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photo by jon nicholson

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Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.

 

Not On Our Watch is a federally registered 501(c)3 charity.

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last update: march 16th, 2018

march 14th, 2018

The Key to Making Peace in Africa: Fighting Corruption Can Help End Conflict

 

Note: This piece originally appeared in Foreign Affairs, and was written by George Clooney and John Prendergast.

In December 2013, competing factions of South Sudan’s ruling party plunged the country into a horrific civil war as they fought over the spoils of the world’s newest state. Now in its fourth year, the conflict has ravaged the economy, resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, brought hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine, and displaced more than four million people, making this Africa’s largest refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. And yet, amid all the suffering, a small clique of government elites and their cronies inside and outside South Sudan have benefited financially from the fighting, siphoning off the country’s oil wealth and storing the money in their private bank accounts and in luxury real estate in neighboring countries.

[read more]

march 5th, 2018

Fueling Atrocities: Oil and War in South Sudan

 

Note: This brief was originally published on The Sentry.

 

South Sudan’s elite is using the country’s oil wealth to get rich and terrorize civilians, according to documents reviewed in an ongoing investigation by The Sentry.

[read more]

NEWS

last updated november 21st, 2016

november 21st, 2016

As Warnings of Genocide in South Sudan Increase, U.S. to Introduce UNSC Resolution for Targeted Sanctions, Arms Embargo

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.”

 

Click to read further.

november 17th, 2016

New Policy Brief: “Five Lessons from a Sanctions Practitioner”

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.

october 27th, 2016

New Comprehensive Study: "A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering Institutionalized Corruption and Violence in Congo"

Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released a new comprehensive study, "A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering Institutionalized Corruption and Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo," by Sasha Lezhnev. The study, the second report in the the "Violent Kleptocracy: Corruption and Conflict in East and Central Africa" series, details how Congo is not a failed state—for everyone. It is a failure for the vast majority of Congolese who suffer from abysmal security, healthcare, and education services. However, it is an efficient state for ruling elites and their commercial partners who seek to extract or traffic resources at the expense of Congo’s development. Over the past 130 years, Congo has had many elements of violent kleptocracy, a system of state capture in which ruling networks and commercial partners hijack governing institutions and maintain impunity for the purpose of resource extraction and for the security of the regime. Violence has been the systemic companion of these regimes. This study argues that President Kabila and his close associates rely in large part on theft, violence, and impunity to stay in power at the expense of the country’s development. If international policymakers are to have a real impact in helping Congolese reformers actually reform the system, they need to shift the lens through which they view the conflict.

 

Click to read the report.

october 10th, 2016

New Report: "Khartoum’s Economic Achilles’ Heel: The intersection of war, profit, and greed"

Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released a new report, “Bankrupting Kleptocracy: Financial Tools to Counter Atrocities in Africa’s Deadliest War Zones,” by J.R. Mailey and Jacinth Planer. The report describes how the state in several conflict-affected countries in East and Central Africa has been hijacked and transformed from an institution that is supposed to provide social services and safeguard the rule of law into a predatory criminal enterprise that does quite the opposite. The international community has the power to chip away at the environment of impunity that characterizes these violent kleptocracies—and the United States is in a position to play a leading role.

 

Click through for a link to the report.

october 7th, 2016

Board Member John Prendergast Op-Ed: "How to Ensure Lasting Peace in South Sudan"

This op-ed, by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared in TIME.

 

The world’s newest country, South Sudan, finds itself mired in the complicated fog of war that at its worst could combine the genocidal ethnic targeting of 1994 Rwanda with the warlordism of 1990s Somalia. Tens of thousands have died and millions displaced, and armed rebellions are emerging throughout the country. Village attacks, food aid obstruction, mass rape and child soldier recruitment all are rearing their ugly heads again. Five years after independence, South Sudan is widely viewed as a failed state, as its leaders built no functioning governing institutions, stole vast oil revenues, and undermined all efforts at peace.

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