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Longtime Sudan specialist and Smith College professor Eric Reeves stresses the same conclusion, without having to conform to diplomatic pressures, in his extensive, recently released archive of state-sponsored violence across Sudan over the past five years. Read More »
The top commander of the South Sudan army’s controversial disarmament campaign in Jonglei state recently announced a shift in the strategy for dealing with the most troublesome challenge to their “Operation Restore Hope”—the David Yau Yau rebellion in Pibor. The SPLA will now “launch aggressive attacks” against the rebels, said Lt. Gen. Kuol Deim Kuol, effectively ending what the SPLA previous said was its plan to only assume defensive positions to allow the necessary space for an initiative that saw local elders travel to their communities to convince the population not to join Yau Yau or to be in possession of guns. Read More »
Student leader Bennett Collins spearheaded the St Andrews University chapter of Raise Hope for Congo's Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. In this guest post he reflects on the past year of action. Read More »
Earlier this month, four bodies were found in one of Wad Madani’s irrigation canals, just miles away from Sudan’s capital. The university town in the country’s breadbasket has been spared the endemic violence that has come to characterize life in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. However, a fight over tuition fees at Wad Madani’s Gezira University and the subsequent murder of four students has put events in the town at the center of Sudan’s political future. Read More »
There’s broad consensus among Sudan watchers that the country is in crisis, emanating from the 23-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir. The question is: What to do? The Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, hosted a panel discussion in D.C. last week about the ongoing crisis in Sudan. Read More »
BOR, JONGLEI STATE, South Sudan – The threat of escalating, mass violence against civilians in South Sudan's volatile Jonglei border-state looms large, according to a new Enough Project field report and video.
Over the past year, violence in the world’s newest nation has been particularly severe in Jonglei state, accounting for more than half of all people killed in the country in 2012. The government of Sudan has historically been instrumental in facilitating the violence by providing arms, ammunition, and cash to spoilers in South Sudan. Currently, a rebellion allegedly backed by the government of Sudan and led by David Yau Yau poses a daily danger to Jonglei communities and threatens to undo any progress that has been made toward stability in the state—especially if the South Sudan military responds in a manner that isolates the civilian population, according to the report.
To address the violence, the government of South Sudan must fully implement the peace process that it initiated in early 2012, engage deeper with the Jonglei communities, and modify its security strategy to prioritize the protection of civilians, the report said. Further, the international community must increase pressure on Khartoum to stop its assistance to rebels in South Sudan and ensure that this issue is addressed in the Sudan-South Sudan peace deal implementation talks.
Amanda Hsiao, co-author of the report and Enough Project Juba Field Researcher said:
"The violence in Jonglei presents a test case of the South Sudanese government’s ability to fulfill its responsibility to protect and to govern in a more inclusive and transparent manner. Representatives from throughout Jonglei state came together in May and identified some of the essential causes of the conflicts. The responsibility to translate those discussions into action—which has yet to take place in a coordinated fashion—falls to Juba."
While the government’s state-wide disarmament campaign has resulted in temporary stability in Lou Nuer ethnic communities during the rainy season, abuses committed by the army during the disarmament campaign in Murle ethnic communities have directly contributed to renewed insecurity, further stalling the Jonglei peace process.
Laura Heaton, co-author of the report and Enough Project Consultant said:
“The South Sudanese army’s disarmament in the Lou Nuer and the Murle areas has transpired very differently. Few people we spoke to in Akobo County deny that the disarmament campaign has been the primary factor contributing to the relative peace in the Lou Nuer areas in recent months, while at least 100 cases of beatings, torture, looting, and rape were committed in Murle communities in Pibor County. The South Sudan government needs to quickly demonstrate that it grasps the concerns of South Sudanese who have long believed that they must depend on their own communities for protection and to fulfill basic needs—and who have therefore made pragmatic decisions, like stealing their neighbor’s cattle or joining the local militia.”
The international community, including the U.S., can play a crucial role by supporting the South Sudan government in addressing the immediate and long-term threats to civilians in Jonglei. Projects aimed at addressing the root causes of violence in Jonglei, including helping establish rule of law and accountability mechanisms, promoting alternative livelihoods, and developing infrastructure, should be expanded, the report said.
The report and accompanying video are based on field research conducted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan; Bor, the capital of Jonglei; and Pibor and Akobo, the towns that serve as the centers of the Murle and Lou Nuer communities.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.