Stop The Genocide In The Congo

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We the undersigned petition the United Nations and the international community to take action and stop the genocide in the DR Congo.

The war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reached a new level of crisis. 2.5 million people perished between August 1998 to April 2001.

There have been millions of human rights violations with almost half of these against women and children.

The situation in the DR Congo resembles that of Rwanda before the massacres in 1994. There is widespread dismay in the Congolese community about a lack of international interest and media attention to a war where Africans are killing other Africans.

This crisis continues whilst every industrialized country is benefiting from the exploitation of natural resources and the media and governments of the west ignore these attrocities.

As the Congolese state, a country as large as Western Europe, disintegrates, armed regional movements are taking over. It is an extremely complex situation - the forces fighting on Congo soil include armies from seven foreign countries, bands of local militia with shifting and dividing alliances, and rebel armies. The rebel groups include: the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), backed by Rwanda, and the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Liberation Movement (RCD-ML), which has recently merged with the Congo Liberation Movement (MLC), supported by Uganda and Mobutu's heirs. The motives that originally drew foreign countries in the Congo, such as military support for independence and defense purposes, have been displaced by exploitation of the Congo's vast resources.

The United Nations has been observing the situation there since 1999. The UN has reached Phase III of their mission, which includes the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Congo according to peace agreements signed by neighboring Uganda and Rwanda. Unfortunately, the withdrawal of foreign troops has created a power vacuum into which local militia groups (and foreign troops dressed as local citizens) have moved. Although a United Nations peace process is underway, it has been obstructed by industrial countries exporting the wealth of the Congo's natural resources and making profits from the unrest and the political instability of the Congo, said respected Congolese leader Yaa Lenghi who lives in New York City.

This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. International business enterprises from 13 countries (including UK, Belgium, Germany, USA, Zimbabwe, Canada, Israel, United Arab Emirates) operate in the resource rich areas of the Congo occupied by local militia. A UN report released on October 16, 2002 called 'Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo' supports Yaa Lenghi's claims and lists all the corporations considered by the Panel to be in violation of OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises. According to the report, a network of those illegally exploiting the DR Congo's natural resources has contributed to the violence in the area. The continuing war has not prevented the multinational corporations from operating profitably. According to Yaa Lenghi, the countries with leverage in the UN are the same ones listed in the report and do not actually want peace in the Congo. "They are benefiting from the resources of the Congo, therefore they don't want peace to come right away. They want it to drag it along. They don't care about the millions dying. Because if they actually wanted peace the action would be very simple, very direct and very forceful."

"The United Nations could stop this war if they wanted to," said Malonga Casquelourd, professor at San Francisco State University. Casquelourd, a former resident of the Congo, attributes the UN's lack of response to an international indifference to African issues. He compares the United Nations interventions in Kosovo with the failure to stop genocide in Rwandan.

Sign up to petition the United Nations and the international community to take action and prevent further atrocities in the DR Congo.

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