“With rebel forces now demanding immediate concessions in return for sparing Goma, North Kivu’s largest city, this slow-motion disaster is reaching crisis point. The world’s biggest UN peacekeeping operation, Monusco, appears powerless to halt a descent into chaos. TheDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government and its undisciplined security forces are part of the problem. And according to a new report by Oxfam, the plight of the civilian population grows ever more desperate.”
RWANDA IS BACKING ATROCITIES IN CONGO
Ethnic massacres. Torture. Widespread sexual violence. Children abducted and forced to the frontlines of war.
This is the worst it has been in years. The UN humanitarian agency reports nearly 100,000 Congolese have abandoned their homes to escape the violence. Many of them will die in squalid refugee camps. Others will become victims of sexual violence. Others will be abducted and sent into battle by rebel militias.
Fighting began barely a month ago when Congo’s president called for the arrest of Congolese Army general/warlord, Bosco Ntaganda. Bosco is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and enlisting child soldiers. His terror campaigns are so notoriously destructive that he is widely known as the “Terminator.”
In response to President Kabila’s demand, Bosco’s rebel army (CNDP) defected from the Congolese Army and launched a fierce retaliation. Five weeks ago, these same rebel troops broke into a Falling Whistles-funded safehouse in Mweso, a town in Masisi District. That night they raped 12 of our girls, killed 2 of our children, and abducted 6 more. Another three were enlisted into Bosco’s rival militia force (FDLR). Six of our kids are still missing.
Amid the chaos, Human Rights Watch uncovered a troubling alliance between Bosco and Rwanda. This week they released their report accusing the Rwandan government of providing Bosco with weapons, ammo, and up to 300 recruits. Their findings are based on a combination of field research, UN reports, and eyewitness testimonials.
The report features firsthand accounts from a number of escaped Rwandan recruits, further proof that Rwandan officials are supporting the bloodshed. These witnesses said they were forcibly conscripted in Rwanda to fight for the CNDP, and personally escorted over the Congolese border by Rwandan Army officers. Many said child soldiers are being actively recruited. Many tell stories of senseless, gruesome, executions.
Why is Rwanda supporting a war criminal? How can we stop this injustice? What can you do to help? Tomorrow we will provide you with context and answers to these questions.
For now: Speak up. Mass atrocities are happening right now in the Congo, and Rwanda’s government is making things worse. Whether you are in Chile, or Sweden, Australia or Canada, we must not be silent.
Bosco’s rebel troops raided the town in Kivu and captured the children from the CAMME facility. Jewish World Watch came up with funds for a search and rescue mission with CAMME.
After two tireless months, we are rejoicing with our partners in time for Congo Independence Day.
Right now, all six kids are home, safe in Goma.
Be a whistleblower for peace.
A few weeks ago we told you Bosco Ntaganda’s troops took their terror campaign through Mweso. On a Sunday night, they killed 2 children and raped 12 girls being rehabilitated at CAMME, one of Falling Whistles’ partners.
We told you and you stood by us. You stood by the kids. You spread the word. You helped get those kids the attention they deserved.
Jewish World Watch came through quickly and sent $2,500 in emergency funds to CAMME. Complete information has been difficult to obtain amidst the turmoil in the region. Today we received an update from the staff at CAMME, and we wanted to share with you.
Here is what we know:
The 81 children from Mweso have been safely transferred to Goma, where they are receiving food and counseling. Many of them are living in foster homes.
But we learned something new. That same Sunday night, 9 of our kids were kidnapped and conscripted into militias
Of the 9 forced into combat, so far 3 have escaped— they were recruited by a notorious rebel group, the FDLR. 6 of our kids are still missing. Some may have been drafted by Bosco’s militia, the CNDP.
CAMME and the Mweso community are doing everything in their power to track down the missing children. We are doing everything we can from here. And we need your help again.
Speak up. Get the word out. 6 kids are missing. We won’t rest until they are safe.
Spread the News:
Right now, thousands of Congolese are fleeing a fierce fighting headed by Bosco ‘the Terminator’ Ntaganda. This warlord is wanted by the International Criminal Court for recruiting child soldiers.
This month, Congo’s president called for his arrest.
Bosco’s troops have taken two key towns on the way to Congo’s eastern city, Goma.
BBC reports in full.
Read it, share it, speak up. Global leaders will not act unless we tell them we care.