Thursday, November 19, 2009

The sufferings of the Congo people: Great Congo Demo reprise

From The Telegraph-

One hundred years ago today, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Randall Davidson, led The Great Congo Demonstration against violence and oppression in Congo. Speaking at the Albert Hall, he condemned the 'great wrong' committed against the Congo people, acknowledging: 'We are ourselves in part responsible for the past, and, if that wrong be allowed to continue, by whomsoever carried out, we shall be answerable to God and man for its continuance.' Read the original letter to The Times in our archives.

As the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said in a joint press release today with the Anglican Archbishop of Congo and the Bishop of Winchester, a century later violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to claim lives, with the conflict reportedly causing directly or indirectly the deaths of more than five million civilians since 1998.

The conflict, including the latest military operations, is characterised by widespread human rights violations, including horrific acts of sexual and other violence against women and girls, the deliberate killing of civilians, and the recruitment of children as soldiers, they said.

The attacks have resulted in the mass-displacement of local communities, exacerbating existing disease and poverty.

According to the United Nations, more than one million people have been forced to flee their homes since January of this year in both eastern and northern Congo.

More here-

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