Weekly Update from the STAND Education Team 9/2-9/8

 

Weekly Update from the STAND Education Team 9/2-9/8

Libya, Syria, DRC, Sudan 

 

Libya and Syria 

  • Beginning on Wednesday and continuing throughout the week, Syrian security forces conducted sweeps in the city of Homs targeting alleged opposition figures, deserting Syrian military tropps and protestors. NYT reports that 17 civilians were killed during the sweep in Homs. Defection, desertion, and refusal to fire on civilians is allegedly on the rise among Syrian military forces in the past weeks.

DRC

  • The election buildup reached a breaking point this week after political clashes in the capital city of Kinshasa killed at least one civilian and injured several.  Opposition party member Etienne Tshisekedi announcement that he is running for the precidency triggered the violence.  Supporters of current President Joseph Kabila’s People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) attacked the headquarters of the rival Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP) following an arson attack on the PPRD’s headquarters, resulting in offices and a TV station being burnt to the ground.
  • Candidates have until Monday September 12th to declare their candidacy for the November 28th election. Yesterday the son of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and another leading opposition figure, Vital Kamerhe, formally declared their candidacy. President Joseph Kabila is expected to join the race formally by the end of this week. 
  • Despite the apparent role voter fraud is playing in instigating violence, tension and unrest around the country, little is being done to rectify apparent flaws in the registration process. The International Crisis Group released a new report on the electoral process raising concerns about voter registration, monitoring and fraud. Across the country more than one million more voters registered for the election than originally estimated, and though the last physical census in the country was in 1984, it still raises questions. Allegations include fake voters, children and foreigners registering and citizens registering multiple times. In addition, there is minimal monitoring of the registration process, which means it is extremely vulnerable to fraud. Despite all these factors, the ICG has not called for an audit of voter registration. 
  • The International Monetary Fund estimated that the DRC could exceed a forecasted growth rate of 6.5% this year. The announcement follows the quarterly report issued by the IMF, who currently has a 3-year $560 million credit arrangement with the country. However transparency in the mining sector remains one of the largest obstacles to economic growth. Robert York, the IMF’s chief of mission to Congo, said in a statement that “making progress in enhancing governance and transparency in extractive industries is essential." The upcoming elections are an opportunity to usher in a new age of transparency, accountability, and democracy in Kinshasa, however escalating political violence and lack of international attention are obstacles to creating social change. 

Sudan

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 education@standnow.org 

Sudan Education Coordiator: Emma Smith esmith@standnow.org

DRC Education Coordinator: Siobhan Kelly skelley@standnow.org

Emerging Crises Education Coordinator: Tom Dolzall tdolzall@standnow.org

 

 

 

 

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