Sudan and South Sudan

John Prendergast on CNN International: South Sudan's Anniversary Marks Little to Celebrate

Enough Project's John Prendergast discusses the problems still plaguing South Sudan as the country marks its fourth Independence Day.

Enough Project's John Prendergast discusses the problems still plaguing South Sudan as the country marks its fourth Independence Day with CNN International's Isha Sesay.

 

 

South Sudan’s Peace Agreement Faces Considerable Challenges on its First Anniversary

On August 26, 2015, the parties to the conflict in South Sudan signed a peace agreement. However, the first anniversary of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan finds the pact in a state of inertia as key planks remain unimplemented. Although it was continuously violated by the government and the armed opposition in the past year, the pact still held. The return of the SPLM-IO to Juba and the subsequent formation of the transitional government in April increased hopes that the government and the armed opposition were set on turning a new page.  Read More »

UN Security Council Votes ‘Yes’ on Intervention Force for South Sudan

Date: 
Aug 12, 2016

Enough Project experts available for interviews and analysis

The United Nations Security Council has just authorized an intervention force for South Sudan. The mandate of the force would prioritize the protection of civilians and act to bolster the tenuous peace process in the country.

Brian Adeba, Associate Policy Director at the Enough Project, said: This vote should be applauded. Peace and the protection of civilian lives in South Sudan should be the principal elements in the discourse on the intervention force. The intervention force will supplement the regional effort to cement peace and protection of civilians in South Sudan.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: "Beefing up the protection of civilians in high risk areas is a crucial upgrade to the international community's response to the South Sudanese crisis.  However, it is crucial that international leverage be increased for the unhindered deployment of that force, the delivery of life-saving aid, and the implementation of the peace agreement.  The best way to enhance international leverage is to impose targeted sanctions on spoilers and move forward with an arms embargo.  Threats no longer seem to faze those prosecuting the war.  The bark needs to move to a bite."

Adeba added: “The intervention force holds tremendous potential to protect civilians and sustain peace in South Sudan.”

As South Sudan approaches the first year anniversary of the peace deal signed on August 26, 2015 that ended its civil war, the situation continues to be volatile. Sporadic armed conflict, atrocities, and military attacks on civilians continue in the capital and across the country. Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been displaced in the most recent fighting, and in many areas communities and internally displaced people face famine-like conditions.

Experts at the Enough Project are now available for comment, analysis and interviews:

Recent TV interviews:

Recent reports on South Sudan:

Recent op-eds:

Congressional testimony:

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Would a UN Arms Embargo Work in South Sudan?

A recent article issued by the Small Arms Survey’s Human Security Baseline Assessment looks at a number of factors that the author, Luuk van de Vondervoort, argues would enable an effective arms embargo in South Sudan.   Read More »

The Unheard Voices of South Sudan: How The International Community Can Help Bring Peace

IDPs in Juba. July 2016.

This week, Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan and the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), swore in Taban Deng Gai as first vice president, replacing former Vice President Riek Machar. The move was denounced by Machar’s followers, and the Enough Project characterized Kiir’s action as a consolidation of power in violation of the peace agreement signed in August of last year.    Read More »

As South Sudan Faces Dangerous Crossroads, State Institutions Could Hold Hope for Future Peace

Date: 
Jul 27, 2016

 

New report details competitive grand corruption underlying conflict

new report published today by the Enough Project points to an intentional effort by South Sudan’s political elite to undermine state institutions in order to protect their corrupt extraction of national wealth and maintain power at any cost. As South Sudan’s tenuous peace agreement holds, the country faces a tipping point that could lead to a new outbreak of devastating armed conflict largely driven by competition between its leaders over the spoils of power.

The new report, "A Hope from Within? Countering the intentional destruction of governance and transparency in South Sudan," by Enough’s Brian Adeba, offers some hope that existing institutions in the country, properly empowered, could support peace. While making critical recommendations to support transparency and anti-corruption efforts, the report reveals new details of widespread government corruption left unchecked as official investigations are sidelined or simply ignored.

