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Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 22:35:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Collectif des Congolais du Canada <pasnat@sprint.ca>
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Subject: [BRC-NEWS] Collectif des Congolais du Canada
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Collectif des Congolais du Canada

From the Collectif des Congolais du Canada
7 March 1999

The Congolese Collective of Canada, a non-governmental organization with humanitarian purposes, was created in Montreal in December 1998, following the dramatic events from civil war in the Congo Republic. We've been struck by lack of coverage from the media regarding this drama suffered by the Congolese populations.

As a remedy to this lack of information, we have created the Congolese Collective of Canada. It includes Congolese from various background. Its purpose is to promote national peace, reconciliation and solidarity. The Congolese Collective of Canada has undertaken the burden of informing the NGOs, international institutions and Canadian media about the real situation in the Congo-Brazzaville.

In 1992, for the first time in history, Congolese people chose the road to democracy, leaving behind 29 years of dictatorship. Unfortunately, this new-born and fragile democracy was shaken by internal violence from 1993 through 1994. The same picture of violence is seen in 1997 and again today (since December 1998). Civilians have always been the favorite target of this violence which has today reached unacceptable limits. Armed groups in the conflicts have used weapons of terror without hesitation toward these populations (killing, raping, looting, kidnapping and murdering...).

The Congolese people are deprived of protection by a State that no longer exists. They are even deprived of basic rights: right to shelter, food, medical care, and education. Indeed the terror caused by the bombing, and horrors committed by armed groups have forced people out of their homes, walking long miles to find a refuge, most of the time in the forest or neighboring countries.

Since mid-December, the international community and media are watching in a complete indifference as the dramatic situation is unfolding for the Congolese populations. In Canada, the USA, France, England, as well as in Africa, the media coverage for the Congo is brief; yet this situation of extreme gravity in the Congo is destroying human and social structures. People are spotted, chased, raped, kidnapped, murdered and homes looted, yet the international community is in a complete indifference. The silence surrounding these murders and horrors is intolerable. It is dangerous to watch the unfolding of such a situation and remain silent, as this makes comfortable the murderers in their gruesome enterprise. The situation is intolerable and not bearable for the populations.

In the Congo, media and NGO are submitted to caution and are localized in the capital where humanitarian conditions are worsening. However we are also concerned about populations in the regions between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. These populations are submitted to extreme horrors. They are forced out of cities and villages, reduced to shelters in the forest, and living in dramatic medical conditions, with less hope of any assistance.

The consequences of this exodus are two fold: on one hand, there are diseases, famine, and epidemic in these rural zones where the conditions were already worse before civil war. On the other hand, there's the persistence of famine for the poor populations of Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, Dolisie, Nkayi, Sibiti...

We want to force the Congolese government to distance itself from these acts of barbary committed in its name. In order to bring security to the populations, we demand that the fundamental human rights be respected in this country. In order to force the Congolese government to take into consideration these requests, and to have our voice heard, we implore your assistance and action in favor of the Congolese people.

Considering all the above and other general matters in addition to the murdering impulse that left the country in a bloodbath in 1993-994, and which continues to prevail today, an international contribution is required to prevent a failure that can compromise social peace, national unity and the acquisitions of our recent history.

Other countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra-Leone, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia, and Eritrea are shaken by the same situation like in the Congo. However the deteriorating situation in the Congo-Brazzaville is considered of least importance by the rest of the world.

That is why the Congolese Collective of Canada is presenting the following requests:

1. Surveillance of human rights conditions in the Congo-Brazzaville

2. The use of all means to improve these human rights conditions

3. Necessary measures to bring the Congolese authorities to conform to the universal declaration of human rights, to conventions and international treaties that the Congo freely approved

4. We ask you to simply denounce and quote the Congo among the countries where human rights are violated. The Congo is undergoing a pre-genocide, like the saying goes, shout to the wolf to scare the thief.

Please help us eradicate violence before it's too late.

The situation of the Congolese people is very dramatic. No humanitarian can remain indifferent. The world cannot accept the continuation of these methods in the Eve of the third millennium. We need you and your action in favor of the Congolese people.

Please receive the expression of our most distinguished greetings

For the Collective

Appolinaire Attant Ngouari, President.

Pascal Moumbouilou, Charge Commission Humanitaire.

Collectif des Congolais du Canada CP. 623 - Cote de Neige Montreal (Quebec) H3S 3V4
E-mail: collectif_co_ca@hotmail.com

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