Friday, November 07, 2008

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has gone from being the world’s bloodiest forgotten conflict since the Second World War to headline news around the globe in a matter of days.

A flare-up in fighting between rebel and government forces has left the east of the country in a calamitous condition.

Despite a ceasefire holding, Tearfund partner HEAL Africa describes the situation as a tinderbox.

HEAL Africa runs a hospital in Goma, the capital of conflict-hit North Kivu province, and has seen evidence of rapes and torture.

Staff are treating all manner of wounds and injuries inflicted on people from both rebel and government forces as well as bandits. They are showing the compassion of the local church in a situation where many aid agencies have had to halt their work.

The conflict goes back many years but reignited in August with the breakdown of a peace agreement. According to who you ask, it has its roots in Hutu-Tutsi ethnic tensions or stems from a desire to control the country’s abundant natural resources.

Please use the following points to guide your prayers

• Please pray for lasting peace in North Kivu and that international pressure is effective in stopping the fighting and suffering. Pray that the UN peacekeeping force is able to play a more involved role.

• Please pray that the hearts of rebel leaders, the DRC president and government and Rwandan president and government are softened, so that they see the suffering of conflict-affected people and look for a peaceful solution instead of being dominated by their political, economic and military interests.

• Pray that the security situation improves quickly so aid agencies and Tearfund partners can help more civilians caught up in the conflict.

No comments: