Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Emergency Appeal from the Province of the Congo

The Rt. Rev. William Bahemuka, the Bishop of Boga Diocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has issued a call for emergency support to avert increased militia attacks in the region of Bukiringi, 15 miles north of Boga, the seat of the Diocese. 
On Friday, 24th February, as the Bishop travelled from Bunia to Boga, he was stopped by the militia on the road and they demanded payments from him. After giving them money, he was released and proceeded safely to Boga. The militia has shown willingness to enter into talks with the Government, but the Government has taken a long time to respond in the wake of their recent contested elections. 
The residents of Bukiringi, where the militia is living, have only recently left the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp and returned home. In order to reduce violent attacks, the militia needs to be fed. But, the residents do not have enough food to feed them because of their recent return from the IDP camps. 
The Bishop, therefore, is appealing for emergency food assistance to avert violent attacks from the militia.  The greatest need is for USD10,000 (£6,400) for cassava flour and beans.  
Northeastern Congo has suffered from sustained violence since 1997 with only occasional seasons of calm.  
Bishop William Bahemuka said, “This militia is the last remaining active militia in Ituri Province and if they can reach a peace agreement with the Government, then there will, at last, be peace in Ituri Province.  But, if the talks are delayed and the militia does not have food to eat, then they will revert to attacks, rapes, and murder of innocent civilians. With just a little food, we can avert a crisis and work toward a lasting peace in Ituri after 15 years of violence and suffering.”  
Contributions in the UK can be sent to the Congo Church Association. Cheques should be made payable to the Congo Church Association, with a memo indicating that it is for Boga Emergency Assistance, and mailed to:
Paul Dickens, Hon Treasurer
Congo Church Association
Hockliffe Grange
Leighton Buzzard
Beds LU7 9NL
In the United States, Global Mobilization Ministries is receiving tax-deductible contributions. Cheques should be mailed to:
Global Mobilization Ministries
1048 Irvine Avenue, #556
Newport Beach, CA 92660-4602
Write in the memo line: Congo emergency assistance 
Contributions from other countries can be sent to either the UK or the USA.

Reprinted with permission from the Anglican Communion News Service

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