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.
Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize winner called on African nations yesterday not to leave the International Criminal Court. While members of the African Union were meeting in Addis Ababa on Thursday to discuss withdrawal from the ICC, Tutu reminded these African leaders of the important role the Court plays in holding accountable perpetrators of violence. He counters the argument that the ICC is racist by stating that, due to its membership and leadership, the Court is “very clearly an African court,” and notes that leaving the ICC “would be a tragedy for Africa.”
Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, South Kivu was a top contender for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Mukwege founded this clinic for women in 1998, and he estimates that more than 500,000 women have been victims of sexual violence over the course of the conflict. While he did not receive the Prize, his nomination drew attention from the international community to the conflict in Congo.
Protestors in Abyei delivered a letter this past Tuesday to the United Nations Interim Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) hoping to seize the attention of the international community in regards for their desire to vote this month. Khartoum and Juba have failed to reach a consensus on who will be able to participate in the referendum, but Abyei leaders state that, in line with the Hague’s statement in 2009, they plan to organize a unilateral vote to determine the future of the area.
For years, The Lord’s Resistance Army has brought violence and fear to Uganda, parts of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. David Okech was only 17 years old when he was forced to become a soldier in the LRA, and has recently spoken out to tell his story of survival.
“That is how the LRA works. They destroy everything that is valuable to you so you have no option. I was by myself. I felt alone. That is a powerful brainwashing for any child”
After witnessing countless brutal and senseless murders, Okech escaped. Arriving back to his childhood hometown, he found that no one trusted him and he was thus forced to move again. Eventually, Okech was able to go to University.
The government of South Sudan has identified education as one of its priorities in their development plan. Despite many roadblocks to achieving this goal, including internal insecurity, child marriage, a shortage of teachers, and an underdeveloped school infrastructure, South Sudan is committed to making education more accessible to girls. Currently, statistics show that only approximately 30% of secondary school students in South Sudan are girls, but President Kiir has reiterated his government’s commitment to ensure that all girls in South Sudan go to school.