Executive Officer of Invisible Children, said.

The report comes as violence is again escalating in the Democratic Republic of Congo and amid reports that the Sudanese government is harboring the LRA. Both of these developments could give the LRA the opportunity to reassert itself in the region. The evidence of ineffective U.N./African Union collaboration is also of concern in the light of a likely military intervention in Mali.

This report is a wakeup call for the Security Council. Unless they reenergize the strategy and ensure that regional governments are effectively engaged then the whole process could fall apart. The Secretary General must publicly affirm his determination to see the UN Regional Strategy on the LRA implemented in full,” said Ernest Sugule, National Coordinator of Solidarité et Assistance intégrale aux Personnes Démunies (SAIPED), in the DRC.

The international community also has a critical role to play to support the UN and AU’s efforts.

“The UN, in partnership with the African Union and international donors, should vigorously lead the effort to end the LRA conflict. To deliver on the UN strategy will require more troops, access for the troops to LRA safe havens, enhanced intelligence, and improved efforts to promote defections. At this critical moment, the UN must rise to the challenge,” John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Enough Project, said.

Read the full report: “Getting Back on Track: Implementing the U.N. Regional Strategy on the Lord’s Resistance Army

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Spokespeople from signatory NGOs and external experts will be available. To find out more and/or to request an advance copy of the report under embargo, please contact: Jake Goodman, +1 917 767-3609, Jake.Goodman@crisisaction.org, James Denselow, +44 793 260-7711, James.Denselow@crisisaction.org

Signatory organizations:

1. African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO)

2. Congolese Action for Access to Justice (ACAJ)

3. Dungu-Doruma Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace (CDJP)

4. The Enough Project

5. European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)

6. Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect

7. Group LOTUS

8. IKV Pax Christi

9. Invisible Children

10. Resolve

11. Solidarity and Integrated Assistance to Vulnerable Populations (SAIPED)

Crisis Action works behind the scenes to enable our partners to respond jointly to conflict and crises. Crisis Action should not be cited in media reports.

 

Why Eastern Congo Needs a Broadened Peace Process Now: Enough Project Brief

Date: 
Nov 30, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON – Fighting between the M23 rebel movement and the Congolese military escalated last week as the rebel group seized control of Goma, a key city in eastern Congo. To address this growing violence, a broadened peace process including all parties and stakeholders must be initiated that will cease ongoing hostilities and address the systemic drivers of regional conflict, according to an Enough Project policy brief.

Aaron Hall, co-author of the brief and Enough Project Associate Director of Research, said:

“The current conflict in eastern Congo has revealed new evidence of support for armed groups from the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, as well as confirmation evidence of continued mismanagement within the governance and security sectors of Congo. However, the causes and dynamics of the long-standing conflict are unchanged. If the cycle of regional foreign intervention, economic exploitation, and rapacious governance in eastern Congo is not broken, there is no chance for peace in the region.”

The Enough brief argues that regional and international stakeholders must be more directly engaged in supporting a peace process that includes a balance between constructive and coercive leverage to provide the necessary incentives and pressures for compromise between the conflicting parties. The brief highlights the need for a broadened peace process that would be jointly mandated by the U.N., African Union, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR.

John Prendergast, co-author of the brief and co-founder of the Enough Project, said:

"The lack of a credible, effective, internationally mandated and leveraged peace process for the escalating war in Congo is becoming a major reason for that war’s continuation.  The closed-door ICGLR summit between heads of state from Congo, Rwanda and Uganda—without the involvement of political parties, civil society elements, and armed groups representing the diverse voices of eastern Congo—resembles all of the failed deals that came before it through similar processes. A deal between just the biggest guns is unlikely to address the root causes of the conflict in the eastern Congo. Instead, the declaration issued by the heads of state summit at Kampala represents another short-term security agreement that ensures that Congolese President Kabila remains in power while international pressure is removed from Presidents Kagame and Museveni of Rwanda and Uganda, respectively."

The brief outlines considerations for both regional and international actors in creating a framework to work towards peace in eastern Congo. This brief is the first in a three-part Enough Project series on the process, leverage, and substance necessary to create a path towards peace in eastern Congo and the surrounding region.

Read the full brief: “Time for a Broadened Peace Process in Congo

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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.

