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Enough Project calls for targeted sanctions on government and opposition leaders for “deliberate continuation of the war”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UN Experts Panel Report, released today: “Command Responsibility” by President Kiir, Former VP Machar for Atrocities in South Sudan

Washington, DC, January 25, 2016 (SSNA) -- Government and opposition leaders, including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, have “command and control” responsibility for the majority of mass atrocities and human rights violations in South Sudan’s war, according to a UN Security Council Panel of Experts (PoE) report, published today.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said, “It is critical that the Experts Group established command and control responsibility for mass atrocities all the way to the very top of both the government and rebel militaries.  The onus is on the UN Security Council to act on that evidence by holding accountable those leaders on both sides responsible for mass atrocities. Without accountability, the current peace process is doomed to implode under the weight of impunity for both human rights abuses and mass corruption.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Key individuals in this Panel of Expert report have been named as being behind a deliberate continuation of the war in South Sudan. It has long been our position that a few elite politicians in South Sudan have seized control of government for their personal economic gain. When competing factions among the elite wanted a bigger share of the spoils of state, they pushed the country into war. Some of these top-level politicians oppose the end of the war because they are profiting from it. The Enough Project welcomes the identification of these individuals. This report opens the path forjustice, and an end to impunity. Now that these individuals have been exposed, the U.S, other governments, and organizations such as the UN, must use the tools at their disposal to hold these individuals accountable."

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "The report highlights several cases in which asset freezes and travel bans imposed on high-level South Sudanese officials directly responsible for abuses have been blatantly violated. Moving forward, the international community -- and especially countries in the region -- must take steps to ensure that the current UN sanctions are adequately enforced."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, added: “The peace deal faces existential threats from the war profiteers among the elite. We have seen the deliberate enactment of policies, such as the creation of new states that violate the stipulations of the deal. The ceasefire has been violated so many times by both sides in the conflict. Unless conflict no longer holds any economic value for the war profiteers among the elite, South Sudan will not enjoy peace. That’s why it is important to hold those responsible for the war to account for their actions.”

More analysis by the Enough Project:

  • Real accountability means enacting specific sanctions on these individuals, with the ultimate aim of limiting their ability to move assets and ill-gotten wealth in the global financial system.  In the U.S, several tools exist, ranging from legislation to presidential orders that would empower government to seize assets, limit the potential of these individuals to seek support from regional governments, and disrupt the economic activities of these individuals so that they don’t profit from war.
  • For the UN Security Council, the time is ripe to enforce targeted sanctions on these individuals. The report depicts a gloomy forecast for South Sudan, pointing out that conflict may endure. To stop war in South Sudan, now is the time for the Security Council to enforce an arms embargo and sanctions on individuals and other entities involved in arms trading with South Sudan.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

If you would rather not receive future communications from Enough Project, let us know by clicking here.

Enough Project, 1333 H St., NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005, United States

Thiang Nuer Community’s congratulatory Message to Johnson Kuol Gai Nyoab on his recent promotion to the rank of Major General

Jonglei/Phow State-Fangak (South) County
The Republic of South Sudan

Sub: Congratulatory Message

January 23, 2016 (SSNA) -- On behalf of Thiang Nuer Community and indeed on our own behalf as Thiang Nuer Youths at home, we would like to size this golden chance to register our million congratulations to H: E Johnson Kuol Gai Nyoab on his recent promotion from the rank of Brigadier General to the rank of Major General and also on his subsequent appointment as Governor of Phow State.

It was on 12th January 2016 in Pagak when the SPLM/-I-O’s Chairman and Commander-in-chief of the SPLA-I-O, Dr. Riek Machar Teny issued those two series orders, promoting H:E Johnson Kuol to the rank of Major General and then promoted him as Phow State’s Deputy Governor to Phow State’s Governor general.

Therefore, in the first place we would like congratulate Johnson Kuol on his promotion and appointment to the above stated two higher positions respectively. Million Congratulations to you; Your Excellency Johnson, you really deserve both military and political higher positions that you was promoted and appointed to!! And it could not be out of blue, why you was promoted and appointed to those top posts at the same time. Surely it must be because of your unmeasured contributions you’ve been doing ever since in the Resistant Movement. So go ahead Johnson, we, all the Thiang Nuer Youths and indeed our community as a whole is one hundred (100%) behind you and behind the President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurghon.

