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Colin Thomas-Jensen, Former Enough Policy Advisor, Reflects on 10 Years of the Enough Project

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Colin Thomas-Jensen, Former Enough Policy Advisor, Reflects on 10 Years of the Enough Project

Posted by Enough Team on May 26, 2017

This blogpost is about a recent paper published by the Enough Forum. Presented by the Enough Project, the Enough Forum is a platform for dynamic discourse engaging critical issues, challenges, and questions among thought leaders, field researchers, and policy experts. Opinions and statements herein are those of the authors and participants in the forum, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy recommendations of the Enough Project.

Today, during Enough Project’s 10th Anniversary Commemoration Week, the Enough Forum published a new paper, “Crisis and Hope in Africa: The Enough Project at Ten Years”by Colin Thomas-Jensen.

Currently a fellow at the New America Foundation and at the the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, Thomas-Jensen was the senior policy advisor for the Enough Project from its founding in 2007 until 2010, when he went to work as a senior advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan and then as the senior policy advisor on Africa for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. In this essay for enough, he reflects upon the roots of the organization and, drawing from his recent experiences as a policymaker in the U.S. government, where the organization is today. He follows the development of Enough’s founding agenda, comments on the progress and remaining challenges in the core areas of focus for Enough, and reinforces the continued importance of the larger grassroots movement to end genocide and mass atrocities. The commentary focuses on the evolution of the conflicts in, and international responses to, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in communities affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

“Colin was instrumental in helping to launch and build Enough during its formative years. His involvement was indispensable in supporting our evolution as a difference-maker. Colin has deep field experience in Africa as well as great policy instincts, which served enough well as it was expanding during our first few years.” – John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director.

Thomas-Jensen opens by remembering how:

“In late 2006, I spent a weekend at a hotel in downtown Philadelphia with an extraordinary group of human rights activists. The meeting, convened by the Bay Area-based foundation Humanity United, was the first step toward building a new organization—one that would use field-based research and analysis of armed conflict and focused advocacy to generate greater political will in the United States and elsewhere to take bold policy decisions to end genocide and mass atrocities in Africa. Three years earlier, the Government of Sudan had begun a military campaign against its citizens in Darfur. The atrocities were met with widespread global condemnation and launched the Save Darfur Coalition, a major grassroots movement focused on ending the killing, which the George W. Bush administration called genocide. Our goal in Philadelphia was ambitious, borne not just from a collective sense of outrage over the brutality of conflicts at the time across East and Central Africa, but also from the belief that the strong bipartisan constituency built around ending genocide in Darfur could be a game-changer in affecting policy change on a broader agenda.”