Earlier this week, U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei, or UNISFA, completed the first verification mission to confirm troop withdrawal on both sides of the highly disputed 14-mile area. While this success is reason for cautious optimism in the peace process between Sudan and South Sudan, a new Enough Project policy paper presents critical contextual perspective on the ongoing cycle of progress and setback that has become typical of peace negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. Read More »
Fix the Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans: Enough Project
WASHINGTON – The international community should not be lulled into a false sense of security because of the incremental steps Khartoum has recently taken in its bilateral relationship with South Sudan, argues a new Enough Project paper. These types of small steps forward after months of delay have been Khartoum’s standard operating procedure for years.
The UN has announced that a joint monitoring mission visited two hot spots, Kiir Adem and Tishwin, in the buffer zone between the two countries. The mission confirmed that both sides' armed forces had withdrawn from those locations. Although this is significant, the Enough Project's new report, The Broken Approach to Peace Between the Sudans, puts these developments into a broader context by explaining why such incremental progress contains the seeds of even more conflict. The paper spotlights the dangerous cycle of incremental agreements, whose implementation is delayed until yet another incremental step is hailed as a breakthrough.
Enough Project Senior Advisor Omer Ismail said:
The international community is celebrating the incremental steps forward in March 2013 as a breakthrough. Efforts to secure peace between the Sudans are trapped in a cycle where the international community applauds incremental progress while tolerating dangerous delays. Continued reluctance to put a stop to Khartoum's bad faith tactics undermines efforts to secure a durable peace. When combined with the ineffectiveness of the African Union's mediation efforts and the perverse incentives produced by internal political dynamics within the Sudans, tolerance of Bashir's intransigence perpetuates conflict. We need to hold both Sudans to all of their September 2012 commitments.
The paper offers three recommendations for a more effective peace process. First, the Enough Project stresses the needs to leverage pressure on the two Sudans to move them towards durable and enforced agreements. Second, it suggests shifting the focus away from high-stakes summits towards technical discussions since real negotiations will require stronger channels of bilateral communication between the Sudans. Finally, the paper argues that the U.S. government needs to strengthen Sudanese opposition and civil society to help create the space necessary to shift internal political pressures towards peace.
Enough Project Research Associate Akshaya Kumar said:
We keep allowing Khartoum to move the goalposts and redefine success. Real progress towards a durable peace needs a new approach. Effectively leveraging international pressure on both parties and shifting the focus away from high stakes summits will help. Since a lack of political will within the Sudans is the root cause of much of the trouble, support for opposition efforts to widen the political space will be essential.
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.
The international community’s current approach to brokering peace between the two Sudans is caught in a counterproductive cycle. This paper argues that the issues troubling the most recent negotiations are symptomatic of broader problems with the international community’s efforts to broker peace in the Sudans, identifies the underlying reasons why the process has failed to move forward, and proposes three recommendations for a more viable strategy.
In a bizarre turn of events, M23 rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on March 18th amidst swirling rumors of his presence in Rwanda, reports of internal fighting among M23 factions, and an impending peace deal between rebels and the Congolese government. Read More »
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, firstname.lastname@example.org,+1-202-386-1618
GOMA, DR CONGO, AND WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. government has confirmed that Bosco "The Terminator" Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, has entered the U.S. embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, to surrender.
State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated:
"I can confirm that Bosco Ntaganda, ICC indictee and the leader of one of the factions of the M23 rebel group and the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant, walked into the U.S. Embassy in Kigali this morning. He specifically asked to be transferred to the ICC in The Hague."
She also said, "We are working to facilitate his request to be transferred to the Hague. We strongly support the ICC and their investigation on the atrocities committed in the DRC."
Enough Project Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba, based in Goma, DR Congo, said:
"Bosco Ntaganda would have considered all his options before deciding to surrender to the US embassy. He may have felt that his best chance for survival was to surrender to people he believes can ensure his safety. Now that Bosco is in custody, justice can be done for the Congolese people."
Enough Project Associate Director of Research Aaron Hall said:
"Ntaganda's surrender is a significant moment for accountability and reconciliation in Congo and Rwanda. He must be delivered to The Hague to face the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity pending against him, especially for rape, sexual slavery and the forcible recruitment of child soldiers. Only immediate arrest and transfer to The Hague will give assurance to eastern Congo's communities that justice will be done."
"Bosco Ntaganda is not called The Terminator for nothing. The US should immediately hand him over to the International Criminal Court for trial. This would send serious signals to current and future warlords who continue to perpetrate atrocities in eastern Congo. The ICC should also investigate and indict M23 and FDLR officers most responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity."
Ntaganda lived for years in a comfortable villa in Goma, rubbing elbows with humanitarian workers, Congolese security officials, and in plain view of United Nations peacekeeping mission. Despite his war criminal status, he has remained able to consolidate power and move freely throughout the region with total impunity while amassing a fortune from exploitation of the region's illicit minerals trade according to an Enough Project fact sheet that sheds light on the former general.
Ntaganda, a Congolese Tutsi with links to the government of Rwanda, fought for years with various rebel groups in both Rwanda and Congo before taking over the Rwandan-backed rebel group the CNDP in 2009. At that point, Ntaganda's forces were integrated into the Congolese army in a still opaque peace deal between Rwanda and Congo. Since then, he has continued a campaign of corruption, murder, rape, extortion and intimidation, under the umbrella of the Congolese state security apparatus.
Enough Project Field Researcher Timo Mueller said:
"Bosco's decision to turn himself over is indicative of a profound crisis within M23. Over the recent weeks, the group has been consumed by merciless infighting. With the Terminator in custody, the International Community has a prime opportunity to increase its leverage to dismantle a group that wreaks havoc over eastern Congo."
"Ntaganda has been called both a war criminal and a lynchpin to regional stability," according to the Enough Project fact sheet. "Yet as a member and leader of several armed groups, he has left a bloody trail across the eastern Congo."
Read the Enough Project fact sheet (PDF), "Who is Bosco Ntaganda: Lynchpin to Security or International War Criminal?" LINK: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/BoscoNtaganda.pdf
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.