APRIL 2013 // standcanada.org
SUMMARY // CONTENTS // DEVELOPMENTS IN SOUTH SUDAN
Making good on their September agreement with Sudan, on 17 March, South Sudan began withdrawing troops from the proposed demilitarised buffer zone around their shared border. In other important news, Human Rights Watch released a report in March calling on South Sudan to do more to protect girls from child marriage.
OPINION: DARFUR FATIGUE - THE TROUBLE WITH KEEPING INTEREST TEN YEARS LATER
An analytical editorial that explores the concept of ‘donor fatigue’ in relation to the long-lasting conflict in Darfur and other areas of Sudan.
STAND CANADA UPDATE: CFCI MOVEMENT RAPIDLY PICKS UP STEAM A special update about STAND’s recent successes in Parliament, as Mr. Paul Dewar tables Bill C-486 in order to combat Canada’s complicity in Congo’s current conflict.
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POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS //
observation helicopters are still required for the UN mission.
Violence continues to plague the border regions of Abyei, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State. The conflict has escalated into a higher phase, as the rebels in the border regions (SPLM-N) have joined a national alliance opposed to the government called the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) which consists of Darfur rebel groups the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM). Government troops continue to use heavy tactics such as aerial bombardments which disproportionally harm civilians and the government continues to deny access to many humanitarian agencies. In response, the Canadian government can take the following actions: 1. The Canadian Government should dispatch researchers or enlist the help of NGOs who have expertise in statistical research methods to the Sudan border regions and Ethiopia to investigate, document, and statistically verify the occurrence of mass atrocities from refugees who have escaped the violence. 2. Canada should demand that the North allow humanitarian organizations access to populations in need in the border regions where the fighting is taking place. 3. Canada should speak out at the UN against the escalating conflict and Canada’s Foreign Minister should create an ongoing multilateral dialogue with its international partners to apply pressure on both parties to stop attacks and begin a troop withdrawal.
3. Continue to support and consider increasing funding to the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS), which is a UN multilateral peacebuilding fund that is integral to the stability and security of the volatile Eastern region.
4 Support for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) Programs
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has contributed significantly to the funding of various programs in South Sudan aimed toward the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of combatants. The following programs, in which CIDA’s commitment ends in the next year, should have their mandates extended for at least one year: 1. Re-Integration of Ex-Combatants into Agricultural Livelihoods (REAL): Operated by the UN Development Programme, REAL re-integrates ex-combatants into either the agricultural or livestock sector given their respective skills and abilities through individual counselling and training. CIDA has contributed approximately $10 million to the program in the Sudans (the precise allocation to South Sudan is unknown). 2. Building a Sustainable Future Through Education and Training: Operated by World University Service Canada, this program enhances the socio-economic conditions among male and female returning refugees, resettling internally displaced people, and non-displaced populations in Sudan. CIDA’s contribution to the program has been approximately $3.1 million, and is expected to run until 2013.
5 Domestic Policies on Genocide Prevention
2 South Sudan
In the wake of South Sudan’s secession, the new country is faced with many critical development issues that could threaten its progress and re-ignite conflict in the region. In order to help South Sudan from becoming a failed state, Canada can aid South Sudan in the following areas:
In order to effectively prevent, monitor and address grave human rights abuses and mass atrocities, the Parliament of Canada should create a Sub-Committee for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity which should be attached to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. This would allow Parliament to conduct:
1. As requested by the Government of South Sudan, Canada should chose one of the following areas of development to better streamline and manage the development process: a) general security b) food security c) healthcare d) education e) democratization.
• MONITORING: keep MPs informed about the onset of genocide and crimes against humanity, including the identifiable stages of these crimes
2. Canada should use its influence at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the UN to broker an agreement between North and South Sudan to reduce the national debt of the two countries in the form of debt forgiveness only if they both work out a reasonable debt sharing arrangement together. 3. Canada should consider providing direct bilateral assistance to the Government of South Sudan (GoSS), now that it has the opportunity to negotiate directly with the Southern government without interference from the North.
