Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.
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This op-ed, co-authored by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared in the St. Louis-Post Dispatch.
Alice (not her real name) was living in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, when war erupted in December 2013. As soldiers went from house to house shooting anyone they found, she witnessed the killing of seven of her relatives and her pastor. Her pastor had been gathering people together to try to protect them. But when the soldiers found him, they shot him and poured beer on him.
Testimony of John Prendergast, Not On Our Watch board member, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing on “Independent South Sudan: A Failure of Leadership”, given on December 10, 2015.
Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and members of the committee, I’m grateful for the opportunity to testify about South Sudan at such a critical fork in the road for the youngest nation in the world. Working with the executive branch and through your actions, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has the opportunity to help this new country change course and make progress on implementing the hard-won peace agreement that was signed back in August. If these efforts fail, South Sudan will likely be plunged back into a full-scale civil war that surely would be – based on past experience – one of the world’s deadliest.
Follow the link for the full testimony.
This op-ed, authored by board member John Prendergast, originally appeared on The Daily Beast.
Just a day after South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary as the world's newest independent country, fierce fighting between rival factions has resumed, putting the already tenuous August 2015 peace deal in jeopardy. Hundreds are alleged to have been killed in the last few days, and thousands displaced. Command and control on both sides of the fighting appears to have broken down. Nothing seems safe as UN buildings and personnel have been attacked and U.S. diplomatic vehicles have come under fire. Helicopter gunships and tanks have been deployed along with other heavy artillery. Regional leaders are actively promoting a ceasefire, but as someone from that region once told me, "The guns talk louder than the voice."
NOOW partner The Enough Project has released a series of statements on the eve of South Sudan's fifth year of independence.
Read those statements after the jump.
The backlash from leading humanitarian and development organizations continues over the European Union’s recent plan to work with Sudan and other repressive regimes to address irregular migration flows and stop refugees from reaching Europe. This plan would partner the EU with Sudan, despite Sudan President Omar al-Bashir’s outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants and the regime’s terrible human rights record, and Eritrea, where a 2016 United Nations Commission of Inquiry found that Eritrean government officials have committed crimes against humanity, including enslavement, rape, and torture, over the past 25 years.
Continue reading after the jump.
Today, NOOW partner The Enough Project released its latest report, “The Mafia in the Park: A charcoal syndicate is threatening Virunga, Africa's oldest national park” by Enough Senior Policy Analyst Holly Dranginis.
Follow the jump for a link to the report.
This week, the United Nations verified that at least 80,000 Darfuris fled their homes due to armed conflict near Jebel Marra earlier this year. The total number of displaced may very well be closer to 127,000, but the Government of Sudan refuses to allow U.N. or African Union personnel access to conflict-affected areas, making verification extremely difficult. Indeed, UNAMID, the joint U.N.-A.U. peacekeeping mission in Darfur, struggles to access areas such as Jebel Marra even though it is clearly within its mandate to do so.
Click to read further.