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.

 

 

The Hill Op-ed: Obama’s Iran Playbook Gives Hope to Darfur

Although Darfur’s atrocities are widely perceived to be a thing of the past, the UN announced in the last week that 138,000 Darfuris have been displaced by conflict since the beginning of the year, joining over four million Sudanese already displaced by ongoing wars in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan states. Sudan’s conflicts have produced the third highest prevalence of malnutrition globally, and European governments are so concerned about the influx of Sudanese refugees into Europe that the European Union last week donated $100 million to projects aimed at staunching the flow of those refugees.  Read More »

Enough’s John Prendergast Testifies to Congress: South Sudan “Kidnapped by its Leaders”

Date: 
Apr 27, 2016

Revelations on Erik Prince’s Frontier Services Group; Justice Department Urged to Investigate

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, testified today on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security” presenting critical recommendations for U.S. leadership, including imposing and enforcing targeted sanctions, to pressure South Sudan’s leaders to place the well-being of their people ahead of personal enrichment and power politics.

In his submitted testimony, Prendergast also revealed new information about the activities in South Sudan of Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s company Frontier Services Group (FSG). Documents obtained by The Sentry, a new investigative initiative co-founded by George Clooney and Prendergast, appear to indicate that Frontier Logistics Consultancy DMCC, a subsidiary of FSG, also signed a $5.6 million contract to provide “logistical support” to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. Prendergast recommended that the U.S. Department of State and Department of Justice thoroughly examine whether or not Prince and his associates have violated U.S. laws and trade restrictions.

Complete official testimony by John Prendergast: http://eno.ug/1T22tSu

Testimony (exerpt):

South Sudan is a country that has effectively been kidnapped for ransom by its leaders. This was never so evident than during my last visit to the country earlier this year.  A government at its most basic level is supposed to deliver social services, provide security, and safeguard the rule of law. In South Sudan, however, it has been transformed into a predatory criminal enterprise that serves only the interests of those at the top of the power pyramid. Competing factions of the ruling party have hijacked the state itself and are using its institutions—along with deadly force—to finance and fortify networks aimed at self-enrichment and maintaining or acquiring power. 

Unchecked greed is the main conflict driver in South Sudan, although politicians have mobilized armed elements on the basis of ethnicity, leading to horrific war crimes which make peace and reconciliation all the more difficult.  And it turns out that, despite its central importance in the war, unchecked greed is the one factor that has not been addressed within the context of international peace efforts.   
 

Testimony related to Erik Prince and Frontier Services Group (excerpt):

It is not only South Sudan’s kleptocrats that are making a fortune from the country’s brutal civil war. A host of mercenaries and war profiteers have turned up in South Sudan, eager to make profit from the country’s misery.

Take Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, for example. When Prince’s firm, Frontier Services Group (FSG), began operating in South Sudan, he was explicit about one thing: FSG was dealing solely with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, not the military. Prince and FSG indeed have significant business interests in South Sudan’s oil sector, including a contract to build and operate a diesel refinery and a $23.3 million contract “to transport supplies and perform maintenance on production facilities at the oil fields.” However, providing services to South Sudan’s security forces would require a special license from the State Department in order to comply with the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In fact, Prince’s Blackwater company had been fined for operating without such licenses several times, including once in 2006 for offering its services to southern Sudanese rebels prior to independence.

Although Prince’s associates stressed that they were not doing business with South Sudan’s military, an investigation by the online investigative news site The Intercept found that Prince’s company had attempted to provide attack aircraft to the Government of South Sudan in addition to other defense-related services. When crafting another pitch to South Sudan’s government for an operation that, according to the report, would entail “oil field security training, security intervention and protection support services to the government” for a cost of some $300 million, The Intercept found that Prince and his associates “explicitly plotted a business structure for the contract that would expose no traceable connection to them” which they believed “would enable them to hide violations of U.S. and international defense regulations.” Documents obtained by The Sentry appear to confirm some key findings of this investigation.  Records obtained through our investigation indicate that Frontier Logistics Consultancy DMCC, a subsidiary of FSG, also signed a $5.6 million contract to provide “logistical support” to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. The U.S. Department of State and Department of Justice should thoroughly examine whether or not Prince and his associates have violated U.S. laws and trade restrictions.

Hearing details and video:  http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-south-sudan-s-prospects-peace-and-security

Interview availability: Mr. Prendergast and experts from the Sentry will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing. For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE SENTRY
The Sentry seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provides information and analysis that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information they require to take effective action. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project, with its supporting partners C4ADS and Not On Our Watch (NOOW). Learn more at TheSentry.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

Capitol Hill Event: “A New Approach to Sudan”

Date: 
Apr 26, 2016

This Thursday, April 28, the Enough Project will host an event “A New Approach to Sudan” on Capitol Hill to discuss how in its final year the Obama administration has a new opportunity to support an inclusive peace process in Sudan. Special invited guests include Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and representatives of other leading human rights organizations.

