DR Congo

Developement and Peace appeal for the DR Congo

News and Press Release
Originally published
Montreal, November 6, 2008 - Due to the grim humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE calls on both the Canadian government and the public to take immediate action.

Since 1994, the country has been torn apart by militias fighting for control over its natural resources, notably tin, gold and coltan. A recent resurgence of violence has aggravated the situation. In order to pacify the country and promote its development, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE asks that:

- The Canadian government contribute to and advocate for the reinforcement of the United Nations Mission in the Congo (MONUC).

The MONUC is failing in its mission to bring peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo because it has not been supported by the United Nations member states. The force must be strengthened as soon as possible so that it can dismantle de National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) and the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), two armed groups that have raped and killed civilians, controlled and taxed natural resource exploitation in the country and, in the last few days, prevented access to humanitarian aid by looting and burning camps for displaced persons.

- The Canadian government and the Canadian public contribute funds in order to provide emergency relief to the over 1 million displaced in South and North Kivu.

Through its partner Caritas Congo, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is contributing to humanitarian relief for 90,000 victims of the present conflict. The organization asks the public to contribute generously to its Congo fund which will be spent on emergency relief and reconstruction projects.

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE also asks the Canadian government to contribute financially to aid and development projects in the country.

- The Canadian government pressure the United Nations to reopen investigations on the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

Coltan, the most important resource exploited in eastern Congo, is used in cell-phones and other electronic products. However, there exists little documentation on the ways in which the work of independent miners finds itself in the hands of legal cell-phone companies. The same holds true for the other resources mined in the region. These activities must be investigated and companies profiting from the chaos in the country must be held accountable.