3 Democratic Republic of the Congo
According to the Secretary General, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) is lacking critical resources such as military observers, transport and tactical helicopters. Although Canada has been playing a role in the DRC since 1999, due to the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan, it now has the capacity to provide more resources that are desperately needed. STAND calls on the government to: 1. Increase the number of military observers: Canada’s mandate is to provide 12 observers and currently there are only nine stationed in the DRC. The UN mission in total is currently lacking another 29 observers. 2. Provide up to three transport helicopters and five tactical helicopters: six transport, six tactical and three
• PREVENTION: become proactive in its response to such crises, allowing MPs to act early and utilize a wider set of policy mechanisms • COORDINATION: centralize Canada’s institutional approach to the issue of mass atrocities by giving one central committee the mandate to comprehensively monitor, study and recommend courses of actions.4
DEVELOPMENTS IN SOUTH SUDAN // JESSICA DUFFY
Making good on their September agreement with Sudan, on 17 March, South Sudan began withdrawing troops from the proposed demilitarised buffer zone around their shared border. According to Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesman Phillip Aguer, 3,000 troops accompanied by tanks and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns withdrew
from the border garrison town of Jau. The rest of the troops were due to retreat the next day. On 23 March, a United Nations peacekeeping force confirmed that both nations had begun withdrawals from the demilitarised zone, which they were obliged to complete by 5 April. However, while this is a positive step towards lasting peace between the two former civil war foes, some locals living near the border fear the withAPRIL 2013 // 3
drawal will lead to a security vacuum, exposing them to attacks from cattle raiders. “We need protection,” Nialual Jau, a chief for Pariang county in the Unity border state, said. “The withdrawal of the army to me, I think it is bad, because this is where I was born. My father was born here. We have seen the army is moving back, but it’s difficult, because it looks like we’ve been betrayed.” Jau urged the government to send police as soon as possible. Following the reiteration of their commitment to the border security agreement, Sudanese and South Sudanese dignitaries signed a deal setting out a timeline to restart oil exports after four days of African Union-brokered talks in Addis Ababa. According to the timeline, oil production will resume “as soon as technically feasible,” hopefully within three weeks of the agreement being signed. Landlocked South Sudan relies on Sudanese pipelines to export its oil, the backbone of both countries’ economies. South Sudan shut down oil production last January following a dispute with Sudan over export fees, and despite the issue being seemingly resolved during mediation last September, Sudan insisted that a border security deal be finalised before oil flow resumed. Human Rights Watch released a report in March calling on South Sudan to do more to protect girls from child marriage. According to government statistics obtained by HRW, almost half of South Sudan’s girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are married, with some marrying as young as 12 years of age. The practice “exacerbates South Sudan’s pronounced gender gaps in school enrolment, contributes to soaring maternal mortality rates, and violates the right of girls to be free from violence, and to marry only when they are able and willing to give their free consent”. The report calls on the South Sudanese government to set 18 as the minimum age for marriage, ratify several conventions and treaties protecting women and children, pass comprehensive legislation on mar-
riage, separation and divorce, and offer support and protection to girls who try to resist marriage or leave abusive marriages.
OPINION: DARFUR FATIGUE – THE TROUBLE WITH KEEPING INTEREST TEN YEARS LATER // ALLISON GRANDISH
Even as the conflict in Darfur reaches its ten-year point, it is important for the international community to maintain its involvement. Many of you are familiar with the stats, but I will give a brief overview just for context. As of right now, there are 2.6 million internally displaced persons in Darfur, with 1.4 million living in refugee camps along the border and in surrounding countries like Chad. Conflict continues to bubble up in the region, keeping displaced persons from returning home and threatening the safety of those still in the area. The violence has waned somewhat according to certain sources, but this comparative decline should not be misconstrued as peace, because killings and tribal violence continue to erupt sporadically. There has also been a “rise in criminality against unescorted commercial trucks and local populations,” which, although not necessarily perpetrated with the support and strategic deliberation of the government (for instance like the razing of villages by the Janjaweed, though that still happens too ), puts civilians at danger. In fact, although the violence has “waned” overall, the past few months have seen outbreaks of conflict that have lead to the largest displacement of people since violence peaked back in 2003. One of the issues, as an example of a source of instability that will continue to exacerbate conflict in the region, has been conflict over gold mines. That gold mines provide a lucrative source of income goes without saying. In January, Arab tribes Rizeigat and Bani Hussein fought over a gold mine in Kabkkabyia, North Darfur, setting off an influx of refugees. The parties involved in that particular conflict had met to resolve the situation, but it // 4