Congo Crisis: Human Rights Groups Call for Urgent Appointment of Special Envoy and Sanctions

Date: 
Nov 20, 2012

 

WASHINGTON – The Enough Project joined a coalition of human rights organizations—which includes Humanity United, Open Society Institute, Eastern Congo Initiative, and the European Network for Central Africa—urging the United Nations to appoint a special envoy that would work with the African Union in creating a regional peace process to address the escalating conflict in eastern Congo. Earlier today, the M23 rebel movement took control of Goma, a major city in eastern Congo, highlighting the urgency of this unfolding crisis.

The coalition issued a statement calling on the U.N. Security Council and African Union to apply sanctions against all individuals identified in the most recent Group of Experts report as violating the U.N. arms embargo on Congo, including the Rwandan military and political officers supporting and directing the M23. Further, the coalition urged bilateral donors to Rwanda to continue and expand the suspension of all aid programs that are not explicitly allocated for civilian humanitarian needs.

Aaron Hall, Enough Project Associate Director of Research said:

"The U.N., with support from the U.S. government, needs to ensure that a strong international response is brought to bear on this massive humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo. Sanctioning the leadership of M23 alone is not enough. The U.N. should quickly appoint an envoy to work with the African Union that would create a peace process to include all those actors that perpetually fan the flames of conflict in the region. Until the systemic drivers of violence and regional intervention in eastern Congo are addressed, this scenario will just continue to repeat itself."    

Since the onset of the M23 rebellion in April 2012, more than 650,000 people in the region have been displaced by the ongoing violence. The human rights groups stressed the need for a credible internationally-facilitated political process that focuses immediately on a cessation of hostilities, followed by long-term solutions to address the underlying roots of conflict in the region.

Read the full statement.

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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.

Chasing the LRA: Enough Project Video and Report from the Frontlines of the Hunt for Joseph Kony

Date: 
Nov 9, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org+1-202-459-1219

SOUTH SUDAN and CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – Current military operations tasked with hunting down the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, in the vast jungles of Central Africa face a logistical nightmare and intelligence challenges that inhibit their ability to find the senior leaders and end the LRA, according to a new Enough Project field report and accompanying video.

In August 2012, Enough Project LRA Field Researcher Kasper Agger embedded with the Ugandan military, or UPDF—the main force pursuing the LRA with approximately 1,500 soldiers—traveling from South Sudan to Central African Republic, or CAR. Enough’s new field report and video are based on information gathered during his embedding, as well as from interviews he conducted with commanders, soldiers and military and civilian partners in both countries.

Agger, author of the report, said:

"The Ugandan army in Central Africa continues to face multiple logistical and intelligence challenges that handicap its ability to locate and fight the LRA successfully. Their offensive trekking teams can roam around the jungle for several weeks without any certain trace of the rebels. The fact remains that improved infrastructure and additional soldiers are much needed to cover the vast and remote areas where the LRA continues to operate and prey on civilians."

The deployment of 100 U.S. military advisors has helped address some of the Ugandan troops’ issues, but the report describes continuing needs for better access to LRA-affected areas, enhanced human and aerial intelligence, increased air support, and improved road infrastructure. The report argues that U.S. advisors should play a more operational role alongside regional forces in the field, in an effort to speed up the mission to capture Joseph Kony and top LRA commanders.

The report recognizes that neither the Ugandan troops nor U.S. advisors will be deployed indefinitely, so a new approach to the hunt for the LRA’s senior commanders is needed that would ensure adequately trained and equipped troops can be deployed rapidly, with the appropriate intelligence and logistical capabilities possible.

Read the full report: “Field Dispatch: Chasing the Lord’s Resistance Army – Challenges Faced by Ugandan Soldiers Pursuing the LRA

View the accompanying video: “Challenges in Hunt for the LRA

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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.

U.N. Security Council Should Endorse and Enforce Peace in the Sudans

Date: 
Nov 7, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1-202-459-1219 

WASHINGTON – In the coming days, the U.N. Security Council has the opportunity to demonstrate the international community’s commitment to peace and security within and between the Sudans, according to a new Enough Project brief.