The Sudanese government, led by Omar al-Bashir, continues to commit major abuses against its own people, including bombing civilian populations and blocking humanitarian aid. The event program will explore how modernized sanctions tools, including adopting elements of the administration’s playbook used in Iran, can create leverage necessary to achieve the broader diplomatic goal of a successful and comprehensive peace process, and while mitigating the negative impacts of sanctions on the Sudanese people.

Speakers include:

  • John Prendergast, Omer Ismail, and Brad Brooks-Rubin, Enough Project
  • Yaya J. Fanusie, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Peter Harrell, Center for New American Security
  • Andrea Prasow, Human Rights Watch

Invited Special Guests:

  • Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Representative Michael Capuano (D-MA), Co-Chair, Sudan/South Sudan Caucus
  • Representative Tom Rooney (R-FL), Co-Chair, Sudan/South Sudan Caucus
  • Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

When: Thursday, April 28, 2016, 1:00pm

Where: Room B340, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Event details and RSVP: http://enoughproject.org/events/new-approach-sudan

Also - Congressional testimony tomorrow, Wednesday, April 27: John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, will testify on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security” alongside other distinguished witnesses before the House Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. Hearing details: http://eno.ug/1Uf5jci

Media contact: Enough Project experts will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing and the event. 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

Testimony of John Prendergast - South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security

Testimony of John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations' hearing on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security,” given on April 27, 2016.

Rebel Leader Riek Machar Returns to Juba

Date: 
Apr 26, 2016

Tomorrow, John Prendergast testifies to Congress on peace, security for South Sudan

Opposition leader Riek Machar has returned to Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Machar is set to take up his post as vice-president in the transitional government. Experts at the Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, are available for further comment and analysis as events develop.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 27, John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, will testify on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security” alongside other distinguished witnesses before the House Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “Machar's return cannot hide the most insidious obstacle to lasting peace, which is entrenched competitive corruption.  The violent kleptocracy that marks the world's newest state is likely to fuel further competition between the formerly warring factions to capture state resources. Forming a government with the same actors responsible for the collapse of the economy and atrocities holds open the possibility that grand corruption will return to its pre-war patterns. Local South Sudanese and international efforts to support accountability and transparency should be at the core of any peace promotion strategy going forward.  Without an emphasis on consequences for gross corruption and atrocities, it's unlikely the deadly patterns will be broken.”

Ian Schwab, Director of Advocacy at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan's war created major self-enrichment opportunities, and peace threatens to undo some of these patterns of corruption.  The most difficult task facing the new transitional government will be how to effectively manage corruption and violence. The international community can play a critical role in holding South Sudan's leaders accountable to fulfill their commitments under the peace agreement.”

At the Congressional hearing, Prendergast will present specific recommendations for U.S. leadership, including imposing and enforcing targeted sanctions, to pressure South Sudan’s leaders to place the well-being of their people ahead of personal enrichment and power politics. 

Despite a formal peace agreement signed last August, armed conflict has continued while the South Sudanese people suffer mass atrocities, the displacement of millions, and an undeclared famine.

Hearing details: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-south-sudan-s-prospects-peace-and-security

Testimony livestream: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed

Interview availability: Mr. Prendergast will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing. 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

NGOs Release Statement on Situation in South Sudan

Today, the Enough Project joined 10 other organizations in releasing a statement regarding the current situation in South Sudan.  Read More »

Enough’s John Prendergast to Testify to Congress on South Sudan

Date: 
Apr 24, 2016

This Wednesday, April 27, John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, will testify on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security” alongside other distinguished witnesses before the House Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

Mr. Prendergast will present specific recommendations for U.S. leadership, including imposing and enforcing targeted sanctions, to pressure South Sudan’s leaders to place the well-being of their people ahead of personal enrichment and power politics. Despite a formal peace agreement signed last August, armed conflict has continued while the South Sudanese people suffer mass atrocities, the displacement of millions, and an undeclared famine.

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 2:00pm

Where: 2200 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Hearing details:  http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-south-sudan-s-prospects-peace-and-security

Testimony livestream: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed

Interview availability: Mr. Prendergast will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing. 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.

Modernized Sanctions Offer Hope for Peace in Sudan

Date: 
Apr 6, 2016

Opportunity for Obama Administration in its final year to deploy new targeted financial pressures, while minimizing harm to humanitarian, medical, civilian sectors - As Panama Papers reveal global illicit money flows, report highlights new tools to combat high level corruption 

A new Enough Project report published today, “Modernized Sanctions for Sudan: Unfinished Business for the Obama Administration” by John Prendergast and Brad Brooks-Rubin, details how in its final nine months the Obama administration has an unprecedented opportunity to build on emerging leverage with the Sudanese government and deploy new targeted financial pressures to support a peace deal in Sudan. As revelations from the Panama Papers bring world attention to the scourge of secret financial flows, the report highlights new tools available for action to combat high level government corruption connected to atrocities and armed conflict.

