KINSHASA, Congo (CNS) — A group of Congolese bishops has denounced the international community’s tolerance of increasing hostilities in eastern Congo, which they called a “silent genocide” against the civilian population there. “We are calling on the international community to work sincerely to ensure respect for international law,” said the Congolese bishops’ committee in a statement Nov. 13 on the war in the east and northeast of Congo. Decrying the alleged inaction of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, which the bishops accused of standing by and watching the violence, the bishops said it is “crucial that a peace and stabilization force be sent to re-establish order in our country.” Gratuitous large-scale massacres of civilians, the targeted murders of young people and systematic rapes as a weapon of war now occur daily in the area north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu, they said. “It is obvious that the natural resources of … Congo are fueling the greed of certain powers and these natural resources are not unrelated to the violence now being inflicted on the population,” they said.
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A delegation of church leaders from Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has set out to meet the presidents of the latter two countries to convey them a strong message in favour of peace.
Dozens of DC residents denounced Citi and Bank of America financing of coal power plants at over 40 Citi and Bank of America ATM’s in downtown DC Friday. Washingtonians Against Coal (WAC) and others taped off Bank of America and Citi ATMs with climate crime scene tape to expose Citi and Bank of America as the largest investors in the dirty coal industry in the country. Continue reading Activists close coal bank ATMs→
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In the last decade more than two million children have been killed in the course of armed conflict, six million have been left handicapped, tens of thousands mutilated by antipersonnel mines and 300,000 recruited as child soldiers. More than 4,300,000 children have died of AIDS. Each day in Africa alone, 7,000 are diagnosed with the illness and there are already over 14 million who have been left orphans on a account of AIDS. Poverty remains the principal cause of childhood sickness. One billion two hundred thousand people live with less than a dollar a day. Even in the richest countries, one child in six lives under the poverty line. Then there is the problem of drugs that has also extended in alarming proportions, in schools themselves. 30% of children under five suffer starvation or malnutrition and 50% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa does not have access to potable water. Two hundred and fifty million children under 15 work, including some 60 million who do so in dangerous condition. According to the World Employment Organization, 120 million children between 5- 14 work full time, many 6-7 days a week, and are often forced to do so in places that lack ventilation, are badly lit, and with armed guards positioned to avoid their escape. Continue reading Vatican conference on pastoral care of children→