illustrates a broader trend in Darfur that continues to stoke violence. Killings and tribal violence (over gold mines, for example) erupt sporadically, and there has been a “rise in criminality against unescorted commercial trucks and local populations,” so volatility in the region has made it difficult for displaced persons to determine when it is safe to return and to know how long periods of comparative peace will last. Part of the difficulty for aid workers is that interest in Darfur has waned. According to one Oxfam employee, it’s harder for the group to obtain funding for its operations. During a speech introducing the UN’s 2013 Work Plan (a strategy, developed with the help of aid agencies and Sudanese authorities, for helping those in Sudan), Mark Cutts, the head of the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that donor fatigue was a problem that the UN was grappling with. Although tens of thousands more Sudanese fleeing violence need assistance this year, the UN has asked for less from donor states than in previous years. Additionally, international attention is increasingly being drawn to other, more recent problems like the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Mali. The International Rescue Committee, another group that helps refugees in Sudan and the surrounding region, is also grappling with donor fatigue. In an interview with another IRC employee, Felix Leger (the individual who runs the IRC’s programs in Chad) stated that shifting attention to other conflicts has led to lower donations from their supporters (members of the general public). The resultant financial cutbacks have stretched out already limited resources, making the IRC’s work difficult as well. It goes without saying that attention ought to be paid to those conflicts, too: those responsible for human rights violations in Syria and Mali deserve to be condemned, and those who suffer deserve the attention and assistance of the global community. Nevertheless, for the sake of its civilians we must continue to keep Darfur on our minds even as other issues move to the forefront on the global stage.
It is easy, as the conflict reaches its tenth year, to gradually forget about its horrors as new ones arise on the international stage. Even in 2006, aid agencies struggled to maintain the attention of the global community as the novelty of the “complex emergency” wore off. Perhaps something about human nature favours briefer attentions, and certainly it is not unreasonable to be concerned about the Syrians; waning attention does not necessarily mean we are terrible. Darfur, however, still needs our help. It is still not safe for refugees to return to the area, the government continues its indiscriminate targeting of citizens, other conflicts arise, instability reigns and human rights violations continue. Continued engagement and advocacy is required, and we must not let ourselves be discouraged. Let us work together to ensure that the genocide in Darfur does not make it too long into its new decade.
STAND CANADA UPDATE: CFCI MOVEMENT RAPIDLY PICKS UP STEAM // SCOTT FENWICK
On March 26, 2013, New Democrat member of Parliament Paul Dewar introduced a bill on conflict minerals, asking companies for transparency and accountability when sourcing minerals from the Great Lakes Region and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Conflict Minerals Act (Bill C-486) seeks to implement the guidelines developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to end the trade of conflict minerals, within Canadian law. These guidelines would require Canadian-based companies using minerals from Africa’s Great Lakes Region to publicize their supply chain and due diligence practices. It would also ensure the minerals they use in their products have not financed illegal armed groups engaged in the DRC’s war. APRIL 2013 // 5
Not only would this mark one step toward improving transparency and accountability within the Canadian mining industry abroad, but it would also make Canada the first country to incorporate the OECD guidelines into federal legislation.
resulted in the death of over six million people, the displacement of over a million more, and has become infamous for countless acts of sexual violence against women, among other grave human rights abuses.
In tandem, Mr. Dewar has also launched the Just Minerals Campaign—a project that runs in partnership with STAND Canada’s Conflict Free Canada Initiative. The campaign will work to raise public awareness and petition the Government of Canada to cut Canada’s ties to conflict minerals.
The mining of tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold, as well as other valuable minerals and metals provides tens of millions of dollars to the dozens of armed groups operating in the eastern DRC. In this way, our consumer habits inadvertently finance the purchase of arms and other supplies that help fuel the ongoing violence and instability perpetrated by rebel groups in the region.
The Conflict-Free Canada Initiative aims to educate and raise awareness among the Canadian public about the issue of conflict minerals, in order to urge corporations and policymakers to adopt legislation that will demand due diligence from companies that source these minerals for their products. The campaign is similar to the efforts made more than a decade ago that led to controls on the spread of blood diamonds, which were used to finance rebel groups in West Africa. It has been done before and can most definitely, with your help, be done again for conflict minerals.
