On the brink of war
The work of GRI is quite heavy these days as DRC and Myanmar are both on the verge of war. The people of both countries are bracing themselves for intensifying conflict, especially targeted attacks on civilians.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen a very concerning uptick in violence the last 6-8 weeks, bringing some real worry to those that understand the history of conflict in this region. This is especially true in Eastern DRC (N. Kivu and Ituri districts). The violence is from two angles, with a Rwandan militia ambushing and killing villagers and the government soldiers shooting peaceful protestors demanding security improvements.
A message from our staff leader in DRC:
“The civilians of North Kivu, Eastern DRC in the specific areas of Beni, Butembo, Oicha and Kasindi are revolting against the killings and the passivity of MONUSCO (United Nations Peacekeeping forces) in these killings. Over the years most killings in eastern DRC occur near the MONUSCO camps. These killings are happening near where the UN peacekeeping troops are located and yet the UN does not intervene in any way to stop the murders. In additon, the government of DRC continues to allow rebel groups to rape and pillage without consequence. Therefore the population has initiated a 10-day strike halting all work and activity in the region followed by demonstrations to demand the departure of MONUSCO from the region. The people of this area can no longer stand by and allow MONUSCO or the government to watch them be killed.”
In Myanmar, the fighting intensifies with aerial attacks on internally displaced people and ethnic minority groups that live in jungle areas. More than 2,000 people have been abducted from the streets and from their homes in the last 3 weeks, many of them yet to be found. Most people are now hiding or living in absolute fear of being attacked. Nearly all ethnic minority defense forces are now discussing going to war with the ruling Myanmar army to save the lives of their people. If this happens (very likely) we will see full scale war across the country, affecting millions of civilian lives.
We are so honored to be able to support people facing such tough situations in these countries. Although we are so far away physically we get to be a part of their lives on a daily basis showing them support and encouraging them to keep standing up for human rights and democracy. Such unrest takes its toll.
We have so many ideas and plans that get thwarted daily by poor governance, corruption and violence. This work is not easy. People who are hard to reach are usually hard to reach for a reason; meaning that is why they are marginalized. Their circumstances are so challenging and many times they do not have the luxury of seeing a way out of their struggle.
Part of our responsibility is to tell the story and tell what is happening to people across the world. The other part is to keep fighting for ways to innovate and respond in new ways that can genuinely help. This is where we need your help. We need you to fight through the discouragement with us and act on the behalf of those who are fearing war in these countries. Even on the brink of possible fighting, we believe that our focus must be on the individuals affected by these conflicts. We have an opportunity to transform the lives of so many, no matter what is happening in the greater scheme of each country.
If you desire to help in either country there are many campaigns currently on our website. All of them show great needs, so any campaign you give to will help!
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