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A National Gathering of the Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders
The Enough Project along with a coalition of human rights advocates and conflict analysis NGOs—including Eastern Congo Initiative, Humanity United, International Crisis Group, Open Society Foundations, Eastern Congo Initiative Fellow Anthony W. Gambino, Hoover Institution Visiting Fellow Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, and Congo analyst and author Jason Stearns—released a statement yesterday expressing concern over the lack of response from the U.S. government and other donor nations in dealing with the growing crisis of legitimacy in the Congo over recent elections.
A new battle zone along Sudan’s volatile border opened last night, with government bombardments and fighting reported from the capital of Blue Nile state. Enough issued a statement this afternoon condemning the assault on Blue Nile, the third region to come under attack by Sudan Armed Forces in the past six months.
News of bombardments in Blue Nile came in the wake of a report this week that bolstered allegations of Khartoum’s deliberate effort to target civilians in the neighboring state of Southern Kordofan since fighting broke out in the area in early June.
In a statement issued yesterday on the ongoing conflict in South Kordofan, the U.S. State Department revealed itself to be behind the curve on developments on the ground in Sudan. The press statement praised Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s ceasefire announcement on Tuesday as a “positive initial step” and urged the opposing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, “to show the same leadership and declare a two-week ceasefire as well.” The statement appears to be either uninformed or intentionally dismissive of the fact that the government has continued to bomb areas in the Nuba Mountains since the declaration.
As final preparations are underway for South Sudan’s Independence Day on July 9, media outlets from around the world are preparing to cover this historical event. Due to the complex history and continuing conflict in the area, the Enough Project has created a media backgrounder on South Sudan. We intend it to be used as a tool for journalists and bloggers who do not have extensive knowledge of the region and need to quickly get up to speed.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by a history of widespread violence, often fueled by a deadly scramble for the state’s natural resources. In eastern Congo today, the mines have become a source of not only conflict minerals, but also a source of human slavery.
Last week Free the Slaves, a partner organization of Enough, released The Congo Report: Slavery in Conflict Minerals, which documents slavery in and around Congo’s mines. Research teams from Free the Slaves and two local Congolese groups conducted surveys and community consultations in the Kivu Provinces of eastern Congo to determine the extent of slavery in the area.