February 2012

Change the Story, Change the Reality: How Reframing the Discourse on Congo Can Shape its Future

Faced with a constant slate of storyboards pitching “us versus them” versions of the world, filmmaker and social activist Mike Ramsdell asks the question, “What if we decided to tell each other stories that unite? That empower? That engage?”

Instead of taking the common, distant approach towards telling the story of Congo, Ramsdell, in his recent TEDx talk, offers what he hopes will be a more effective strategy for galvanizing action.  Read More »

Sudan Oil Talks Stall Out Once More

The new round of talks following South Sudan’s decision to cut off its oil flow through Sudan failed to produce a deal on the key unresolved issues between the two states. The oil shutdown, a move that drastically changed the negotiating dynamics, was only the latest unilateral action that has caused the gap between the two sides to widen even further. The parties will reconvene in a week, on February 23, according to the South’s lead negotiator.  Read More »

In a Corner of Congo, the Ideas of a Man Named 'Peace' Take Hold

Amani Matabaro sits surrounded by 16 women from Mumosho, the village in eastern Congo where he was born and raised. He translates from Mashi and Swahili into English, so the women can share their lives, their experiences of trauma, and their hopes with us. As volunteers who run Action Kivu in support of Amani’s Congolese non-profit, Cate Haight and I recently traveled to Congo, ringing in 2012 in Bukavu and Mumosho, surrounded by the women and children whom Amani serves through education assistance, sewing workshops, micro-finance loans, and much more.

Rebecca Snavely wrote this guest post.  Read More »

Congo Army Takes Over Key Mines, Now Must Hand Over to Police

The Congolese army captured two of the largest minerals mines in eastern Congo last week—the enormous Bisie tin mine and the Omate gold mine. If the objective is to enable conflict-free minerals from Congo to be sold in international markets, the Congolese government should ensure that the army hands these mines over to the mining police as soon as possible.  Read More »

Armed Civilians Challenge South Sudan Government

While the government of South Sudan is pondering the best way to tackle growing insecurity and prospects of persistent inter-communal hostility, the restive state of Jonglei, the scene of the recent deadly clashes, is enveloped in fear, anxiety, and anticipation of likely reprisal attacks—a situation which, if not handled sensibly, may escalate.  Read More »

Controversial Sudanese General Resigns as Head of Arab League Mission in Syria

Sudanese General Mustafa al-Dabi, the highly criticized leader of the Arab League’s observer mission in Syria, resigned his post over the weekend. General al-Dabi’s resignation comes in the midst of the Arab League’s withdrawal of what has been described as a “troubled mission” and subsequent request for a more robust Arab League-United Nations joint peacekeeping mission.  Read More »

Somalia: Civil War Years, 1990s to Present

This week's post in the series Enough 101 looks at the history of Somalia from the end of direct Western military engagement in the early 1990s through the present, building off of two previous posts that covered challenges to dictatorship through Black Hawk Down, 1976-1990s, and colonialism to independence to dictatorship from 1840 to 1976.  Read More »

You Made This Possible: Darfur Dream Team Progress Report

Thanks to the support of hundreds of U.S. students, schools, youth groups, individual donors, and partners like Jewish World Watch, the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program was able to raise and disburse $300,000 for primary education in Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad. The funds are making a tangible, positive impact on the quality of education for the more than 4,000 Darfuri refugee students enrolled in schools in Djabal.  Read More »

Detainee Recounts Ordeal in Sudan’s Notorious Kober Prison

As some report possible glimpses of an Arab Spring in Sudan, the Khartoum regime is increasingly desperate to crack down on any possible—or even imaginary—dissent, as the case of a British citizen falsely arrested and tortured makes clear.  Read More »

South Sudan and Sudan at Brink Again Over Oil

For the last year and a half, Sudan and South Sudan have been negotiating the arrangements of their separation, including the amount of money the South should pay to pump its oil through pipelines in the North. The talks have rested on the key assumption that both sides would work toward the viability of the other state, but that conventional wisdom is now being tested. This piece originally appeared on Global Post.  Read More »