The Security Council will vote on a set of recommendations from the African Union Peace and Security Council regarding ways to address outstanding issues between the two Sudans. The Enough Project calls on the Security Council to endorse these recommendations and adopt measures to enforce their compliance.

John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-founder and co-author of the report, said:

"The U.N. Security Council has the next move, and it may be the most important one. When it meets in the coming days, the U.N. Security Council should adopt a resolution that identifies a clear way forward with targeted consequences for those who resist. This will lay the ground for peace and save lives through the provision of desperately needed aid. If the U.N. Security Council neglects to do this, it will create new space in the region for spoilers who do not want peace."

Jennifer Christian, Enough Project Sudan/South Sudan Policy Analyst and co-author of the report, said:

"The government of Sudan’s recent public insistence that it will not accept the A.U.'s recommendations on the final status of the Abyei area underscores why the Security Council must endorse the A.U.'s recommendations on Abyei and other outstanding issues and outline specific consequences for non-compliance. If this does not occur, Abyei’s final status may remain unresolved indefinitely, ensuring that the area remains a potential catalyst for North-South violence."

This is the second of an Enough Project policy brief series focusing on the international community’s opportunity to help support peace within and between the two Sudans.

Read the full brief (PDF): “Not Just Mediation: The United Nations Security Council’s Role in Supporting Peace in the Two Sudans

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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.

#Vote4Congo: Celebrities Support Instagram Campaign Urging U.S. to Make Congo a Priority

Date: 
Nov 1, 2012

Enough Project Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: JD Stier, jdstier@enoughproject.org, 202-250-4057

WASHINGTON -- Today, the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign launched the first-ever Instagram petition that will be delivered to the winning U.S. Presidential candidate, urging the next administration to make the conflict in eastern Congo a top priority. Activists across the U.S. and Europe have joined the petition by Tweeting photos of themselves holding signs with “Vote for Congo” messages using the hashtag #Vote4Congo.

Raise Hope for Congo celebrity activists Emmanuelle Chriqui (HBO’s Entourage, CBS’s The Mentalist) and Robin Wright (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball) are spearheading the petition and have submitted their own “Vote for Congo” photos.

"Activists are passionate about the rapidly growing Congo peace movement, with solutions in sight, this first-ever youth-led petition is sure to grab the attention it deserves" JD Stier, Enough Project's Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager.

Who: Celebrity activists Emmanuelle Chriqui and Robin Wright

What: Launch of first-ever Instagram petition sent to the incoming U.S. President urging the next administration to focus on ending the conflict in eastern Congo

Where: http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/vote4congo

When: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why: The conflict in eastern Congo is the deadliest since World War II, and has claimed more than five million lives. Over the past year, the emergence of a new rebel group in eastern Congo has led to an upsurge of violence and instability throughout the region. It is time for the U.S. administration to lead the way on helping to resolve this ongoing conflict.

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The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative is part of the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo. RHFC focuses on alleviating suffering throughout Congo by tackling root causes of the conflict such as the funding of violence with conflict minerals. For additional information on the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, and Raise Hope for Congo, please visit: http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/conflict-free-campus-initiative.

Gold Is Now the Most Lucrative Conflict Mineral from Eastern Congo: Enough Project

Date: 
Oct 25, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219
 
GOMA, DR CONGO and WASHINGTON, DC – Gold smuggled from eastern Congo’s war zone is now the most lucrative conflict mineral and is ending up at jewelry stores and banks, according to a new investigative report by the Enough Project. The study found that following a 65 percent drop in profits from  the conflict minerals tin, tungsten, and tantalum, armed groups have increasingly turned to smuggling the fourth conflict mineral, gold, to generate income that finances mass atrocities in eastern Congo. The armed groups use poorly paid miners, who work in dangerous conditions, including thousands of children as young as eight years old. The study maps out how conflict gold makes its way from eastern Congo to consumers worldwide who purchase it in the form of wedding rings and watches, and investment banks that buy gold bars.
 
The study found that over $600 million of gold is illegally smuggled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo every year in a six-step process. Rebel groups such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, are smuggling gold, and the Rwandan-backed M23 rebel group is attempting to retake control of gold mines and trading routes.
 