Secondly, we cannot forget to register our sincere appreciations and thanks to SPLM/A-I-O’s top leadership for bestowed such a great onus on our brother and Thiang’s Nuer son, Johnson Kuol Gai to serve the people of Phow State as their Governor. It is first of its kind in Fangak or Phow Community’s history that one of the Thiang Nuer’s sons is appointed to the position of Governorship. And it is only done by a democratic, visionary leader like Dr. Machar Teny who, throughout, dedicated his life to works, fights for justice and equality for all. We have to acknowledge this truth in this message. The Thiang Nuer Community will, therefore, at the various levels organize and celebrate a historic appointment of Johnson Kuol Gai’s Nyoab as Phow State’s Governor. So thank you very much Dr. Machar for this historic & (your) democratic decision, appointed Johnson Kuol a Governor. A visionary, democratic and equality characters that you have in mind are the main reasons why the entire public is always behind you. We do really appreciate all those qualities in you very much and that is good of you Dr. Machar!!

Lastly, we would like to end this congratulatory message by urging Gen. H: E. Johnson Kuol Gai, the Governor of Phow State to tirelessly continue working for all four sections (cub-clans) of Phow State’s people’s common interests as usual and not only for Thiang Nuer Community but also in the best interests of Gawaar Nuer, Lak Nuer and Padang Dinka of Pigi county in general. Transparency, democracy and equality for all are what we are fighting for behind our wise and able leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurghon.

Backward never Forward ever!!

This Congratulatory Message was prepared and Signed by all Thiang Nuer Youths in Old Fangak; but it is released to the press by Mr. Thomas Jenai Dual, Chairperson.

Thiang Nuer Youth Association—Fangak (South) County, Old Fangak
Long Live Thinag Nuer Youths!!
Long Live Thinag Nuer Communtiy!!
Long Live Phow State Community!!
Long Live Gen. Johnson Kuol Gai!!
Long Live Dr. Riek Machar Teny!!
Long Live Democratic Republic of South Sudan!!

The Chairperson of Thinag Nuer Youth Association in Old Fangak, Thomas Jenay, can be reached for any comment or suggestion at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ICRC vice-president’s speech at UNSC debate on the protection of civilians

Who: Christine Beerli, vice-president of the ICRC
What: Speech at the UN Security Council debate on the protection of civilians 
Where: United Nations, New York
When: 19 January

Starts:

Mr President, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

New York, January 19, 2016 (SSNA) -- Thank you for inviting the ICRC to address you on the subject of the protection of civilians – a subject which your Council has put at the centre of many of its resolutions, including on Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, the Central African Republic and the Lake Chad basin.

In 2015, ICRC operations reached more than 40 million people, including more civilians than ever before in our history. Regrettably, we see the underlying trend of increasing humanitarian needs as likely to continue over the next year.

International humanitarian law for the protection of civilians in international and non-international armed conflict is clearly established and binding for all parties to armed conflict, State and non-State.  The ICRC continues to believe that the current legal framework for the protection of civilians remains relevant and that the main challenge in protecting civilians centres on greater compliance with IHL by all parties to armed conflicts.

For the ICRC, working on the ground with the victims of armed conflict, it is obvious that political action ultimately determines the fate of civilian populations. If there are no political solutions to armed conflicts, then many millions of people will continue to endure the personal tragedy and humanitarian consequences of armed conflict, for years, decades, or even lifetimes.

This year we will mark the fifth anniversary of the Syrian crisis. Syria has in many ways become an emblematic conflict, with immense suffering of the civilian population. It is emblematic in terms of violations of the law, of a restrictive interpretation of the humanitarian space, of illegal use of weapons and of use of illegal weapons, all of which has led to dramatic displacement, in turn putting pressure on neighbouring States’ basic services and social fabric.

The link between the suffering and the lack of respect for IHL could not be clearer than when you talk to the severely malnourished people of Madaya, Foua and Kefraya, as my colleagues did over the last weeks. Women, men and children have died, and, unless full compliance with IHL is assured, many more are at risk of death. Today the overwhelming humanitarian needs necessitate that the sieges be lifted immediately. This Council has the possibility to support and practice confidential engagement for the respect of the law, in Syria and elsewhere. On behalf of the civilians that the ICRC serves in armed conflicts around the world, I encourage you to do so.

All this suggests that much more needs to be done to resolve armed conflicts. Here, the emphasis of last year’s UN High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations on “the primacy of politics” and the need for political solutions to be in the driving seat of UN efforts is important, and timely.

The ICRC welcomes the Panel’s recognition that “the protection of civilians is a core obligation of the United Nations”. We also recognize that the single greatest contribution to ending the suffering of civilians in armed conflict is always the effective prevention and resolution of armed conflict.

With this in mind, the ICRC urges the Council to find consensus, wherever it can, to build the necessary political strategies that will prevent and end armed conflicts.

Where there is no end to an armed conflict and when IHL applies, then compliance with international humanitarian law is critical to ensure the protection of civilians.

