Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.
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"While I was sitting in a Congressional House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Burma on a beautiful fall day last week, a Burmese-born American citizen who happens to live thirty minutes from Capitol Hill was languishing in Rangoon's notorious Insein prison. The Burmese courts have charged this American, Kyaw Zaw Lwin, with fraud and forgery, though the ruling regime's official mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar, has also accused him of terrorist activities. Kyaw Zaw Lwin's defense counsel has said that his client was physically tortured during his detention and denied any allegations that he was plotting to incite unrest. Last week, his trial began."
On Tuesday, leaders from the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, South Africa, and Malaysia criticized the decision to sentence Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months under house arrest. Regional bodies, including the EU and ASEAN, said Suu Kyi's incarceration calls into question the legitimacy of the ruling military regime's planned 2010 elections. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement saying he "strongly deplored" the decision and called on the Burmese military government "to immediately and unconditionally release" the Nobel Laureate, and to "engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national reconciliation."
Follow the jump for a full press round-up of the global outcry over the Suu Kyi verdict.
This op-ed originally appeared in the Daily Beast, and was written by John Prendergast.
Note: This article is excerpted from a new report from the Enough Project: “How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide.”
A legacy of corruption and violence has finally caught up to South Sudan, the world’s newest country, as the United Nations has declared a full-blown famine, a rare designation not made for any part of the world since 2011. Multiple UN officials have additionally warned that the country, riven by armed conflict, stands on the brink of genocide.
A brief review of that nation’s history can offer insight into how things got so bad—and what, in concert with the urgent need for a surge in humanitarian aid, can be done to dismantle seemingly endless cycles of violence and suffering.
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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