Sasha Lezhnev, author of the report and Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst, said: 
“The conflict gold rush has hit eastern Congo’s war zone. Armed militias such as M23 and the FDLR are financing their operations with conflict gold. As our investigation revealed, smuggled gold continues to flow through to gold chains, rings, and banks through a six-step process. The Dodd-Frank law on conflict minerals is starting to spur reform in the gold sector, but lucrative gold smuggling continues unabated. It is time for more effective action.”
The report, “From Child Miner to Jewelry Store: The Six Steps of Congo’s Conflict Gold,” tracks the transnational trade from the mines in eastern Congo to end products sold to consumers.
 
The six main steps of the conflict gold trade (laid out in an accompanying infographic) are:
1. Mines operated by warlords in eastern Congo;
2. Congolese smugglers working with armed groups; 
3. Regional smugglers in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania; 
4. Refiners in Dubai; 
5. Banks in Switzerland; and
6. Jewelers in the U.S., India and China. 
At the lowest end of the chain, gold miners in eastern Congo face some of the world’s worst working conditions and include up to 40 percent child miners, as young as eight years old. A handful of exporters in the region work with armed groups and smugglers to control the trade by pre-purchasing gold directly from the mines. A large percentage of conflict gold funds armed groups, many of whom use mass rape and violence to intimidate local populations in an effort to secure control of mines, trading routes, and other strategic areas.
 
According to the report, the majority of conflict-gold mines is located in South Kivu, making up an estimated 40-50 percent of Congo’s overall gold production. Gold from 15 major mines in North and South Kivu is mainly sold to smugglers, who illegally transport 99 percent out of the country to neighboring Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania, and then take it to Dubai.
 
Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:
“Governments and companies need to do more to ensure transparency in the gold supply chain and to hold accountable armed groups and their business partners who profit from conflict gold.  To end the conflict gold trade and create a legitimate market that improves living standards in eastern Congo, companies need to invest in a formalized, traceable, and certified conflict-free gold sector.”
This is the first of two Enough Project papers on the illegal conflict gold trade from eastern Congo. The second will offer recommendations on how to formalize the trade, cut down on smuggling, and create jobs that provide living wages for Congolese miners.
 
 
View or download a conflict gold photo slideshow (credit Sasha Lezhnev/Enough Project): http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157631828402860/ 
 
View or download an infographic mapping out conflict gold’s six-step process: http://enoughproject.org/files/conflict-gold-infographic.png
 
 
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.  

 

 

Mbeki's Moment to Support Lasting Peace in the Sudans

Date: 
Oct 22, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON – Today, the Enough Project issued its first publication in a series of policy briefs focusing on the international community’s extraordinary opportunity to help support peace within Sudan and between the two Sudans.  The brief discusses the need for President Mbeki and the African Union to take bold and specific actions to marshal the governments of Sudan and South Sudan closer to a more comprehensive peace. 

According to the Enough Project, President Mbeki’s report this week to the African Union Peace and Security Council offers him the unparalleled opportunity to provide his recommendations on possible resolutions to the outstanding issues and implementation mechanisms for those agreements already concluded between Sudan and South Sudan.

"The recent agreements between Sudan and South Sudan were a critical step forward, but for lasting peace between the two countries, the more difficult remaining issues need to be addressed at once," said John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-founder. "President Mbeki's role is indispensable this week. If he presents a strong, fair, credible set of proposals over Abyei, other disputed areas along the border, and asks the African Union for endorsement of those proposals as the way forward between the two countries, he could catalyze a real solution. If there is ambiguity, doubt, and reversion to further negotiations, the table will be set for further conflict."

The outstanding issues include the final status of the Abyei area, the definition of the disputed and claimed areas along the North-South border, international humanitarian access to the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and direct political negotiations between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N. Continuing to ignore these issues would both undermine economic growth in the Sudans and pose an ongoing risk to regional stability.

“President Mbeki must seize the opportunity that his report to the A.U. offers him and table his proposal on the Abyei area in its entirety,” said Omer Ismail, Enough Project Advisor. “The proposal provides a sound basis upon which Sudan and South Sudan can settle the area’s final status and work together to ensure that the rights of local communities are protected, no matter the outcome of a referendum in Abyei.”

In addition to the outstanding issues, the policy brief notes the importance of implementation mechanisms for those agreements already signed between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan.