The report by Prendergast, Enough's Founding Director and a former White House official, and Brooks-Rubin, Enough's Director of Policy and a former Treasury and State Department official, also offers critical recommendations to minimize unintended consequences of existing sanctions measures that have harmed medical, humanitarian, civilian, and academic sectors in Sudan.

Past peace efforts in Sudan have failed, and government-perpetrated atrocities continue to victimize civilians in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan states, in part due to insufficient international leverage over the Khartoum regime. The Enough Project report describes how current conditions are optimal for the U.S. to make a policy investment that could pay big dividends in Sudan, including a peace process leading to transition to democracy.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and report co-author, said: "Sudan has increasingly become financially isolated over the last year due to the serendipitous spillover from tightened enforcement of sanctions measures which were principally focused on Iran. Sanctions relief has replaced debt relief as the Sudan regime’s principal preoccupation. To maximize this newfound leverage over Khartoum, the U.S. and other allies with influence should ratchet up carefully targeted financial pressures on Sudan government officials and their commercial networks with the goal of a more inclusive, single, unified peace process that leads to a transition to democracy in Sudan."

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "The Panama Papers demonstrate the ways in which high level government officials and their networks of facilitators and enablers are able to move and hide money. Our report describes points of leverage not only to try to combat this type of grand corruption but also to build on that leverage to move peace efforts forward in a kleptocratic state like Sudan."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project and report co-author, said: “The design and enforcement of sanctions have transformed in the last decade to deal with Iran, Russia, and Burma. Now is the time to adapt the outdated Sudan sanctions imposed in 1997 and 2006 to take advantage of these modernized, highly targeted approaches.  We believe this is the best way to spur a process for change on the ground.”

Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project, said: “The Bashir regime is now more vulnerable to these types of targeted financial measures because they would be aimed at the illicit and corrupt practices of perpetrators and orchestrators of atrocities. The focus now should be on the regime operatives that bankrupted the country and used the coffers of the State to enrich themselves and their cronies.”

Key report excerpts:

  • Peace efforts in Sudan have failed in the past, in large part because of insufficient international leverage over the Sudanese government, but now the Obama administration has an unprecedented opportunity in its final months in office to make a policy investment that could pay big dividends. The Obama administration can further build on new, emerging leverage with the Khartoum regime in support of an inclusive peace deal in Sudan leading to a transition to democracy.
  • U.S. leaders should adopt elements of the playbook used with Iran and other recent crises that are appropriate to the Sudanese political and economic context.
  • Leaders should begin by immediately ratcheting up financial pressure and tightening sanctions enforcement on Sudan, deploying more focused, enhanced, and modernized sanctions that more sharply target the military and financial assets of those most responsible for continuing conflict, atrocities, and mass corruption in Sudan.
  • At the same time, the Obama administration should quickly provide needed guidance to minimize the unintended consequences of the existing sanctions measures that have harmed the medical, humanitarian, people-to-people, and academic sectors in Sudan.
  • Despite all evidence to the contrary, the government of Sudan insists that U.S. sanctions are the sole reason for the country’s collapsing economy and unending humanitarian crises. Over the last year, the regime has embarked on an extensive and creative campaign of manipulation and deceit to cajole policymakers into ending U.S. sanctions. With support from Washington, D.C. law firms and lobbyists, Khartoum has engaged in a sometimes surreal charm offensive to press for the end of sanctions as the cure for all of the country’s woes.
  • The goal of these modernized measures is to deploy them in the service of bringing the Sudanese regime to a more inclusive, single, unified peace process that aims for a negotiated transition to democracy. The U.S. role would be to provide the leverage to propel a process that leads to a truly inclusive peace deal in Sudan, the verified implementation of which would trigger the eventual removal of sanctions along with debt relief and normalized relations with the United States.
  • Ideally, this enhanced and modernized sanctions regime could be implemented through a new presidential executive order and, potentially, legislation on Capitol Hill, where the Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan pursues congressional action to peace and human rights in the two countries. The United States should also deeply engage other countries with influence to pursue their own targeted pressures and incentives on the Sudanese government in order to buttress a wider international push for peace in Sudan.

Recommended modernized sanctions tools and approaches:

  • Sanctions on foreign financial institutions that facilitate the al-Bashir regime’s most egregious activities.
  • Focused anti-money laundering measures.
  • Modernized pressures that can more effectively target top regime officials and their commercial interests should include sectoral sanctions and similar efforts directed at elements of the weapons and mining sectors, the latter specifically for projects in conflict areas.
  • Anti-corruption sanctions against individuals and entities facilitating public corruption.
  • Increased designation and enforcement of targeted sanctions on specific companies owned by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and companies owned by other senior government officials—areas where sanctions enforcement has been weak.

Link to the full report: http://eno.ug/1VVe0J5

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

Africa Confidential: A Last Blast for Sanctions

A new report from the United States-based, Africa-focussed Enough Project proposes that President Barack Obama's government should use a similar range of finely tuned financial and technical sanctions against Sudan to that used against Iran to push it into serious negotiations.  Read More »

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