Last week, on November 20, the M23 rebels seized Goma, a major city in eastern Congo, escalating the ongoing conflict and highlighting the urgency for a credible peace process. Over the weekend, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR, met in Kampala for a high-level crisis summit—attended by the presidents of Congo and Uganda as well as by representatives of the M23—to discuss the increasing crisis.
Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared as part of New York Times’ "Room for Debate." Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast and others—including writer Eve Ensler, consultant and analyst Willet Weeks, Kambale Musavuli of Friends of the Congo, Yaa-Lengi Ngemi of the Congo Coalition, and Séverine Autesserre of Columbia University—address the complex question: How to stabilize Congo?
To commend the historic work of the International Criminal Court under the leadership of its first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Jewish World Watch selected Ocampo as the recipient of the group’s 6th annual I Witness Award. The honor recognizes champions in the field of genocide and atrocities prevention.
Thousands of Invisible Children supporters descended in red t-shirts on the D.C. Convention Center earlier this month for the group’s largest event of the year: MOVE:DC. While I walked 15 minutes from my apartment, there were attendees who had flown from Brazil and driven from California, all united in their commitment to ending the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and apprehending now-infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony.
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo -- Residents settled into an uneasy calm today “under our new masters,” a day after mutineers from the Congolese army, now leaders of the M23 military wing, forced government troops, or FARDC, out of the city and took control of the lucrative border crossing between Congo and Rwanda.
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo -- The city awoke to artillery and mortar fire today as rebels with the March 23 Movement, or M23, pushed into the outskirts of town, taking control of North Kivu province’s main airport, a strategic point, around 11:30 this morning. Main streets in town were deserted, and local radio stations stopped broadcasting and only played music. Residents who had not fled as the rebels approached mostly sought refuge inside their homes.
Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, recently released their third quarter report on LRA activity in central Africa. The report, which identifies LRA activity in the region from July to September 2012, describes a slight decrease in LRA attacks, down to 52 in comparison with 75 in quarter two and 53 in quarter one. Forty-three of these attacks occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and an additional nine in the Central African Republic, primarily in remote border areas.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced its move to add top M23 commander Sultani Makenga to its list of Congolese warlords under sanctions for their role in stoking violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Makenga is the first militia member newly targeted with U.S. sanctions since M23 fighters split off from the Congolese army in April; however, M23 leader Bosco Ntaganda has been on the U.S. government's Specially Designated Nationals List since 2010.