Archive for October, 2011

News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Congo

Congo’s Opposition Parties Holding Alliance Talks
October 25, 2011 VOICE OF AMERICA, Peter Clottey
The groups hope to work together to defeat incumbent Joseph Kabila and pressure the election commission to ensure free and fair election. Full Story Here…

‘All Out War’ Feared as Congo Goes to the Polls
October 25, 2011 THE GLOBE AND DAILY, Geoffrey York
With few people expecting a fair vote, analysts predict more violence after elections on November 28. Full Story Here…

UN Says Conflict Minerals Bill is Working
October 27, 2011 CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Shasha Lezhnev
UN Congo experts told the SEC that since Dodd-Frank was signed into law, a smaller percentage of Congo’s minerals has financed conflict. Full Story Here…

Somalia

Plea to Somali Gang to Release Aid Workers
October 28, 2011 AFP
The Danish Demining Group implored Somali elders to release the two aid workers kidnapped earlier this week. Full Story Here…


News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Congo

Armed U.S. Advisors to Help Fight African Rebel Group
October 14, 2011 NEW YORK TIMES, Thom Shanker
The Lord’s Resistance Army is responsible for countless raids in DR Congo and other Central African nations. Full Story Here…

Logistics Challenges Could Delay Vote in Congo
October 19, 2011 REUTERS, Jonny Hogg
The numerous opposition parties backing presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi have threatened to assume government responsibilities if elections are not held by December 6. Full Story Here…

SEC Struggles to Write Conflict Mineral Regulations
October 18, 2011 WASHINGTON POST, David S. Hilzenrath
The SEC, which missed an April deadline to finalize the regulations, has been having a hard time translating the Dodd-Frank Law into rules for companies. Full Story Here…

Somalia

Kenya Faces Somali Quagmire
October 19, 2011 BUSINESS WEEK, Sarah McGregor
Kenya’s incursion into Somalia to combat Al Shabab militants on its border has some concerned it is not prepared for fighting a likely insurgency. Full Story Here…

 

News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Congo

Anticipating New SEC Rules, Companies Shift to Conflict-Free Metals
October 12, 2o11 FORBES, Amy Westervelt
Forbes details how conflict-mineral law 1502 is motivating industry organizations and some of the largest tech companies to build transparent and sustainable conflict-free supply chains. Full Story Here…

Talking Conflict Minerals with Fidel Bafilemba
October 10, 2011 VICE BLOG, Suroosh Alvi
The Enough Project Field Researcher discusses conflict minerals, the strength of the Congolese military and what it was like growing up in eastern Congo during the war. Full Story Here…

Democratic Republic of Congo tops Global Hunger Index
October 11, 2011 ALERT NET, Emma Batha
DR Congo’s rising food prices, ineffective social services and chronic instability have combined to make 70% of its population undernourished. Full Story Here…

Somalia

UN Scales Back Aid After Abductions on Kenya/Somalia Border
October 14, 2011 BBC
The kidnapping of two aid workers from Doctors Without Borders led the UN to remove most of its foreign staff from Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp, the largest in the world. Full Story Here…

UN Envoy: Somalia Has Best Chance for Peace in Years
October 14, 2011 UN NEWS CENTRE
UN officials believe last month’s adoption of a road map for peace, combined with recent political and security gains give Somalia a great opportunity to secure peace. Full Story Here…

News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Congo

Rebels Kill Five Aid Workers, Two Others in DR Congo
October 6, 2011 RADIO NETHERLANDS
The deadliest attack on humanitarian workers in the nation’s history adds to the already increasing feelings of insecurity among the nations NGOs. Full Story Here…

U.S. Buyers Shun Conflict Minerals
October 4, 2011 REUTERS, Jonny Hogg
Congo’s mining sector is struggling to adjust to a slew of new laws and regulations, causing many American companies to buy elsewhere. Full Story Here…

DR Congo Police Clash with Opposition Protestors

October 6, 2011 AFP
Members of opposition leader and presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi’s political party were demanding more transparency from the election commission when the scuttle with police began. Full Story Here…

Somalia

Rescue Workers Scramble to Help Victims of Truck Bombing
October 4, 2011 LOS ANGELES TIMES
The blast renews serious worries that terrorist group Al Shabab plans to escalate the violence in its fight for Mogadishu. Full Story Here…

1502, Rape Profits & You

Dear {As-of-Now Nameless CEO},

We are contacting you as a community of American women and men – moms, dads, grandmas, small business owners — who played a vital role in the passage of conflict minerals legislation last year. Please see the attached press clippings on our actions supporting passage of the conflict mineral legislation: National Public Radio’s Morning Edition; The New York Times; and The New York Times Magazine. Please note, our protests from last year are featured in an upcoming documentary. The filmmaker’s previous feature length film secured distribution in more than 120 cities.

We are deeply disturbed that {YOUR MULTI BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATION} may be supporting NAM and the US Chamber of Commerce in threatening a lawsuit against the SEC to challenge its rules and regulations enforcing the legislation.

Let us be clear how the US grassroots movement for Congo views the threatened lawsuit: Despite unanimous, bi-partisan support for the legislation, all companies backing the NAM and Chamber will be suing the US government for the right to rape profiteer. All credible estimates indicate the regulations will require extremely modest investment on the part of industry. By claiming these regulations are too “burdensome” or “expensive”, your company effectively declares your profits, business model, and brand are predicated on the mass rape of women and children in the Congo. US consumers will not tolerate “X Co: One Stop Rape Shop”.

We understand NAM and The US Chamber of Commerce are known to misrepresent the position of their members. We are approaching you to enlist your public statement against this remarkably risky move on the part of NAM and the US Chamber of Commerce. We urge you to issue a public letter asking NAM and The US Chamber of Commerce cease and desist, as attached here. Modifications will need to be reviewed by our attorneys. In so doing, you will clearly establish your brand as a compassionate, progressive industry leader we will celebrate.

Women’s security is not an optional extra in your business model. We urge your immediate, bold leadership in saying no to rape-based business by issuing this letter, by close of business Thursday Oct. 6. Otherwise, we look forward to continuing the dialogue in a public forum.

Sincerely,

Lisa Shannon

Founder & CEO, A Thousand Sisters

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/opinion/27kristof.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/magazine/24volunteerism-t.html?pagewanted=all

 

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/scrubbing-our-cell-phones-of-conflict-minerals/

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127740457

 

[ATTACHED LETTER TO BE RELEASED THURS EVENING]

 

News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Congo

Is Your Mobile Phone Helping Fund War in Congo?
September 27, 2011 THE TELEGRAPH, Gordon Rayner
A new short film aims to ramp up pressure on the European Union to pass conflict mineral legislation. Full Story Here…

Congolese Parties Near Deal on Choice To Oppose Kabila
September 27, 2011 VOICE OF AMERICA, Peter Heinlein
Joint talks on avoiding further election violence provided an opportunity for Congo’s divided opposition groups to move closer to selecting a consensus candidate. Full Story Here…

Congo Journalists Face Danger Ahead of Election
September 28, 2011 ASSOCIATED PRESS, Saleh Mwanamilongo
The Congolese government has refused to enforce protection of journalists even as they are attacked, and radio and television stations are burned to the ground. Full Story Here…

Somalia

On Top of Famine, Unspeakable Violence
September 25, 2011 NEW YORK TIMES, Nicholas Kristof
Ethnic Somalis use the sparsely populated border region between Kenya and Somalia to rob and rape with impunity. Full Story Here…

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