My friend Marian did a brief summary of what’s going on, with a couple of links and pointers to some things you can do to intervene. In her words (with a couple of edits here and there):
There is a crisis in Eastern Congo around Goma. The rebel army, CNDP, lead by Nkunda advanced from the north all the way to the outskirts of Goma, the provencial capital. More than 50,000 people fled to Goma. Behind the CNDP lines, credible reports document that the rebels have broken up IDP (internally displaced peoples camps) and burned them to the ground, further displacing 50,000 + more people. Aid agencies haven’t been able to reach many of the displaced, until now, and hunger and starvation are very real, as there is no food. It is wet, muddy, and raining. Many are sick. Below are a few articles that do a good job analyzing the conflict.
How we fuel Africa’s Bloodiest War
opinion/commentators/johann- hari/johann-hari-how-we-fuel- africas-bloodiest-war-978461. html
The Rape of a Nation (~10 min documentary that explains some history)
Update on UN’s role
This conflict is more than what is frequently cited as “tribal” or “ethnic,” rather it is economic. Eastern Congo is rich in natural resources: copper, diamonds, gold, and coltan. Coltan is used in laptop computers and cell phones — multinational companies benefit. Attached is a form letter to send to your senators calling for conflict-free coltan regulations. Send a letter to our senators and representatives. The form letter is “Coltan Letter.pdf”
Secondly, it is women and children who suffer the most during this conflict. Troops from both sides are raping and pillaging. The people of Congo need security and to be able to return to their homes, their villages, their fields in order to produce food! One million people are displaced in North Kivu, and they cannot be taken care of. They’re dispersed, and putting huge strain on the existing towns and cities as they try to feed them. WFP’s rations are one quarter of what is needed to survive. MONUC (UN peacekeeping mission) doesn’t’ have the resources to provide protection. Support is needed from the international community in order to help these organizations do what their mandate is: feed and protect. Attached is a petition drafted by HEAL Africa you can sign. To sign, email your Name, Affiliation, Country to [editor's note: instructions for participating in the petition are available on the HEALAfrica "Four Ways to Help" website]
Finally, to encourage the international community to do something about this humanitarian disaster, attached is a form letter (thanks to Andrew Hoeksema) to send to your senators calling for them to do something and influence the UN Security Council, rather than sit back and ignore.
“As the UN Security Council will be briefed on the situation in eastern D.R. Congo. Please work with fellow Senators to encourage the U.S. delegation to the UN to push for further intervention on behalf of the innocents who are affected by this fighting. Great humanitarian aid is needed for the 100s of 1000s who have been displaced in recent months. Tell the UN Security Council to increase humanitarian aid in this emergency situation to the displaced peoples in the major city of Goma. Also, have the UN Security Council increase the mandate of the peacekeeping troops to further intervention to stop and push back the advances of Nkunda’s rebel forces. The UN Security Council also must work to push negotiations between presidents of D.R. Congo and Rwanda who are both involved in this crisis.”
Thank you for taking time to learn more about this catastrophe.
Thank you for praying fervently for peace and for taking a step to end the atrocities and injustice.