Brian Adeba, report author and Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Many government institutions, commissions, offices and staff in South Sudan are ready and willing to do their jobs, but are undermined every step of the way, underfunded and disempowered by leaders who have intentionally disintegrated state capacity for governance and transparency."

Drawing on field research, the report shows that the weaknesses of governance institutions in South Sudan stem from deliberate efforts by elite politicians. The report reviews the weaknesses of three of South Sudan’s governance institutions most critical to establishing accountability: the Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Audit Chamber, and the Public Accounts Committee in the National Legislative Assembly. All three institutions face considerable operational challenges that have undercut their effectiveness in implementing their constitutional mandates.

Adeba added: "In the absence of accountability and transparency, South Sudan risks more cycles of chaos, conflict and mass atrocities fueled by corrupt leaders manipulating ethnic divisions and jockeying for the spoils of power. Reforming institutions of governance in South Sudan is imperative if the country is to avoid another war."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “In the midst of conflict and tragic human suffering, like we have seen far too often in South Sudan’s young history, it can be easy to look past the detailed work and commitment needed to build a transparent and accountable state that can truly function for its people.  As demonstrated in the field work that underlies this report, however, failing to do so can contribute to disastrous results.  Fortunately, the report also shows that South Sudan possesses the necessary legal and organizational infrastructure to enable meaningful change and create a state that can meet the expectations of its people, responsible investors, and the international community.”

Selected report highlights:

  • “Because governance institutions work at the behest of elite politicians, it is in the interest of these politicians to disable these institutions and limit their ability to play their role in oversight, regulation, and providing checks and balances on other parts of the government.” 
  • "In 2015, the [Anti-Corruption Commission] completed a high-profile investigation involving the alleged misappropriation of $12 million earmarked for procurement of military supplies by officials at the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the national army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The case has been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice but there is little public information available about whether the ministry has taken further action regarding these serious allegations."
  • "Although the audits that the [National Audit Chamber] has produced show gross misappropriation of public funds, an insignificant number of people have been held accountable to date. As one interviewee said, ‘the government is just like a cow that is milked but not fed. All audits die somewhere.’"
  • “Accountability was never built into the governance structure of the violent kleptocratic system that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) established in the aftermath of the 2005 peace deal that ended the 22-year north-south war. By nature, violent kleptocracies hijack governance institutions for the personal financial benefit of those within the ruling network and for the security of the regime. These kleptocracies use extreme violence, including mass atrocities, to maintain their hold on power. In this regard, South Sudan’s governance institutions were hijacked and the ability of these institutions to implement oversight functions was compromised. Wanton corruption by the political elite accelerated to unprecedented levels and further stymied the government’s ability to deliver services to the populace. In 2012, President Salva Kiir estimated that $4 billion was siphoned from the country’s coffers.”

Overview of report recommendations:

1. Fully fund and staff the agencies responsible for governance for long-term economic benefits

South Sudan’s governance institutions have the potential to counter corruption by promoting economic transparency and accountability. It is critical that the institutions that South Sudan already has in place be able to function properly. They need full budget allocations, sufficient staffing levels, and unobstructed authority to carry out their duties, including enforcement actions.

2. Boost civil society’s role in the public sphere

Governments and multilateral bodies that support good governance should intensify their advocacy to open and preserve political space for civil society in South Sudan. The government of South Sudan should also opt in to the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), which is the World Bank’s arm for providing support to civil society. Although assistance goes to civil society organizations, the government must first agree to the GPSA’s framework.

3. Tie external assistance to strict budget oversight

Many donors are reluctant to offer assistance without seeing significant improvements in peace, security, and the way South Sudanese leaders manage public funds. Most agree that it is crucial to ensure that donor funding is not misappropriated. Donors should, therefore, provide support that is subject to “dual-key” provisions similar to those of Liberia’s Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP). GEMAP, a partnership implemented in 2006 to 2010 between the government of Liberia and international partners, was designed to ensure transparency and accountability in Liberia’s government spending, particularly with natural resource revenues.

