23 October, 2008

State of Emergency: The DRC

From Congo Global Action:

In a financial crisis such as the one we all are experiencing today, things may seem a little uncertain, more so for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been in crisis for more than a decade and whose suffering has been immeasurable. But we shouldn't forget that the Congolese people are still hopeful and deserve our attention and our voice so that they can have peace and prosperity for themselves and their country. Unfortunately this month has been desastrous for the Congolese people, the crisis in the DRC has worsened: In Kivus, CNDP (National Congress for the Defense of the People) of General Nkunda has been fighting the Congolese national army, displacing local population and now it is threatening to overthrow the elected Government in Kinshasa. The FDLR (Democratic for the Liberation of Rwanda), a Rwandan militia, continues to kill and terrorize Congolese people without consequences; they now have a police Force which collects taxes and continues to enslave women and children. In Ituri, The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) a Ugandan Militia has raided several towns along the Border between the DRC and Sudan, killing men, kidnapping women and children from schools. This month, we have seen a new Militia group, FPJC (Front Congolais pour la Justice Au Congo) emerged in the province of Ituri, threatening even more the peace process that was signed early this year.

The situation in DRC is of great concern for peace in the Great Lakes Regions. Yesterday, President George Bush had to sign a continuation of National Emergency with respect to the situation in DR Congo (See the letter below). And today more than ever, women and children of DRC need your appeal to the policy makers so that they can continue hoping for peace and stability. I urge you to contact your representatives and insist that the United States of America commit even more to the “Goma Peace Accord”; urge US congress to pass and implement the “International Violence against Women Act” and “Conflict Coltan and Cassiterate Act” that could end the conflict in Eastern Congo. Please join our effort by becoming an active member of CGA, participating at "Break the Silence Congo Week event that currently taking place all over the World and/or by donating a small contribution to our cause at www.congoglobalaction.org.

Call your representative and INSIST they support these bills. This is something YOU can do to change the world from where you are. It takes two seconds to call, and two seconds to tell your friends to call. We MUST start the conversation about the DRC in this country. If we do not help end the conflict in the DRC the region will never be stable. The US is directly responsible for this conflict by actions committed in the Cold War and by not responding to the Rwandan Genocide.

How many more women have to raped before we say enough? How many more children have to be kidnapped into the LRA? How many more nights to the Congolese people have to "sleep" in fear?

We can do something about this! Please call!!!

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© Amanda Lunday