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Crisis in Congo

The conflict bubbling across the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo between rebel groups and the government’s armed forces is dominating much of the international news agenda.

Channel Four News opened last night's programme with a strong report outlining the crisis, while BBC News Online is closely monitoring developments in the region.

Sometimes overlooked though is the impact this conflict is having on the ordinary Congolese people in the area. Just last month, Amnesty published a report looking at the impact of this conflict – particularly on children who are forced to fight and also on women and girls who are suffering dreadful sexual violence.

As Tim Hancock points out on CiF, Congolese people are struggling to survive in an environment already brutalised by previous conflicts, they should not have to withstand yet another war.

Much greater international pressure needs to be applied to put an end to the attacks on the general population in the region, and the UN peacekeeping force on the ground has to be given the resources to effectively protect the Congolese people.

Amnesty International’s 2008 Photojournalism Award winner Cedric Gerbehaye has recently travelled to North Kivu where he met with some people suffering the effects of this violence.

To mark east London’s Photomonth, Amnesty’s hosting an event exhibiting Cedric’s images on 27 November. I would highly recommend it.

And while I’m flagging up events I thought I’d flag up an event on at the Barbican tonight called ‘Fighting the Silence’ – which focuses on women who’ve suffered sexual violence during previous Congolese conflicts – that also looks to be a good evening.

Well we’ll definitely be keeping across the events as they unfold in the DRC. We’ll keep you posted.

Til the next time

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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