Innocent Empi | 29.06.2007 06:53
Saturday 30 June 2007 at 12 noon
Starting from: Victoria railway station, Station Approach, Todd St, M3
Ending at: Peace Gardens, St Peter’s Square, M2
Since ‘independence’ was given to the DRC on 30 June 1960, the country as been under the control of criminals and dictators, while its progress has been hindered by foreign interference, illegal exploitation of the Congo’s natural resources and repression, human rights abuses and conflict that have killed millions and produced thousands of asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced persons. Despite the ‘democratic’ elections in 2006, more than people were gunned down in February this year in Bas-Congo while protesting against local election results. Innocent men, women and children belonging to the politicoreligious group Bundu dia Kongo were killed while they prayed in their church. On 22 and 23 March, more than 700 people died in the capital when troops loyal to Joseph ‘Kabila’ used heavy arms in an open street battle against those backing his presidential contender Jean-Pierre Bemba. Hundreds more were seriously injured, thousands arrested and an unknown number were forcibly disappeared. In the east of the country, war between opposing groups of militias is still causing death, devastation, displacement and acute insecurity. Rape is endemic throughout the country and is used as a weapon of oppression, punishment and torture. The DRC army, police and intelligence services are all heavily involved in continuing human rights violations. Industrial loggers are being allowed to plunder the Congo’s remaining intact rainforest, upon which more than two thirds of the population depend for their livelihood. Eighty per cent of the species found in the Congo cannot be found anywhere else on earth. People are being exploited for their land. There is credible evidence of persecution of Congolese asylum seekers who are forcibly returned to the DRC. A Country Guidance tribunal due to start on 2 July will aim to determine that it is unsafe to return people under present conditions.
Contact: Innocent Empi on 078 7167 6129 / firstname.lastname@example.org; John Kalubi on 079 0339 0746; Camille Botembe on 077 7090 6807; Sabin on 079 0392 8616
Organised by: Congo Support Project, UDPS, APARECO, BUNDU DIA KONGO
Supported by: Refugee & Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research (RAPAR), NCADC, Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST), RESPECT, Green Party, Manchester Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers (MCDAS), Greater Manchester Campaign Against Climate Change
no independence, NO INDEPENDENCE
The march will be followed at 3.30pm by a conference-debate on Congolese issues at:
Friends Meeting House, 2 Mount Street, Manchester M2.
Entry and refreshments free.