First of all, I am deeply thankful to God’s abundant blessing and guidance He has given me to work with HWPL in contributing to the peace process and the cessation of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well as in the world.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has experienced many wars including massive human rights violations for more than 20 years. The causes of wars in DRC are:
- Natural resources such as Cobalt, Gold, Diamonds and Colton a strategic mineral needed for the manufacturing of mobile phones and computers which are very much part of the western life style today.
- Generosity of Congolese people who welcomed people from Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. These people want to chase away autochthon people and to take control over the land with vision for balkanization.
Due to these two problems, the humanitarian situations are deteriorating and more than 12 million people have been killed, massacred, buried alive, shot dead or chopped with machetes, their bodies thrown into river or forced down into the latrines by the invading troops.
According to OCHA (Feb 2018) 4.3 million people are internally displaced and 7.9 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Food and nutrition experts estimated that 7.7 million persons are insecure in food. Displaced families are at risk of malnutrition. A growing number of people can eat only once a day, and in many areas they may eat as little as very two or three days. Kwashiorkor, an illness caused by protein deficiency, has become widespread in the eastern province. DRC cluster Nutrition (Feb 2018) said children are suffering from severe malnutrition.
Ministry of Health (2018) recorded the worst cholera epidemic. The war has destroyed much of the DRC’s economy, educational system, health services, and communication network. People have lost everything. Schools, hospitals and houses were destroyed and burned. Children have dropped out of school, they are working in mining and others are forcibly recruited into rebel groups. Women are raped, sexually exploited and discriminated.
There are deforestation, environmental degradation, unsustainable land use practices, unsustainable development, pollution, climate change and rural depopulation because of war.
All creations (people, animals and environment) are crying to God for peace and stability. There is no hope for Congolese people. However, we found hope from the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) of HWPL; all the 10 articles were exactly what DRC has needed.
After many difficulties, persecutions and menace from some government leaders I was able to organize on June 15th 2018, in collaboration with HWPL the “Legislate Peace Campaign” and “Peace walk” that brought together more than 1,000 leaders from all religious backgrounds, different tribes and ethnicities, different ages, different physical strength and different professional to worship, study and act upon God’s justice, peace and love in the world.
Politicians, teachers, chefs of villages, farmers, women, youth, children and religious leaders who participate in the “Legislate Peace campaign” and peace walk in Beni village decided to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) through their signatures to be introduced to the United Nations through HWPL of Korea to become an enforceable international law.
All participants promised to be peace massager and to inform the Declaration of Peace for Cessation of War (DPCW) to their congregation members and their community, because it was an important cause aiming to stop economic wars in DRC and secure peace in the world.
Leaders of religions and youths started to go some churches and schools requesting people humbly to support the Declaration of peace and Cessation of Wars through their signatures.
Fruit of patience and courage we have collected 3,550 signatures. This was publically circulated and announced by different radios in DRC.
Now, I would like to ask all religions leaders and all leaders of government member of HWPL, all member of IPYG and all members of IWPG to show the reality of DRC to the world especially to the international community. We believe that, the holistic peace is possible in DRC through your intervention.
We are determining to cooperate and support the path of Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, who is working for holistic peace across borders, races and religions.
by Rev Katembo Masimango Tshuma, Oneness Development Institute (ODI) of Baptist Church