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Presentation on theme: "1 CHURCH OF CHRIST OF CONGO PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM DIAKONIA DEPARTMENT NORTH AMERICAN LOBBYING MESSAGE ON: 1.The problem of foreign armed groups."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CHURCH OF CHRIST OF CONGO PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM DIAKONIA DEPARTMENT NORTH AMERICAN LOBBYING MESSAGE ON: 1.The problem of foreign armed groups 2.Sexual violence 3.The humanitarian crisis in eastern DR Congo 4.The illegal exploitation of minerals Democratic Republic of Congo 2012

2 2 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Area: 2,344,542 km² Population: 68,692,542 Inhabitants ( 2009 figures) Official Language: French

3 3 CAUSES OF INSTABILITY IN THE EAST Presence of foreign and local armed groups The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) The Lords Resistance Army (LRA) Many local armed militia in east and north-east

4 4 BACKGROUND TO FDLR ACTIVITY Rwandan Genocide in million killed Hutu population (refugees and combatants) arrives in eastern Congo. Arrival of the Hutu refugees and combatants in Congo

5 5 RECENT WARS IN EASTERN CONGO 1996: 1st War of Liberation, with the coalition AFDL and its allies (7 countries) 1998: 2nd War of Liberation with the RCD 1999: Creation of the FDLR with these objectives: Establishing representative government, police force, and military Working for a durable peace in Rwanda and the region Establishing a regime based on the principles of human rights, pluralistic democracy, free and transparent elections and republican values

6 6 APPROACH OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF THE FDLR 1. Military Approach: several different military operations have been organized, namely Umoja Wetu Kimia I and II Amani Léo Amini Kamilifu (currently underway )

7 7 Results Positive: Dispersal of FDLR Destruction of FDLR logistic bases Dismantling of command structure Surrender of some FDLR combatants Repatriation of some FDLR dependents Elimination of a few FDLR combatants Negative: Collateral effects– massive displacement of local populations (at least 1 million) FDLR reprisals against the population Greater insecurity for the population Increased incidence of rape

8 8 Approach of the ECC The ECC is a non-governmental organization bringing together 72 protestant denominations including Baptists, Pentecostals, Anglicans, Mennonites, Lutherans, etc. Its objectives are: Evangelization Social involvement Development and diakonia Intending to bring peace, the ECC began the project for disarming and voluntary repatriation of Rwandans in 2006.

9 Primary Activities of the ECC Project: 1. Sensitization of the refugees and combatants 2. Lobbying 3. Voluntary repatriation of refugees and combatants 4. Humanitarian assistance to refugees between their initial locations and the UN transit camps (supported most of the time by MCC) 5.Reintegration of the returnees in Rwanda with the collaboration of CPR and Norwegian Church Aid. 9

10 Achievements of the program The organization of several international conferences on peace and development in DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, including: The Conference of Rome The creation of the RUD, a dissident branch of the FDLR. 10

11 11 In June 2008, the International Conference on the FDLR in Kisangani resulted in the creation of an assembly camp at Kasiki/Lubero and the official disarmament of 67 combatants on 31 July 2008.

12 Arrival of the project delegation at Nyabiondo (Welcomed by the FDLR) 12

13 Solutions Envisaged by the Church The church advocates an inter-Rwandan dialogue that can result in the reconciliation of the Rwandan people. Follow-up activities advocating for disarmament and repatriation or resettlement of foreign combatants Bringing criminals to justice Increased contact with the leadership of FDLR and with the Congo government. Continue activities at Mutobo reeducation camp Promote opportunities, microcredit, animal husbandry, etc. 13

14 14 FDLR PERSPECTIVE The conditions of the FDLR: A political openness in Rwanda that allows everyone to participate in the political process Once demobilized and disarmed they want to be treated according to the conventions covering refugees including repatriation or resettlement Clear support systems for those choosing resettlement

15 -Continued- A UN Special Envoy should oversee the process with several countries as witness Fair and objective trial for FDLR members tried Demobilization of all child soldiers 15

16 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Background: Over a little more than a decade, the DRC has known three vicious wars (1996, 1998 and 2004) with numerous consequences for the east of Congo politically, economically, socially. This plunged the region and its inhabitants into a chaotic situation. The most alarming aspect is that of gender based sexual violence. 16

17 Sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war for the majority of the armed groups implicated in the conflict. Consequences of Sexual Violence: Increase of sexually transmitted diseases Unwanted pregnancies Gynecological complications Psychological trauma among victims Social breakdown 17

18 Consequences of Sexual Violence Continued: Birth of children from rape who are rejected by the population Stigmatization and rejection of raped women by their husbands Destruction of the economic fabric of the country. 18

19 It is estimated that more than 200,000 women have been raped since Here is the table of rape statistics in 2011 for South Kivu province alone: 19

