KAIROS deplores the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
KAIROS is actively monitoring the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). KAIROS is collaborating with its Congolese human rights partner, Héritiers de la Justice in Bukavu, Sud-Kivu and Canadian partners active in the DRC through the Montreal-based Table de concertation sur la Région des Grands-Lacs.
The crisis has deepened sharply with the fall of the city of Goma, Nord-Kivu to the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan and Ugandan-backed M23 militia rebellion. The M23 was formed in the province of Nord-Kivu by disaffected Congolese army soldiers who mutinied in April of this year. The soldiers were previously members of the CNDP, a separate Congolese militia, which had been unsuccessfully integrated into the army in a March 23rd 2009 peace agreement, an event from which the rebels take their name.
KAIROS deplores this escalation of violence and this attack on the sovereignty of the DRC from neighbouring countries. The Government of Canada and its partners in the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region need to exert political and diplomatic pressure on all parties to put an immediate stop to the violence and address the root causes of the decades-long conflict over Congo’s minerals, a conflict which has caused the deaths of millions of Congolese and wanton gender-based violence used as a weapon of war.
KAIROS is preparing to lead a delegation of Canadian churches and church leaders to the eastern DRC in 2013 as an act of witness and solidarity with our partners and besieged communities in the area. We hold these people in our thoughts and prayers even more than ever during this difficult time.