Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.
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This op-ed was originally published in The Economist, and co-authored by board members George Clooney and John Prendergast.
Tackling corruption is the key to peace in South Sudan and beyond, argue George Clooney and John Prendergast, co-founders, The Sentry
The world’s newest country, South Sudan, could have been holding its first free elections in 2017. Instead, it faces another year of strife. In the latest phase of the cyclical conflict that has plagued its people for decades, tens of thousands have died, 5m people face hunger or starvation and 1m have become refugees. Yet cleverer global action—especially involving Western banks—can stop the rot.
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.
“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.
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.
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.