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Congolese Community in UK & British Supporters Demonstrate Against Invasion & Occupation of Eastern Congo

28 Nov 2012

The mass rape of women and girls, kidnapping of children to use as soldiers, massacres of civilians and targeted killing of human rights defenders are all used as weapons in this war that is intimately linked to all of us in the UK.

Press release from the Congolese Community:

* For immediate release*

On Wednesday 28th November, Congolese and British demonstrators will manifest outside the Congolese Embassy, before walking the streets to the Rwandan Embassy, with the march ending outside Downing Street. The demonstrators will call for immediate action against the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, who were accused of having links to the M23 (a murderous militia army made up of mainly Rwandan soldiers who have invaded Congo’s Kivu provinces) in the final UN Group of Experts report. The 200-page report was published following M23’s capture of the strategic city of Goma in eastern Congo on Tuesday 20th November, cementing previous allegations made in July this year by the UN Group of Experts towards Rwanda and individuals within Uganda, two of the biggest recipients of British aid in Africa.

The report accuses the Rwandan and Ugandan Governments of rupturing a UN Arms Embargo by providing the M23 militia army (led by ICC wanted General Bosco Ntaganda, a.k.a. the Terminator) with troop reinforcements, weapons, intelligence, communication equipment, political advice and facilitating the evacuation of casualties to Rwanda on direct orders of Rwanda's Defence Minister, General James Kabarebe.

The recent capture of Goma comes with alarm, as thousands flee the area where rape, killings and lootings have been reported. The M23 have continued to advance through the eastern parts of Congo and say they intend to march to the Congolese capital Kinshasa, renewing fears of an impending war, resurfacing memories of the 1998 Rwandan–led invasion of Congo, which claimed millions of Congolese lives and left countless women and young girls raped.

In a joint statement on Thursday 22nd November, UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague and International Development Secretary, Justine Greening commented:

“We judge the overall body of evidence of Rwandan involvement with M23 in the DRC to be credible and compelling […] The UK is greatly concerned about the escalating situation in eastern Congo and the plight of its civilian population. We repeat our calls for the immediate withdrawal of the M23 from Goma.”

In standing in solidarity with those caught with the M23 violence in Congo, the Congolese Community in Britain issued a statement saying:

“We urge the UK Government and the International Community to cut its ties with Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni; the two principal actors behind the M23’s killing spree and brutality in Congo.” The Community added: “We judge the M23 advances to be a Rwandan invasion wrapped in a Congolese flag. Failure to act decisively this time against Rwanda and Uganda will be unacceptable and deemed as a green-light to Rwanda and Uganda’s continual murdering and looting in Congo.” 

For further information or comments, please contact: Vava Tampa on m: +44 (0)7930 702466 or e: [email protected] or Tatiana Giraud on t: +44 (0)20 8432 9757 or
m: +44 (0)7717 476778 or e: [email protected]k