REFERENCES // DEVELOPMENTS IN SOUTH SUDAN
Sudans agree to restart oil flow after border deal”, Reuters, 12 March 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/12/sudan-south-oilidUSL6N0C402M20130312 “South Sudan pulls first troops from border with Sudan”, Reuters, 17 March 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/17/us-sudansouth-border-idUSBRE92G0B220130317 “South Sudan: End Widespread Child Marriage”, Human Rights Watch, 7 March 2013, http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/03/07/south-sudanend-widespread-child-marriage “UN mission verifies start of Sudan, South Sudan withdrawal from zone in Abyei”, UN News Centre, 26 March 2013, http://www.un.org/apps/ news/story.asp?NewsID=44492&Cr=&Cr1=#.UVLLjhwQ488
OPINION: DARFUR FATIGUE
“UN Seeks Donor Funds for Refugee Crisis In Sudan,” African Globe, 14 March 2013, http://www.africanglobe.net/africa/seeks-donor-fundsrefugee-crisis-sudan/
To ensure that Canada’s Parliament passes legislation to curb this problem, STAND needs your help to raise awareness about it. With your help, we look forward to opening public dialogue to make conflict minerals a paramount issue in Canada.
“Sudan: Government forces need to stop attacking civilians in Darfur,” Amnesty International, 28 March 2013, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/sudan-government-forces-need-stop-attacking-civilians-darfur-2013-03-28
Help Canada become a world leader in demanding transparency for our minerals. Sign and share our petition today to make Canada Conflict-Free at www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/to-create-legislation-that-cuts-canada-s-ties-to-conflict-minerals.
Jones-Mwangi, Sophia. “‘If I could go home, I would’: Ten years on, Darfuri refugees still waiting to return,” International Rescue Committee (Voices From the Field: The IRC Blog), 1 March 2013, http://www.rescue.org/blog/%E2%80%9Cif-i-could-go-home-i-would%E2%80%9D-ten-years-darfuri-refugees-still-waiting-return
Barrick, Audrey, “Humanitarian Groups Report Darfur Donor Fatigue,” The Christian Post, 5 May 2006, http://www.christianpost.com/news/ humanitarian-groups-report-darfur-donor-fatigue-22584/ “Darfur Crisis, 10 Years On,” International Rescue Committee, 13 March 2013, http://www.rescue.org/darfur-crisis-10-years
Koser, Khalid and Richard Black, “The End of the Refugee Cycle?”. The End of the Refugee Cycle?: Refugee Repatriation and Reconstruction, Ed. Khalid Koser and Richard Black, United States: Berghahn Books, 1999. 2-18. Print. Pantuliano, Sara , Margie Buchanan-Smith, Paul Murphy, and Irina Mosel. United Kingdom. Humanitarian Policy Group, of the Overseas Development Institute, Long road home: Opportunities and obstacles to the reintegration of IDPs and refugees returning to Southern Sudan and the Three Areas. London: Humanitarian Policy Group, 2008. Web. http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publicationsopinion-files/3314.pdf
As consumers of personal electronics such as cellphones, laptops and MP3 players, we are connected to one of the deadliest conflicts in the world since World War II, currently raging in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This conflict has
“Sudan,” Refugees International: A Powerful Voice for Lifesaving Action, [no date], http://www.refintl.org/where-we-work/africa/sudan Rowling, Megan. “Tens of thousands displaced in N. Darfur fear more violence – Oxfam,” AlertNet, 13 February 2013, http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/tens-of-thousands-displaced-in-ndarfur-fear-more-violence-oxfam/ “Sudan: Darfur Refugees Refuse to Attend Conference Amid Security Fears,” Sudan Tribune, 22 March 2013, http://allafrica.com/stories/201303230183.html?page=2 UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Policy Framework and Implementation Strategy: UNHCR’s Role in Support of the Return and Reintegration of Displaced Populations, August 2008. Web. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/48c628d42.html [accessed 22 March 2013]
STAND DIGEST STAFF // MANAGING EDITOR // TYLER FOX WRITERS // JESSICA DUFFY, SCOTT FENWICK, ALLISON GRANDISH
APRIL 2013 // 7