Protect lives in danger in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Amnesty International
Press Release
November 26, 2012

Obama Administration Must Step Up Influence, Especially at United Nations, to Protect Lives in Danger in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – With tens of thousands of people at risk from renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Amnesty International USA today called on the Obama administration to step up its influence at the United Nations and directly with the Congolese government to help protect civilians and to supply needed food, water, medicine and shelter.

Amnesty International, in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said it is deeply concerned about the safety of civilians in Goma and Sake due to the renewed outbreak of violence and the appalling record of past human rights abuses by the armed group M23, which has been responsible for unlawful killings, forced labor and rape and the recruitment of children as soldiers.

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Run for Congo Women – 5K run / walk on August 4th

AIUSA Group 48 is joining forces with the Never Again Coalition (NAC) to raise money for Women for Women International‘s programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Group 48 will be part of the NAC team to run/walk and raise donations.

This year’s run will be held at Willamette Park (SW Macadam & Nebraska Streets) on Saturday, August 4th. Check in begins at 8:00AM and the run/walk starts at 9:00AM. It is on a paved trail along the Willamette River. All are welcome including babies in strollers and dogs. The registration fee is $35 for adults and $15 for youth 13 and older. All registrants will receive a Run for Congo Women Eco Tote Bag!

Click here to register and join the team. Donations can be made through the NAC team leader’s page.

Demand justice for the Congolese people

In the last two decades, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have endured horrific human rights violations. Most of these violations have not been investigated, those responsible have not been prosecuted and victims have been denied justice and redress. However, the November 2011 elections and a re-elected President provide fresh hopes that the Congolese may finally see justice done.

Let’s seize this opportunity to support the Congolese people in their fight for justice. Click here to download a solidarity action of writing postcards to human rights defenders in DRC.

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Run for Congo Women – 5K run / walk on July 23

Join AIUSA Group 48 in supporting the annual Run for Congo Women 5K run / walk on July 23rd. The $35 registration directly benefits Women for Women International programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Portland-based organization sponsors runs throughout the country.

This year’s run will be held at Willamette Park (SW Macadam & Nebraska Streets). Check in begins at 7:30AM and the run/walk starts at 9AM. It is on a paved trail along the Willamette River. All are welcome including babies in strollers and dogs. T-shirts and refreshments are included in this family fun event.

Group 48 coordinator Joanne Lau has registered a team, Run for Rights. Both runners and walkers including non-Group 48 members are welcome to join the team. Click here to register!

If you are not able to attend, click here to make a donation online. Offline donation can be sent by mail with a donation form.

Cell phones fueled Africa’s “World War”

A small window of opportunity just opened this week that could finally break the cycle of weapons freely flowing in to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and conflict minerals irresponsibly being mined out.

Right now, the House of Representatives is weighing on a piece of legislation that would make it easier to identify imports into the United States that contain minerals such as coltan, cassiterite, wolframite – commonly found in cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices – used to fund the activities of armed groups operating in the DRC.

If Congress required companies to disclose the origins of the minerals used in their products, then we, as consumers, could be assured that the electronics and products we purchase do not directly finance conflict or fuel human rights abuses.

If Representatives don’t hear from constituents on this issue in a big way by the end of this week, then they are likely to put this issue on the back burner until next year when the new Congress is seated.

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