The conduct of hostilities - the way armed conflicts are fought - is the key determinant of civilian suffering. The misuse of weapons, direct attacks against civilians and the civilian populations as well as indiscriminate attacks, starvation and displacement that become part of a military strategy and attacks against health care facilities all too often combine to create civilian suffering that involves serious violations of IHL.

In the ICRC’s experience, much widespread harm and suffering caused by armed conflict is wrongly seen as an inevitable consequence of war when in fact it is frequently a violation of law. Far too much civilian suffering in this last year has resulted from a failure of the parties to a conflict to take into account the protection of civilians in the conduct of military operations and to strike the appropriate balance between military necessity and humanitarian imperatives, as required by IHL.

Yet violations of IHL occur daily: explosive weapons are used indiscriminately in populated areas. Civilian populations and civilian objects are deliberately targeted. Civilian communities are forcibly displaced and trapped in lengthy sieges, deprived of means of survival. Women and men, girls and boys are regularly the victims of rape and sexual violence. Schools are attacked or used for military purposes, leading to their loss of protection against attack. Detainees are summarily executed, tortured and kept in inhumane conditions and denied due process of law.

Such violations of IHL are well known to you all and often referred to explicitly in the Council’s resolutions with an evident determination to end them.

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is one example that raises serious concern in terms of compliance.

Especially in urban environments these weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, with often devastating consequences for civilians. Many civilians are killed or injured by such weapons. Critical infrastructure – on which civilians depend for their livelihoods and survival - like power stations, water treatment plants and hospitals can be continuously and cumulatively damaged so that they cease to provide essential services to meet people’s basic needs. Precisely for those reasons, the ICRC has urged that the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area should be avoided in densely populated areas.

To address this humanitarian issue States should make known their policies on the use of such weapons and explain how their use of explosive weapons in populated areas complies with IHL.

We also ask that Habitat III, the upcoming United Nations Summit to develop a “new urban agenda”, take account of the risks faced by many millions of people threatened by armed conflict and other situations of violence in today’s densely populated and fast growing cities.

The second main aspect of compliance that the ICRC would like to emphasize is the need for States and non-State armed groups to comply with their obligation to meet the basic needs of the population under their control and, if unable to do so, to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of relief for civilians in need, subject to their right of control. If these basic needs are not met, parties to armed conflict shall positively respond to offers of services made by impartial humanitarian organization such as the ICRC and shall authorize their humanitarian activities, which include protection and assistance. Humanitarian activities are all those aimed at preserving life and security or seeking to restore the mental and physical well-being of victims of armed conflict. In this process, a concern to protect the dignity of a person is fundamental.

Questions of humanitarian access necessary to carry out protection and assistance activities, is an aspect of IHL on which the Council has continued to exercise significant concern in 2015. These questions will be particularly relevant in 2016 as States prepare to make new commitments on humanitarian action at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May.

At the Summit, the ICRC very much wants to see a significant and practical recommitment by States to their obligations to protect and assist the civilian population in armed conflicts. Clear recognition of the complementary albeit essential and lawful role that impartial humanitarian organizations – local and international - can play in meeting this humanitarian objective also needs to emerge from the Summit.

Practical recommitments to IHL’s rules on access, protection and assistance will be particularly important in 2016 because of the unprecedented number of internally displaced people, refugees and vulnerable migrants that are fleeing and moving because of the humanitarian consequences of armed conflict. 

The ICRC welcomes the UN’s Summit on Large-Scale Movements of Migrants and Refugees due to take place in September this year, and we are committed to play a significant role in its process and debate. At the same time, we ask that a strong focus of the Council’s attention remain on the millions of IDPs affected by armed conflict, many of whom die as a result of armed conflict.

The need to respect and ensure compliance with IHL is urgent. States and non-State armed groups must comply with these laws, and close the existing implementation gap.

The mere existence of obligations and prohibitions is not sufficient to prevent and put a stop to suffering, or to deter future violations. IHL rules must be known, understood and implemented by the parties to an armed conflict if its purposes are to be fulfilled. This is a multifaceted process which requires that appropriate action be taken by actors at the national, regional, and international levels.

Mr President,

Thank you for giving the ICRC the opportunity to speak in this important debate.

I hope you have heard us encourage the Council’s efforts to protect civilians, and urge all States to find whatever consensus is possible to prevent and resolve armed conflicts as the single best way to protect civilians.

Meanwhile, and as armed conflicts go on, respecting the law is the single most impactful choice States and non-State groups can make to avoid civilian suffering.

Thank You.

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Francis Markus
Public Relations Officer
ICRC Geneva
Tel: +41 22 730 23 28 or +41 79 217 32 04

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