Yesterday, the Falling Whistles coalition launched the #STOPM23 campaign and StopM23.com.
The campaign goal is to provide an overwhelming public response directed to Susan Rice, United States ambassador to the United Nations. Through the sharing tool on the site StopM23.com, visitors can demand peace in Congo and sanctions on Rwandan and Ugandan leadership supporting the rebel group M23 by tagging her in public posts.
In response to the urgent threat, the campaign technology created a platform for users to reach US officials across social media channels, that have the power to enact sanctions on leaders supporting the group.
Congo’s neighboring country Rwanda, receives approximately $200mm per year in aid from US taxpayers. Sanctions and a freeze on that support could result in the halt of support and resources to the M23 rebel group. In reaction to the irrefutable evidence of this fact, the Falling Whistles coalition spoke up:
- 1500 sent tweets and posted demands within 12 hours. Demanding peace in Congo and sanctions on Rwanda to @AmbassadorRice.
- Over 2 million people saw the campaign with wide reaching support by friends of the coalition Sophia Bush, Adam Braun, Nicole Crowther, Gillian Zinser, Jeremy Cowart, Dream Hampton and many more.
- Susan Rice’s name was trending in the US on Twitter during the afternoon on east coast time.
- U.S. officials responded. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, spoke out condemning the actions of M23, but again, failed to directly mention the support of Rwanda.
- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, met with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister to deliver a stern message on the country’s support of M23.
- At yesterday’s Security Council meeting, they passed another ineffective sanctions resolution that doesn’t name the most important Rwandan backers of M23. Susan Rice is still blocking this important step.
- M23 faces a Friday deadline to pull out of the city of Goma. This strategic retreat was coordinated by Rwandan President Kagame, Congolese President Kabila, and Ugandan President Museveni during closed-door talks in Kampala. Each of these leaders is facing increased international pressure.
- It’s still not clear whether the rebels will actually leave Goma. If they do, they’ll haul away 1000 tons of weapons and ammo collected from the Congolese army. [from the ground via. Reuters’ news team].
- These signs do not point to victory, but show the success of strategic diplomatic actions and the threat of sanctions as an effective path towards peace.
M23 has displaced over 800,000 Congolese citizens in their rapid advance on the mineral rich eastern Congo region of the Kivus since their formation in April, including an estimated 140,000 IDPs in the last week during their invasion of the regional capital, Goma. An estimated 60 have died in this recent siege of Goma, with hundreds injured and refugee camp situations deteriorating.
Falling Whistles has collected the world news coverage of this international humanitarian crisis on Storify.com/FallingWhistles as a reference and education on the current affairs in the region and the world response.
To bring resolution to our world’s deadliest war, we must continue to provide an overwhelming public demand for sanctions on officials in Rwanda who are supporting the rebel group. Please visit, read and share the StopM23.com site to spread the word.