Darfur is suffering its worst humanitarian crisis in years. Since the beginning of 2013, over 200,000 people have been displaced by what the government of Sudan dismisses as “inter-communal” violence. Ten years after the first reports of genocide trickled out of Darfur, an eerie echo of the past is sweeping across the region. The government of Sudan would like the world to believe that Darfur is plagued by intractable inter-tribal hatreds that inevitably lead to violent destabilizing conflict. But in a new report, “Darfur's Gold Rush: State-Sponsored Atrocities 10 Years After the Genocide,” Enough Project Senior Advisor Omer Ismail and I challenge that descriptive framework. Our research shows that government-armed Abbala militias’ recent power play to displace the Beni Hussein people and thereby gain control North Darfur’s gold mines is not the product of inter-tribal rivalries. Instead, the Abbala offensive must be understood as a continuation of Khartoum’s campaign of state-sponsored atrocity and plunder in the region. Read More »
A joint report by the Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project examines the Abbala militias' recent power play to gain control over lucrative gold mines in North Darfur and makes the case that these actions are a continuation of state-sponsored atrocity and plunder.
As we gather to mark April as Genocide Awareness month, to recognize atrocities across the world and throughout history, it's important not just to recognize the past, but to learn from it. Read More »
Rumors circulated last week that the M23 rebel group reportedly signed an agreement with eleven other armed groups on April 21, 2013. The groups are said to include FAP-Nyatura, FDC, FPC-AP, FPD, Mai-Mai Cheka, MPA, M26, PARECO Lafontaine, PRM, URDC, and Vutura. They allegedly agreed on mutual defense – an armed attack against any one of them would be considered an attack against them all – in response to an attack by the forthcoming United Nations Foreign Intervention Brigade, or FIB. Read More »
On Friday, April 26, The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative released a report “Hidden in Plain Sight,” documenting the renewal of Sudan’s support to the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, from 2009 until February 2013. Read More »
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
On April 24, 2013, Rep. Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. McGovern (D-MA), along with 22 other co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 1692 – the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013. The bill comes at a critical moment: with a humanitarian crisis rapidly unfolding in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, continued unrest in Darfur and Abyei, and instability widespread throughout the country, immediate attention that addresses both the dire fallout and the root causes of these issues is essential. Read More »
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, email@example.com, +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.
The Small Arms Survey, an independent Swiss research group, released a report suggesting that the Sudanese government is arming David Yau Yau’s militia in Jonglei state, South Sudan. This supplements former allegations by the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS, and the government of South Sudan that Sudan is supplying arms to the Yau Yau rebellion to destabilize the region. Despite the recent normalization of bilateral relations between Sudan and South Sudan, South Sudan’s Government Spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin accused Sudan of supporting Yau Yau’s rebellion to increase insecurity in Pibor Town, Jonglei. As Pibor borders Ethiopia, this would impede South Sudan’s plans to build an oil pipeline through Ethiopia. In turn, a rebellion would force South Sudan to continue relying on transit routes through Sudan. Read More »
On April 11, the Group of Eight, or G8, a forum of the world’s wealthiest countries, pledged to spend $35.4 million on preventing rape and sexual violence from being used as a weapon of war. The new fund will also benefit initiatives that put women and women's rights front and center in conflict resolution and devote resources to deterring and investigating wartime sexual atrocities and bringing the perpetrators responsible to justice. The U.S. will contribute $10 million to the new fund, which is spearheaded by British Foreign Minister William Hague and film star and U.N. Special Envoy Angelina Jolie. This initiative marks unprecedented commitment from the international community to the issues facing women during wartime. Read More »