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Weekly Update from the STAND Education Team 9/9-9/15

  Weekly Update from the STAND Education

Team 9/15-9/22

DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Libya



There are currently twelve candidates vying for the presidency in November. Ultimately, this election represents a referendum on President Kabila’s popularity amongst his constituencies. Due to the constitutional amendment passed earlier this year, the election will be only one round where the plurality takes all, in contrast to the 2006 elections which took place over two-rounds and majority won. This means Kabila does not need to win a majority of a vote but rather needs to ensure the opposition remains divided so he can win with the smallest percentage of the vote possible. For example, even if Kabila wins only 35% of the vote, if the remaining 65% of the vote is divided between competing opposition candidates, he will serve a second term as president.

The opposition’s main chance of defeating Kabila in the elections is to unite around one candidate – however the chances of this happening remain slim. There are deep divisions within the opposition party, and for the time being has split into two major wings. Though it is possible for an opposition party member to gain real traction in this election, they will have to combat Kabila’s deep pockets, state media and security services.



Other News:

A group of gunmen dressed inarmy fatigues burst into a bar on Sunday night (Sept 18th) in Gatumba, Burundi and killed 36 people and wounded 15. In recent months, Burundi has witnessed a string of mysterious killings throughout the country. Some point to the government, saying they are systematically rooting out the opposition. Opposition members use neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to reorganize their members, and Sunday’s attackers were seen by witnesses as fleeing across the border into DRC. This is by no means saying they are Congolese, but rather taking advantage of the instability in the Kivu Provinces to coordinate action against the authoritarian government.


Democratic Republic of Congo’s economy will probably grow 6.9 percent this year, the central bank said, raising its forecast from 6.5 percent. Annual inflation will probably accelerate to 17 percent for the year, up from an earlier projection of 13 percent. 

On September 16th The California Legislature passed SB 861, a law that requires public companies to comply with the Dodd-Frank provision on conflict minerals if they want to do business with the state of California.

Eastern Congo Initiative report on the technical issues threatening free, fair and transparent elections in DRC: 


Sudan and South Sudan 

President Salva Kiir Mayadrit will lead a delegation of the newly independent South Sudan to participate for the first time at the meetings of the UN General Assembly in New York. President Barak Obama will meet in the margins of the UN General Assembly with President Kiir Mavadrit.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir today appointed the leader of the Liberation and Equality Movement (LJM) Tijani el-Sissi at the head of Darfur Regional Authority(DRA). The Sudanese president has also issued a degree appointing a new governor for the country’s unrest-hit southern state of Blue Nile.

The Sudan People’s liberation Movement for Democratic change (SPLM-DC), the official opposition party in the newly-independent country of South Sudan, has appointed Sisto Olur Erista as the new interim Secretary General replacing Sandra Bona Malwal. Malwal resigned from her position on Friday 16, saying she was a single parent and needed to spend more time with her children and focus on gender issues. Other officials including the secretary for finance, and secretary for populace and syndicated organization also resigned.

Sudan’s army has claimed it wrestled control of a strategic area in the country’s unrest-hit southern state of Blue Nile as its newly appointed governor vowed to restore stability. Blue Nile State has been the scene of violent confrontations between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N).

The UN Human Rights Council reported that the human rights situation in Sudan and the newly independent Republic of South Sudan is undermined by curtailment of civil freedoms in the former and localized violence in the latter. UN experts say that Khartoum needs to reform the way in which its security apparatus behaves towards freedom of expression and political activists while Juba needs to take concrete steps to protect civilians and address impunity in conflict zones.

Sudanese army clashed Tuesday with the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in the remote area of North Darfur near the triangle border with Chad and Libya. Sudanese army deployed troops along the border with Libya when Gaddafi supporters fled to neighboring countries.


Three parliamentarians affiliated to the banned opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) have resigned in protest against military escalations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile State

Sudan and South Sudan have signed an agreement to monitor their shared borders and open crossing points a few days after Khartoum said it was experiencing an influx of southerners returning to the north.

A group of Unity state MPs have visited Mayiandit county, which last weekend experienced cattle raids that have killed 46, displaced over 5,000 and resulted in an estimated 100,000 cattle being stolen, according to local officials. The MPs visited the districts of Thor, Jarjiathbuor and Dablual on Thursday after fighting broke out last weekend with cattle raiders alleged to be from neighbouring Warrap state. 

Sryia and Libya

President Obama met Tuesday at the UN with MustafaAbdel-Jalil, the head of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) and praised Libyan rebels for toppling the regime of Muammar Qaddafi.  On Thursday the United States also formally reopened itsembassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.


Fighting between Libyan rebels and Qaddafi loyalists remains underway in several stronghold towns throughout the country.Rebel forces reportedon Thursday that the major Southern city of Sabha had been taken by rebelforces, as well as those of Al-Jufra – Hun, Waddan and Sokn. The loyalist stronghold of Bani-Walid remains contested however with fierce fighting continuing since a rebel assault last 

week was repelled. In consideration of ongoing fighting, NATO announced on Wednesday that it intended to extend its bombing campaign three months in order to provide air support to Libyan rebels fighting the last pockets of resistance from forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi.


BBC news reports that Syrian security forces have killedfive protestors in their continuing crackdown on the city of Homs. Security forces have also continued to conduct reprisals in other areas of north-west Syria and in the city of Hama.




The education update is produced every Thursday to update STAND members and the advocacy community about developments with regards to genocide and crimes against humanity.  For more information contact the following:

Education Coordinator: Sean Langberg 

Sudan Education Coordiator: Emma Smith

DRC Education Coordinator: Siobhan Kelly

Emerging Crises Education Coordinator: Tom Dolzall




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