Weekly STAND Education Update
DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Libya
Walk in Registration Available for the United to End Genocide national conference in Washington D.C. on Oct. 22 24 http://goo.gl/BYJBc
President Kabila is confidant in his ability to win the upcoming election on November 28th. “Who will win the elections? There is one thing of which I am sure and certain, and that is that I will not lose them,” Kabila told a press conference in Kinshasa. When asked what he would do if he lost, he answered that there was more to life than politics and he would step aside. However opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has also expressed confidence in presidential success, which means the anticipation surrounding the results of the elections will only increase in the remaining weeks. (http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/10/i-will-not-lose-presidential-vote-dr-congos-kabila/)
However if the election can actually happen in a mere six weeks is becoming even more uncertain. The Congolese government hasn’t even settled on a format for the ballot, which must accommodate 19,000 parliamentary candidates vying for only 500 seats, as well as the 11 presidential candidates. Ballots must also be printed and delivered securely to polling sites around the country. The election timetable is thus seriously threatened; however if the election does not happen on November 28th, the opposition is already saying they will no longer recognize Kabila as head of state once his constitutional term runs out on December 6th. (http://freefairdrc.com/en/latest-news/blog-posts/114-panelists-at-brookings-event-on-drc-warn-of-possible-chaos-in-upcoming-elections)
South Africa based MTN Group is interested in entering the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) wireless market by purchasing Vodacom Group’s 51% stake in Vodacom Congo. If the acquisition occurs, MTN Group will follow France Telecom as the second largest group to enter the Congolese mobile market this year. (http://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2011/10/18/mtn-considers-vodacom-congo-acquisition/)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is six months behind schedule in finalizing provision 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which will require companies to disclose whether they use tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten mined in the DRC. At a roundtable on Tuesday, companies expressed their concern over implementation and cost. Participants also raised concern over unintentionally caused economic harm on the Congolese, as companies such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard have pulled out of the region entirely to avoid the fine print. However the link between human rights abuses, mining and electronics consumption remains clear, which still requires action by the global community. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sec-struggles-to-write-conflict-minerals-regulations-for-companies/2011/10/18/gIQAvZqfvL_story.html)
The Rwandan government has announced that it will soon send 70 tons (70,000Kgs) of untagged minerals that were smuggled into the country back to the DRC. (http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/18400-rwanda-to-send-back-minerals-to-the-drc.html)
Happy Congo Week! (http://congoweek.org/)
The judges of the International Criminal Court issued a decision asking Malawi to submit an explanation on why it did not execute an arrest warrant issued for Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir during his visit last week.
The leader of Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) Tijani el-Sissi, will arrive in Khartoum this week.
The US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on 12 October announced the liberalisation of regulations imposed upon US companies exporting food products to Sudan and Iran. to launch the implementation of a peace deal signed with the Sudanese government three months ago.
At least four people have been killed and three others wounded in a cattle raid in Jale payam [district] of Bor county on Saturday, October 15, according to a local official.
Sudan’s army said on Friday, October 14, it will not withdraw troops from Abyei unless a deal signed with South Sudan on managing the hotly-contested region is fully implemented.
Darfur rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) denied any link with the killing of three peacekeepers and claimed that Monday’s attack was done by a pro-government militia leader.
UNHCR reports that an estimated 28,500 Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile State have entered Ethiopia.
Libya and Syria
The Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) announced on Thursday that former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, is dead. Qaddafi’s death comes as NTC forces battled the last bastions of loyalist forces in the cities of Surt, Qaddafi’s birthplace and the site of his death, and the city of Bani Walid which NTC forces capturedon Monday. Details on the exact nature of Qaddafi’s death remain unclear.
A large rally was held in the Syrian city of Aleppo expressing support for Syrian President Bashar-Al-Assad. However, throughout the country violence by Syrian security forces against civilians and perceived opposition figures has continued. On Monday, NYT reported that some twenty-five civilians had been killed by Security forces in the city of Homs, with Al-Jazeera reporting a further eight civilian deaths on Wednesday. Clashes also occurred elsewhere in the country between security forces and defectors resulting in some nine dead.
NYT reported Thursday on the harsh situation faced by Syrian refugees who have fled into neighboring Lebanon from the Assad regime’s crackdown. Refugees told of inadequate supply of basic needs, harassment and neglect by local administrations as well as the danger of cross-border raids and kidnappings by Syrian security forces.
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