4. Develop additional mechanisms for donor coordination and evaluation of decision-making using international standards

In addition to donor insistence on the implementation of dual-key budgeting systems, the donor community must develop and adhere to a clear system for coordination on priorities and programs for South Sudan. Donor coordination is critical to ensuring that the government of South Sudan receives consistent messages and donors do not duplicate efforts or work at cross-purposes.

5. Support domestic enforcement and external accountability measures

On the domestic front in South Sudan, donors should support the establishment of a range of institutions and mechanisms spelled out in the August 2015 peace agreement for open government and holding culpable individuals responsible for their actions. Support for the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan to prosecute atrocity and economic crimes—as provided in the 2015 peace deal—is essential to the foundation for accountability and transparency and can counter impunity. Institutional support to boost the performance of oversight institutions to enhance accountability is equally important.

Where domestic measures fail, the international community should use available tools to hold accountable the actors who are undermining progress. The United States, for instance, should use authorities of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to investigate the ways that the proceeds of corruption are laundered out of South Sudan, whether to neighboring countries or beyond. Most financial transactions in this context involve the use of U.S. dollars. When U.S. dollars move through the international financial system, they eventually pass through the United States, giving the U.S. government jurisdiction to take action, particularly when these dollars are believed to be the proceeds of criminal activity.  

Link to the full report: http://eno.ug/2a1W5ij

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

New Report: A Hope from Within? Countering the Intentional Destruction of Governance and Transparency in South Sudan

Today, the Enough Project released its latest report, “A Hope from Within? Countering the Intentional Destruction of Governance and Transparency in South Sudan” by Enough Project Associate Policy Director Brian Adeba, documenting why the reformation of key government institutions is critical to the survival of South Sudan.  Read More »

Sudan Tribune Op-ed: The Long History of Buying Loyalty to Neutralize Rivals in South Sudan

The replacement of South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar with Taban Deng is a well-tested policy that dates back to the 1980s that the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party has employed to purchase the loyalty of groups opposed to it. Following a shoot-out between the bodyguards of President Salva Kiir and Machar earlier this month, relations between both men worsened, culminating in an attack on the latter’s residence in the capital Juba. Machar fled the city and said he would only return if regional peacekeeping troops were allowed in the country to act as a buffer between the two forces.  Read More »

President Kiir Removes VP Machar, Appoints Taban Deng

Date: 
Jul 25, 2016

 

Power play “brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war”

In a potentially destabilizing political move, South Sudan President Salva Kiir has removed First Vice President Riek Machar, replacing him with Mining Minister Taban Deng Gai.  

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “This move represents another marker in the South Sudan's slow motion political suicide.  It unnecessarily brings South Sudan a step closer to full-scale war, shutting another door to dialogue and trampling on democratic processes espoused by both South Sudan's government and opposition SPLA-IO."

Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "If President Kiir's action to remove Machar and replace him with Taban Deng proves to be part of an elite pact without grassroots support, it could undermine the peace agreement. It is imperative that South Sudan’s leaders adhere to implementing the peace agreement and not allow inner-circle power plays to bring forth more violence and destabilization."

This April, Machar and Kiir formed a transitional government, agreeing to a peace deal seeking to end more than two years of devastating civil war as those leaders fought over power and the spoils of massive state corruption.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606,gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

A Hope from Within? Countering the intentional destruction of governance and transparency in South Sudan

In April 2016, after considerable foot-dragging, opposition, and obstacles, the two main parties to the conflict in South Sudan that erupted in December 2013 formed a transitional government as mandated in the August 2015 peace agreement. Sustainable peace in South Sudan will continue to be elusive unless leaders make profound and fundamental changes to establish accountability and end impunity.

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