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2-year investigation reveals networks fueling one of the world’s deadliest conflict zones implicating president, deposed vice president, international banks, arms dealers, multinational oil and mining companies
Today, The Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by board members George Clooney and John Prendergast, presented a new, groundbreaking report “War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan.” Clooney and Prendergast joined fellow board member Don Cheadle and lead investigators at the National Press Club in Washington DC to present findings of a two-year investigation into South Sudan’s shadowy war economy and its links to a network of international facilitators, including bankers, arms dealers, and multinational oil and mining companies.The report implicates South Sudan President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, who as rival leaders have been responsible for a civil war that has wreaked havoc on their nation.
"Unless you’re 88 years old, most of us have not lived in a world without Elie Wiesel. We had a champion who carried our pain, our guilt and our responsibility on his shoulders for generations."
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Note: This op-ed originally appeared in Fox News and was written by Enough Project Founding Director, John Prendergast and Associate Director for Policy Sasha Lezhnev.
At fifteen minutes to midnight on New Year’s Eve, early fireworks went offinthe Democratic Republic ofCongo. These weren’t to celebrateanothernew year, but rather the signing of an agreement that, if implemented, paves the way for the country’s first ever peaceful, democratic transition of power.
Many monthsinthe making, the deal was an important achievement. The agreement has many variables: President Joseph Kabila committed to not hold a referendum to change the constitution to allow him to run again; the opposition agreed to not hold up the deal because of the pending legal case of one of its main leaders, Moïse Katumbi; all agreed to hold electionsin2017; and the government agreed to drop charges against several, though not all, political prisoners.
Before looking forward to the difficult process of implementation, it’s important to look back for a moment to understand what allowed this deal to come together...
Read the full op-ed in Fox News.
“Weapons of Mass Corruption” is the fifth in a series of in-depth, field research-driven reports on the dynamics of profit and power fueling war in the Horn, East and Central Africa. Violent kleptocracies dominate the political landscape of this region, leading to protracted conflicts marked by the commission of mass atrocities by state and non-state actors. Enough's Political Economy of African Wars series will focus on the key players in these conflicts, their motivations, how they benefit from the evolving war economies, and what policies might be most effective in changing the calculations of those orchestrating the violence–including both incentives and pressures for peace.
Read the report here
“Your country is burning and being looted and people are now living in [a] dire situation where there is no medicine.”– Sudanese protester interviewed by Al-Jazeera on November 27, 2016
Civil Disobedience Campaign
Sunday marked the first day in a three-day civil disobedience campaign across Sudan. Although the Sudanese government dismissed the level of participation as insignificant, local reporting in Khartoum shows that many Sudanese people joined in the first day of this campaign. Numerous shops remained closed in Khartoum and Omdurman and many parents kept their children home from school. Although the government tried to portraySundayas a typical day in Khartoum, the difference was evident in the lack of automobile and pedestrian traffic in normally congested areas. As one driver in Khartoum’s largest public transportation station said in theSudan Tribune: “the streets are empty as if the country is on a holiday.”
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On November 17, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced that the United States will introduce a resolution in the U.N. Security Council for targeted sanctions and an arms embargo for South Sudan. In her remarks at a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in South Sudan, she said:
“Let us not treat the leaders of South Sudan as though they are responsible and credible interlocutors, but engage them as the cynical actors that they, unfortunately, have shown themselves to be – too often putting their short-sighted personal interests over the welfare of millions of their own people who are suffering... Let us stop acting as if the principle of sovereignty, as critical as it is to the functioning of the international order, as if that principle gives the South Sudanese Government – or any government – license to commit mass atrocities against its own people, or to fuel a humanitarian crisis that has left millions of lives hanging in the balance.”
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Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released a policy brief, “Five Lessons from a Sanctions Practitioner,” by renowned threat finance specialist Peter Harrell. The brief argues that, done right, sanctions can have enormous impact.
Follow the jump for a link to the brief.