STAND Education News Briefs: February 24 – March 1

 
 Sudan
A spokesman for the Sudanese government suggested that President Omar al-Bashir may relinquish his 20 years of power over Sudan after his current term expires. Bashir’s decision comes as Student protest have broken out across northern Sudan.
As reports of violence in Libya increase, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has accused Darfur rebels of involvement in the crisis . JEM leaders have denied accusations that members of its group are acting as mercenaries on behalf of Libya’s leader.
Violence in Darfur escalated for the fifth week in row as Antonov aircraft, MIGs, and helicopters bombed villages including Wadi Mura, Tangarara, Tagala, Magalei, and Kokai. Ground forces of more then 150 vehicles supported the air raids. Violence between Rebels and Sudan’s Government troop continues to displace residents.
 
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for ordering the rape of 60 women on New Years day in the eastern Congolese town of Fizi. With numerous observers and victims expecting the death penalty for Mutware and the eight accused soldiers, many of the 2,000 people present at the mobile court expressed anger over the verdict.
In the region of the eastern Congo, 40 civilians were raped in the past two weeks by mostly military groups. UN officials, discouraged by the unending acts of sexual violence in the DRC, have tallied 150 reports of rape since the beginning of 2011.
Six gunmen were killed and an unknown number were captured following an attempted attack on President Joseph Kabila’s house in the capital of Kinshasa. The alleged ‘coup’ was repelled by army forces at checkpoint to the presidential palace.
 
Burma
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will return to Burma after a five year absence in response to the government’s military regime. Their presence will help provide life-saving treatments needed by tens of thousands in Burma.
The Burmese government recently deployed tanks and troops near the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). On February 21, a special meeting of the KIO People’s Defense Force was called.
Roads leading to a Shan rebel base have been closed by the Burmese Army since February 20. According to sources within Burma, this may be a precursor to an offensive against the Shan base. 
 
Areas of Concern
Afghanistan
Although NATO claims that Afghanistan is becoming more secure, the UN says that the security situation is worse than it has been since the Taliban was removed from power.  UN relief agencies have regular access to only 30% of the country and almost no access to another 40%.
Iraq
Following deadly clashes that occurred during Iraq’s “Day of Rage” on February 25 in which thousands of Iraqis protested government corruption, poor government services, and limited freedom of expression, the revered Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged Iraqi politicians to listen to civilians’s calls for reform.
Pakistan
The Haqqani network of the Taliban in remains rooted  in North Waziristan, Pakistan, despite a recent surge in drone strikes.  The Haqqani network is regarded as a more brutal faction of the Taliban, and participates in deadly attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Somalia
In the midst of deadly fighting on February 23, African Union peacekeepers and Somalia Transitional Federal Government troops recaptured important Mogadishu locations that have been strongholds for al-Shabaab, including the former Ministry of Defense.
On the Radar: Libya
In a UN Security Council meeting on February 26, all 15 members voted to impose sanctions (including an arms embargo, freezing assets, and travel bans) on Gaddafi and several of his key government officers and to refer the violent crackdown to the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity.  The U.S. and Switzerland have already frozen assets held by Gaddafi and his associates in U.S.- and Switzerland- controlled banks.  American officials are also considering a no-fly zone to prevent further air strikes against anti-Gaddafi protesters.
-The Education Team:  Aaron Alberico, Bennett Collins, Roberta Barnett, Rosslyn Steinmetz, and Ashton Simmons
 
AWESOME upcoming event!!
 
The African Studies Academy at UNC Charlotte invites all interested students, faculty, staff, and members of the public to attend the following presentation: 
 
Thursday, March 17
“The Role of African Youth in Post-Conflict Reconstruction”
David Mwambari
Rwandan genocide survivor and Sanejo co-founder (www.sanejo.org)
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Barnard 244
Co-sponsored by the Chancellor’s Diversity Fund, Office of International Programs, and Department of Africana Studies
 
As a child in Rwanda in 1994, Mr. Mwambari witnessed a horrible genocide in that country before escaping with his family to Kenya. He went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees at United States International University in Nairobi and another master’s degree at Syracuse University in New York. He recently co-founded a non-profit organization that promotes education to help reconstruct Rwanda and other post-conflict societies. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Beth Whitaker at bwhitaker@uncc.edu.
 
PEACE

Stephanie Mauvlyn Braun
828.291.6467
President
STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition
UNC Charlotte Chapter

Don’t stand by, STAND UP!
“Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8

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