Weekly STAND Education Update
DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Libya
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- Kabila was endorsed by third largest party in the DRC parliament and a youth militia seems to be forming
- Bashir announced Sudan will adopt an entirely Islamic constitution and more Islamic laws
- The battle for Sirte in Libya continues with questionable tactics used by both NTC and pro-Quaddafi fighters.
Recent events in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could jeopardize peace during the upcoming presidential elections on November 28. Though the ruling party denies its existence, the opposition party claims a militia of young people in support of incumbent president Joseph Kabila has emerged. The militia is speculated to be within the youth league of Kabila’s party, the PPRD (People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy).
The third largest party in the Congolese parliament, the PALU, has officially endorsed Kabila’s candidacy for president.
Due to widespread allegations of voter fraud and the identification of double or triple registrations, the Congolese electoral commission has published a partial list of registered voters in a total of three provinces. However this will not ensure legitimacy in the voter registration process; instead they will have to decentralize the registration audit to the provincial level, where party officials would have to check the names registered in an area with the local population. Implementing this on the ground, however, is nearly impossible.
UNICEF is calling for an urgent increase in the efforts to combat “one of the worst” cholera outbreaks ever, which is currently affecting large numbers of people across West and Central Africa. The epidemic has spread to the DRC, where there has been a significant increase in the number of cases due to low access rates to water and sanitation.
According to the Global Hunger Index, twenty-six countries have “alarming” or “extremely alarming” hunger levels including the DRC. The Index focuses on the impact of rising food prices on the world’s poorest people, which has been particularly acute in the DRC which has the highest proportion of undernourished people and one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.
Omar al-Bashir just announced that Sudan will go ahead with plans to adopt an entirely Islamic constitution and strengthen Islamic law.
Sudan’s ex-Prime Minister and leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, has reiterated calls for forming a national government to draft a new constitution for the country.
North Darfur’s governor accused the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minnin Minnawi (SLM-MM) of killing three peacekeepers and wounding five others in an attack carried out in Zam Zam internally displaced persons camp last Monday. The three peacekeepers serving with the African Union-United Nations Joint Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) were killed and six others injured when their patrol was attacked by unknown gunmen.
South Sudan’s cabinet has endorsed the new mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and vowed to cooperate with the UN mission.
The trading activities between Sudan and South Sudan will resume after the settlement of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, Khartoum said in a meeting held during the visit of President Salva Kiir to Khartoum. Bashir and Kiir also vowed to work closely together to resolve their differences through dialogue and enhanced cooperation between the two countries and ruled out return to war.
On Monday, October 10, 2011, twenty people died and five were seriously injured in a land mine incident in the Mankien payam (district) of Mayom county in the west of Unity state.
The hybrid peacekeeping operation (UNAMID) announced the intensification of security patrols around the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in west Darfur state.
Libya and Syria
Libyan forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) have stated that they are close to capturing the central loyalist stronghold of Sirte, birthplace of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. NTC forces reported several instances of apparent executions by Qaddafi loyalists as they have moved into the city. Clashes have been ongoing in the city for several weeks, and NATO leaders expressed surprise at the resilience of Pro-Qaddafi holdouts in the city.
Amnesty International has issued a report Thursday calling for the National Transitional Council (NTC) to immediately address instances of detention and torture conducted by their forces. The arrests have particularly targeted those suspected of being mercenaries for Col. Qaddafi’s regime.
Following their veto of a proposed UN resolution that would impose immediate sanctions on the Syrian regime as response to its violent crackdown, the Chairman of the Russian Foreign Affairs Committee stated that “”The Russian veto at the UN Security Council on the Syria draft resolution is no way a carte blanche for the current ruling Syrian regime to do everything they want”. The statement followed remarks made last week by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that the Syrian leadership should seek reforms or step down.
Mashaal Tammo, a prominent Syrian-Kurd opposition figure was killed on Friday by masked gunmen who stormed into his home in the Syrian city of Qamishli. There were reports throughout the country of other opposition figures being assaulted and harassed by security forces. Violence against protestors continued inseveral cities, with activists reporting that 8 protestors had been killed during the last week. Reuters reports that in the town of Haara clashes between Syrian security forces and military defectors left one civilian dead as well as several soldiers and defectors. In the town of Binish five civilians were killed by Syrian security forces swept through the area. On Wednesday in the Syrian capital of Damascus a rally was held in support of the Assad regime.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sudan Education Coordiator: Emma Smith email@example.com
DRC Education Coordinator: Siobhan Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org
Emerging Crises Education Coordinator: Tom Dolzall email@example.com