Washington, DC - Ocotber 31, 2008 - Sleeping on the ground - in the rain, hungry, cold and on the move in search of safe haven. That is the plight of thousands of Congolese in East Congo today, held hostage by the forces of Rwandan-backed rebel leader Laurent Nkunda. Around 250,000 people have fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since a cease-fire signed in January collapsed in August.
On October 29, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer issued a statement warning Nkunda's rebel group not to take Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province of Congo. Since 1996, when the Rwandan government and its allies Uganda and Burundi invaded the Congo, the Congolese people have suffered and died by the millions. The Rwandan government continues to destabilize the Congo by supporting Nkunda's rebel group, CNDP. A clear and strong message to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to stop its persistent intervention in the Congo is long overdue.
Ending the ongoing killing, displacement, rape and looting in eastern Congo MUST be a priority. By taking the side of its ally Rwanda, the United States of America has for far too long jeopardized peace for both the people of Congo and the people of Rwanda. Until this problem is resolved, there will be no peace for the Congo.
At the core of the conflict is the lust after Congo's immense natural resources. The lawless rebel group CNDP is fueled by its control and exploitation of Congo's mineral wealth, coltan in particular.
We must act now to STOP this carnage in the Congo and end this conflict which destabilizes the country and entire region. As a global community of concerned humans, WE MUST TAKE A STAND NOW!
Join us in front of the Embassy of Rwanda, 1714 New Hampshire Ave. NW Washington, DC 20009
Friday October 31, 2008 at 4PM for a VIGIL in support of the people of the Congo.
AFRICAN FAITH & JUSTICE NETWORK
CONGO GLOBAL ACTION
FRIENDS OF THE CONGO
EN AVANT CONGO
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Africa Faith & Justice Network
Congo Global Action