20 20 HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN EASTERN CONGO Population movement statistics: Internally displaced as of 31 December 2011: 634,598 Returnees as of 31 December 2011: 282,810 Congolese repatriated from Burundi: 1,575 Burundians repatriated from Congo: 7,553 Rwandans repatriated from Congo: 5,666 Congolese repatriated from Tanzania: 97

21 Causes of Humanitarian Crisis Activities of local and foreign armed groups Military operations against and between armed groups General insecurity Economic conflicts Inter-ethnic warfare Hostage-taking as a military tactic. 21

22 22 Displaced persons flee from Congolese Army

23 23 Displaced persons housing

24 24 Displaced family

25 Illegal mining of mineral resources in the DRC There are two categories of mining operations: Artisanal: Foreign armed groups (FDLR), some elements of the FARDC which control mining areas formerly occupied by the FDLR, certain businessmen, and even certain leaders of DRC. Industrial: The Banro Corporation, a Canadian mining company 25

26 Differences in Mining Artisanal mining is lawless; no one knows how much is produced or what happens to the minerals produced. Industrial mining does not take into account the living conditions of the local population. 26

27 Consequences Artisanal mining causes rural work to be abandoned. The poorly informed population turns to mining to the detriment of farming. This can cause famine (This is the case of Kamituga). Artisanal mining is also one of the causes for a decrease in the rate of school attendance. Children are recruited to work in the mines, abandoning the school to seek a life by mining. Illegal mining of minerals encourages the creation of armed groups and the illegal circulation of light arms and small caliber weapons, because the war lords sell minerals for weapons. 27

28 Violations by Banro Corporations Not paying the 1% compensatory exportation tax from which the national government should receive 60%, the province 25% and the local community 15%. Not paying the property tax on the mining concession that it occupies. Not paying tax on its profits. Not paying taxes on traffic routes. 28

29 RECOMMENDATIONS 1. To the United Nations Security Council: To require the governments of the countries which are aggressive toward DRC to pay reparations for the various crimes they have committed by allocating funds for the victims through the DRC government. To create effective international mechanisms similar to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for the DRC, in order to eradicate the culture of impunity in the DRC and in the Great Lakes region. To undertake an independent international investigation designed to identify individual and collective responsibilities for the sexual violence against women. 29

30 30 To ensure that the restructuring and the reintegration of the fighting forces in the new army be implemented in a rigorous and transparent manner. Ensure that the disarmament, demobilization and repatriation (DDR) operation succeeds, by taking consistent and effective measures to return foreign militia groups to their countries of origin, in conformity with Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter. RECOMMENDATIONS

31 31 RECOMMENDATIONS 2. To the international community: Ensure that the financial support given to the government of the DRC by the World Bank, the European Union, and other international institutions, takes into consideration the needs of Congolese women. Furnish adequate support to local organizations which promote womens rights. Require the governments of Rwanda and Burundi to compensate the victims for the atrocities committed by their national armies and military groups.

32 RECOMMENDATIONS 3. To the Disciples of Christ, MCC and other partners: The ECC Peace and Reconciliation Program thanks them for sharing in these efforts and for the help given to help with peace building and development in the DRC. With regard to security in eastern DRC, the Church solicits the accompaniment of the Disciples of Christ and MCC in its activities of sensitization for demobilization and voluntary repatriation of foreign armed groups. Support the Churchs initiative to create a Regional Peace and Development Center to promote a culture of peace in the African Great Lakes Region. 32

33 This accompaniment consists of : Training of trainers Socio-economic reinsertion of Rwandan refugees and logistical support for ex-combatants who want a profession, education, to work in agriculture or in a small business Supporting ECC advocacy efforts for the nomination of a Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General to work on the question of the FDLR in the Great Lakes Region Support ecclesiastical initiatives which resist different forms of violence (judicial, economic, social, medical and diplomatic) 33

34 With regard to the exploitation of minerals : Identify foreign companies which have mining operations in DRC and convince them to right the wrongs done to the Congolese people. Accompany the NGOs working against the illegal mining of mineral resources in DRC. Support the United Nations report about the plunder of resources in DRC. 34

35 With regard to the massive displacement of people: Accompany initiatives which are trying to end the causes of population displacement. Help the Church to put in place a humanitarian agency in eastern DRC which will respond quickly to catastrophes and emergencies. Support the Churchs program of environmental rehabilitation and protection. 35

36 Elections in DRC The elections were marred by major irregularities. Some cases of flagrant fraud and cheating were observed A modification to the Constitution which provided for a single round of voting shortly before the elections took place. Violation of the freedom of expression. Political intolerance. 36

37 Possible Election Solutions: Some people propose that there be a dialogue among politicians, while others want the elections to be held again. We believe that through a dialogue among politicians we can build on the published results of the election which were recognized by the international community. 37



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