I greet you in the midst of these very trying times for my country. Since April, nearly a half million Congolese have been displaced and rendered homeless by a Rwandan-backed rebel movement in the east of our country. A United Nations Group of Experts report says Rwanda is training, arming and financing rebels that have destabilized the east of the Congo.
The reason we host Congo Week in the month of October is because it was in October 1996 that mainly Rwanda and Uganda first invaded the Congo and triggered the catastrophic crisis that we have endured for the past 16 years. Since we began Congo Week in 2008, sixty countries and over 300 communities have joined us to demonstrate their support and value for Congolese lives.
Due to your support along with others throughout the globe, world leaders are finally listening to Congolese voices and applying pressure to the dominant source of the instability in the east of our country. The United States, Netherlands, Sweden and a number of other donor nations are finally holding the Rwandan government accountable by withholding aid as a result of Rwanda's support for rebel groups inside the Congo.
As youth and future leaders of our country, we are clear that Congo's challenge is both external and internal. Young people will gather throughout the country during Congo Week (October 14 - 20, 2012) to discuss and examine the path that Congo took to arrive in its current condition and build on strategies for realizing peaceful and lasting change.
We call on you to join us in addressing our external challenges as we face and tackle the various internal forces that have rendered our country dependent, impoverished and unstable.
This is an historic opportunity for you to be a part of the global movement to bring an end to what is described as the greatest humanitarian crisis at the dawn of the 21st century and the deadliest conflict since World War Two.
We encourage you to seize the moment and become a part of a noble pursuit for justice and human dignity in the heart of Africa, my home, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Friends of the Congo
Remember to post your event on the events calendar
Share the Congo Week promotional video
Screen the film Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth
Participate in the CELL-OUT, on October 17, 2012. The CELL-OUT is a one-hour digital moment of silence in support of the Congolese people.
Follow on Twitter @congofriends and tweet your support using hashtags #CongoWeek and #CW2012 leading up to and during Congo Week.
Friends of the Congo