“Given the demonstrated tendency of the government of Sudan, in particular, to avoid implementation of agreements that it signs, internationally-backed implementation mechanisms will be critical to ensuring the success of all North-South agreements,” said Jennifer Christian, Enough Project Policy Analyst. “President Mbeki should challenge the A.U. and the U.N. to develop specific consequences that would await either party that significantly obstructs implementation of any agreements signed or proposals made, including sanctions and other measures under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.”

Read the full brief: “President Mbeki’s Moment: A Stand for Peace in the Two Sudans

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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.

New Report Documents Government of Sudan’s Starvation Warfare Against Its Own People

Date: 
Oct 18, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

SOUTH KORDOFAN, Sudan – Food security conditions in South Kordofan, Sudan are dramatically declining, and malnutrition among children in the conflict-torn state is on the rise, according to a new report showing findings from the first international rapid food security and nutritional assessment conducted in South Kordofan since 2011.

According to the assessment, the prevalence of malnutrition among children in South Kordofan is “serious” bordering on “critical”—the worst or most dire World Health Organization malnutrition classification. The amount of households surviving on one meal per day has jumped to a staggering 81.5 percent, compared to only 9.5 percent one year ago, and zero percent two years ago.

More than 65 percent of households in South Kordofan have less than one week’s worth of food. This is particularly concerning because food is not readily available for purchase in the area, and incomes are scarce or non-existent. Further, due to persistent bombardment by the Sudan Armed Forces, the harvest this year is expected to be low-yielding and will run out quickly, leading to only a temporary amelioration in the dire conditions there.

John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-founder, said:

“The assessment’s findings indicate that the situation in South Kordofan today is similar to the conditions leading up to the Horn of Africa famine in 2011. If the international community does not respond to these early warning indicators in South Kordofan, the situation could have devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Pre-positioning of relief supplies must begin now, and all possible means of delivery need to be explored and, if negotiations over access fail, utilized.”

The nutritional assessment was carried out by an international non-governmental organization but, due to security reasons, the organization requested to remain anonymous and asked the Enough Project to publish the report. The Enough Project was responsible for the report’s final production and distribution, and had the assessment vetted by experts at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who found its findings to be credible.

Jennifer Christian, Enough Project Sudan policy analyst and author of the accompanying policy brief, said:

“The rapid food security and nutritional assessment corroborates existing evidence of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in South Kordofan. Given the government of Sudan’s failure to comply with the terms of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046, the U.N. Security Council must enact measures against Sudanese government officials responsible for the denial of aid into Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, and call on U.N. member States to take all measures necessary to deliver aid should the government of Sudan continue to ignore its obligations.”

For nearly a year and a half, the government of Sudan has indiscriminately targeted civilians and denied international humanitarian aid access to civilian populations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, particularly in areas under control of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N.

Along with the report, the Enough Project has issued an accompanying brief outlining policy recommendations (PDF) based on the assessment’s findings. It calls on the A.U. Peace and Security Council and the U.N. Security Council to demand the government of Sudan and the SPLM-N cooperate with the Tripartite Partners in negotiating unfettered international access into the two states, and to identify consequences should a party undermine or frustrate the negotiations. If negotiated access fails, alternative channels must be utilized to ensure international humanitarian access into the two states.

The brief recommends the African Union facilitate immediate political negotiations between the government of Sudan and the SPLM-N for a cessation of hostilities agreement to create suitable conditions on the ground for the widespread delivery of humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced populations. These negotiations should also produce a long-term ceasefire agreement and a broad, inclusive political process to address the conflict’s underlying causes of social, political and economic marginalization.

The rapid nutrition and food security assessment was conducted in the more secure SPLM-N controlled areas, indicating that conditions in other parts of South Kordofan could be just as severe or worse. No similar assessment has been carried out in Blue Nile state, but the condition of refugees from Blue Nile indicates that the food security situation there may be comparable to that in South Kordofan.

Read the full report: “Rapid Food Security and Nutrition Assessment: South Kordofan” URL: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/SK%20Rapid%20Assessment%20Report.pdf (PDF)

Read the accompanying policy brief: “The Humanitarian Crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile: Next Steps for Policy Makers” URL: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/Humanitarian%20Crisis%20Policy%20Recs.pdf (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.

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