Covenanters Urged to Sign Congo Peace Petition

Post a Comment » Written on November 13th, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (November 13, 2008) – The Paul Carlson Partnership is encouraging members of Evangelical Covenant Churches to sign an online petition calling for peace in Congo.

The petition is being sponsored by HEAL Africa. It calls on African authorities, the United Nations, and Western nations to stop the violence and war in Congo.

Names received via the Covenant website will be attached to the petition and sent to HEAL Africa, which will forward all the names to the appropriate leaders.

An estimated 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in the past three months, with 100,000 trapped behind rebel-held lines. Little food is available and shelter almost non-existent.

An email from the area reported that “Two children were crushed to death underfoot by adults in their rush to grab a handful of biscuits.” That is life in a refugee camp in North Kivu, D.R. Congo. Not far away, two teen-age girls were shot during a rape attempt by two men in uniform.

The civil war in eastern Congo is marked by violence against civilians, especially women. Rape is used as a tool of war.

The U.N. has accused both sides of war crimes during the latest upsurge in violence. Fears recently have been raised about a widening conflict as it appears that other nations have become involved.

The petition begins: “We, the undersigned, urgently urge Congolese, U.N. and other key parties in and outside the DRC to act urgently to PROTECT, PREVENT and RESPOND to violence and brutal rapes of women and children in the embattled area surrounding the city of Goma and to protect civilians of North Kivu, where there are one million internally displaced people (IDP). With an estimated 20,000 refugees flooding into the area surrounding Goma, the situation there is a tinderbox, and hunger is driving the violence. The increased pitting of people against each other along ethnic lines represents a very dangerous reality. Since August, when the fighting began to escalate, mass rapes have increased – 40 a day by some estimates. We must stop the violence happening today – and tomorrow – through our global action and voices.”

Click here to read the full petition. To sign the petition, click here.

Judy and Dick Anderson of Monroe Covenant Church in Monroe, Washington, helped start HEAL Africa in the eastern Congo city of Goma. Dick previously served as executive director for two years; she currently serves in that position.

To read a previous online Covenant News Service story about the Andersons and the work of HEAL Africa, click here.

The Paul Carlson Partnership is a not-for-profit international aid and development affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church through the ECC’s compassionate outreach initiatives.

To read more in-depth information about the conflict in Congo, click here.

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