Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.
The Economist ran a valuable analysis today about the growing concern about the viability of an independent South Sudan state. The piece, “The Promise and Peril of Independence,” provides a useful if grim overview of the current context in which Sudan surges toward elections next year and a referendum in 2011 to determine whether the country will remain united.
[E]ven many southerners, let alone their fiercely partisan foreign backers, worry that the region’s progress towards independence is going awry. Not only is there the increasing rate of intertribal violence and the hostility of the north to contend with. But the south’s woes have been added to by the incompetence and corruption of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS)… At the present rate, South Sudan will fail before it has even been born.
The Small Arms Survey recently released an excellent report detailing some of the external and internal challenges facing the Government of Southern Sudan, with an emphasis on the myriad security problems currently plaguing southern Sudan. Key quote: "The GoSS continues to be driven by the belief that a confrontation with the North is likely."
Francois Grignon, the Africa program director of the International Crisis Group, wrote a strong op-ed in Speigel International that highlights some startling statistics about the incidence of rape in Congo and outlines some of the steps that need to be taken to combat the worst sexual violence in the world. As Grignon makes clear, mass rape is not only the preferred weapon for fighting the war in Congo; it has also perpetuates the conflict. An important quote:
Sexual violence can be as damaging as bullets. It destroys not only the bodies of the victims, but the basic social fabric of local communities and stokes the armed conflict that has plagued the eastern Congo. Enduring peace will require systematically putting military and civilian rapists behind bars in order to end the culture of impunity that promotes sexual violence.
The Council on Foreign Relations hosted a conversation with Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is in Washington this week to drum up support for the embattled power-sharing government the prime minister leads with President Robert Mugabe. A video of the full conversation, as well as one of the highlights, is available here.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Congo yesterday announced that it would step up activities in northeastern Congo to address the fresh attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army. MSF’s news update notes that increasing violence perpetrated by the violent rebel group has created an influx of newly displaced people, the majority of whom have little to no access to even basic medical services.
The Enough Team contributed to this post.