CEDEJ Khartoum is pleased to announce Dr Enrico Ille’s recent publication :
Complications in the classification of conflict areas and conflicts actors for the identification of ‘conflict gold’ from Sudan
This article discusses a recent call to include gold from Sudan in the ‘conflict gold’ category of global supply chains. The call reacts to Sudan’s protracted violent conflicts, as well as a recent surge in gold mining that became of essential importance for governmental policies after most of the country’s oil reserves were lost with South Sudan’s independence in 2011. The extension of gold mining in areas with violent conflicts, so the call’s demand, requires due diligence concerning gold from Sudan and an extension of sanctions to conflict actors benefiting from it. On this basis, the article reviews critically the contradictions that arise from the convention to both define territorial conflict areas and collective conflict actors, and connect due diligence to case-by-case assessment, representing an attempt to concomitantly advocate human rights and preserve investment opportunities. Further complications arise from contradictions between state sovereignty and international humanitarian law, as well as the complexities of violent conflicts whose causes cannot be readily identified and targeted. The author argues that this results in numerous ambiguities of situation assessments and planned interventions, which have to be acknowledged if unintended negative consequences are sought to be reduced.
On the topic of gold mining, see also Jérôme Tubiana’s recent article in Foreign Affairs : https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/chad/2016-02-24/after-libya-rush-gold-and-guns ◼
On a tremendously hot afternoon in Khartoum, I am soaking up the freshness of one of the only air-conditioned rooms in my Sudanese family’s compound when my mother-in-law’s mobile phone suddenly jolts to life. Even before she answers the phone we instinctively start to dance and sing to the Sudanese pop song that is her ringtone. This scene resembles the way mobile phones have brought joy and happiness as well as possibilities for increased global connectivity into daily family life in Sudan.