Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.
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The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released new visual evidence that the Government of Sudan has committed grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes, some of which may also constitute crimes against humanity. The totality of evidence from satellites and ground sources points to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of much of the contested Abyei region, says SSP. The evidence is being conveyed to the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council.
As far as the eye could see, thousands of displaced people were scattered, accompanied by what little they had left in the world.This surreal vista, which we saw visiting Abyei in January, had no shelters but had big beds and suitcases and dresser drawers sitting in the open or under trees.After years of displacement, thanks to the north-south war that raged in Sudan from 1983 to 2005, thousands of Sudanese had begun the long journey home. They hoped to vote that month in the referendum on southern independence.
But they never voted, because the government in Khartoum wouldn’t allow the plebescite to take place in Abyei, and they never resettled, because they had no support to return after so long. So thousands hunkered down in this Connecticut-size region between North and South Sudan, two historically separate territories that were lumped together at independence in 1956 and whose racial and religious divides have chafed since. Last week the long history of tensions ignited when Khartoum sent its army and allied militias to forcibly occupy the area. The regime engaged in aerial bombing, tank and artillery attacks. Its militias looted and burned villages.
South Sudan’s Minister of Justice Paulino Wanawilla recently acknowledged the existence of corrupt officials in the Ministry of Justice, as well as throughout the government. This is a significant statement highlighting the pervasive nature of corruption in South Sudan. In a recent article, the Sudan Tribune quotes the Minister as saying, ““I know in South Sudan corruption is not in one place, but it’s very sad when everybody is stealing.”
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The African Union’s long-awaited report on the crisis in South Sudan strongly makes the case that sustainable peace must not only address justice for victims of atrocities but also tackle the underlying economic sources of the conflict, which Enough argues include the pursuit by individuals of their own economic interests at the expense of the South Sudanese people.
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The heads of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) recently released a statement emphasizing the role of corruption in feeding and sustaining wildlife and forest crime. “For the criminals to succeed, customs officials must be bribed to look away; logging and hunting licenses forged; and poachers set free due to obstructed prosecutions,” the statement said. Corruption has facilitated the theft of countries’ natural wealth and has undermined efforts to eradicate poverty and spur economic development. Tackling corruption and bribery will, in turn, “deal a significant blow” to transnational criminal networks involved in the illicit wildlife trade.
Follow the jump for a link to the full statement.
November 6 is International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. While violent conflict can have a disastrous impact on the environment, the reverse is also true.
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In part 2 of the series on the release of the African Union Commission of Inquiry Report on South Sudan, opposition abuses covered in the report are described.
An African Union report on the crisis in South Sudan says rebel soldiers committed gross human rights abuses that include rape and ethnically targeted killings of civilians.
Follow the jump for links to both parts of the report.