Archive for December, 2011

News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Kabila Vows to Rebuild Congo in New Term
December 20, 2011 REUTERS, Jonny Hogg
During his inaugural address, Kabila promised to improve the climate for business and rebuild infrastructure damaged from years of conflict. Full Story Here…

Counting Halted in Parliamentary Vote
December 22, 2011 BBC NEWS
Saying it needed international support to complete the vote in the midst of allegation of voter fraud and election tampering. Full Story Here…

Congo Opposition Leader Takes ‘Presidential Oath’
December 23, 2011 AFP, Habibou Hangre
In a move some predict will destabilize the region, Etienne Tshisekedi ignored a police ban and held his own inauguration. Full Story Here…


U.S Considers Shutting Down Somali Militants Twitter Account
December 19, 2011 NEW YORK TIMES, Jeffrey Gettleman
The discussion of whether or not to shut down Shebab’s Twitter account has generated a debate about support for terrorism and free speech. Full Story Here…

News to Know

This week’s must-read news stories


Kabila Confirmed President
December 16, 2011 BBC NEWS
Congo’s Supreme Court validated the results of the presidential elections even as European and American leaders remain severely critical of the vote. Full Story Here…

U.S. Calls Congo Elections ‘Seriously Flawed’
December 14, 2011 CNN, Jamie Crawford
The United States believes the election had severe problems, but said it is unknown if the problems were widespread enough to alter the final outcome. Full Story Here…

East Congo Election Protesters Arrested
December 13, 2011 VOICE OF AMERICA, Heather Murdock
Citing security concerns, authorities arrested anti-Kabila demonstrators in Goma. Full Story Here…


UN Expert Calls for Increased Effort to End Violence Against Somali Women
December 16, 2011 UN NEWS CENTRE
While applauding leaders in Mogadishu for increasing women’s rights, the UN’s leading expert on violence against women explained that far too many Somali women live under the constant threat of violence. Full Story Here…

News to Know

News to Know: Election Aftermath


Kabila ‘Re-Elected’
December 9, 2011 BBC NEWS
President Joseph Kabila is declared the winner of the presidential elections amid accusations of ballot stuffing and voter fraud. Full Story Here…

Leading Opposition Figure Rejects Election Results
December 9, 2011 THE TELEGRAPH, Mike Pflanz
Fears of renewed violence rise as Etienne Tshisekedi declares himself president. Full Story Here…

Congo Vote Should Not Be Sacrificed for Stability
December 5, 2011 THE GUARDIAN, Jason Stearns
A leading Congo expert argues that foreign governments have a responsibility to ensure a credible vote, even in the face of instability. Full Story Here…

U.S. Appoints Special Envoy to Congo and Great Lakes Region
December 7, 2011 GLOBALPOST
Retired foreign service official, Barrie Walkly, will travel to the region shortly after the announcement of his appointment this week. Full Story Here…


UN Chief Visits Somalia
December 8, 2011 WASHINGTON POST
Ban Ki Moon urged leaders in Mogadishu to make more political progress in order to maximize new opportunities for stability. Full Story here…

Outcry, 1 Year Later…a US Special Rep to Congo!

This time last year, we camped under Secretary Clinton’s window in 7 degree weather, urging a Congo Plan Now. We were told by the State Department the one thing we would not get is a Special Envoy.

We persisted. This year, we signed petitions. Called the White House…some of us daily (you know who you are…Richa). We plastered Facebook with photos of protest, and rallied everyone we know- kids, boyfriends, co-workers, even our pets- to do the same. Even women in Congo joined our cries for action. We gathered experts, spearheading a letter to Secretary Clinton signed by 77 US & Congo based advocacy organizations, unanimously calling for cohesive, comprehensive, coordinated policy. Geez, some of us even stopped eating…sister Elizabeth Blackney fasted for 40 days!

Guess what? It worked.

Today, we have remarkable news. The US has appointed a Great Lakes Special Representative Barrie Walkley. To read more at our partner’s The Enough Project’s blog:

Is this 100% what we asked for? No. We asked for a Special Envoy reporting directly to Secretary Clinton. Rep. Walkley will report directly to Assistant Secretary Carson, who you’ll recall we spoke with last year at Outcry for Congo. It is a huge step forward.

Yes. You.

Join us in extending a warm welcome to Rep. Walkley. Let him know we look forward to bold leadership. Host a “Coffee for Congo”. Can’t make it? Post your welcome letter below. We’ll make sure he gets a copy!

Coffee for Congo

1. Pick a local coffee shop, date and time. Email us the info, we will post it under events here. Post on FB, too.
2. Invite your friends, and ask them to bring a pretty card.
3. Bring pens, extra cards, and copies of the letter sent to Secretary Clinton outlining our core policy demands (
4. Write welcome cards to Rep. Walkley! Let him know we fought hard to bring him on board. We look forward to seeing him execute powerful change for Congo. Be sure to reference the policy changes we need to see, as outlined in the our letter to Secretary Clinton. Make sure ever card includes a copy of that Clinton letter, outlining policy we want enacted under Rep. Walkley.
5. Bundle and mail your letters to: A Thousand Sisters, P.O. Box 28427, Portland, OR 97228

Congratulations. This is you changing the world.


News to Know Election Edition

News to Know: More Election Coverage


Protect Our Vote, Congolese Plead
December 3, 2011 REUTERS, David Lewis and Jonny Hogg
As early returns show President Joseph Kabila with a slight lead, Congolese hope for fair results. Full Story Here…

Eastern Congo Initiative’s Election Analysis
ECI’s latest post-election analysis highlights a lack of preparation by the nation’s elections commission, allegations of fraud and pre-election violence. Full Story Here…

Firebrand Attracts Votes in Congo, Dismaying West
December 2, 2011 NEW YORK TIMES, Jeffery Gettleman
Popular in the streets, but a source of concern for western diplomats, Etienne Tshisekedi appears to be neck and neck with incumbent president Joseph Kabila for Congo’s presidential election. Full Story Here…

Kabila’s Guards Shot Congo Protestors
December 2, 2011 REUTERS, Jonny Hogg
According to Human Rights Watch, most of the 18 people who were killed in pre-election violence were gunned down by president Joseph Kabila’s presidential guard. Full Story Here…


Warplanes Hit Somali Militant Bases
December 2, 2011 REUTERS
Kenya continues to escalate its military offensive against insurgents in Somalia. Full Story Here…

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