from our President, John Walter
What seemed improbable only days ago is reality today. A supposed rag-tag rebel group (they call themselves M23) have marched into Goma, a city of 1 million destitute people, and taken control of it. Just like that, they marched past the UN peacekeepers and DRC troops to take control of the airport and then the town.
To stay safe, people hide in their homes. There, they grow hungry and thirsty. In advance of snow storms or hurricanes, we are able to go to the grocery store and stock up on essentials. The water always comes from the taps, even when we lose power (except in extreme situations like hurricane Sandy). Not so in Goma. If you’re lucky enough to have money, food still requires a daily gathering. Refrigeration requires reliable electricity, and that is a rare commodity in Goma. Water often requires a trip to the lake or a local well, which means travel on open streets.
Your help is needed today. First, pray for peace. Then, pull out your mobile and make one telephone call to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, at (212) 415-4000. Simply share these thoughts: “I am calling about the renewed violence in Goma, DRC. Please call for an immediate cease-fire in the M23 rebellion in Congo and demand an end to any external support of it. Please bring appropriate pressure on all actors in this conflict to resolve it quickly and peacefully. The people of this region can ill afford to suffer yet again.”