Dear President Obama: Congo Needs You Now, Will You Respond?

From Enough blogs Wed Nov 28 2012, 18:28:37

Editor's Note: This oped co-authored with actor and activist Robin Wright originally appeared on Huffington Post.

As we were making our way home to be with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the M23 rebel group backed by Rwanda and Uganda stormed and seized Goma, one of the largest cities in eastern Congo. This is the first time since 2004, at the height of Congo's conflict, that rebels have occupied the city of Goma. A week has gone by, but the U.S. media and government have barely acknowledged this escalating crisis.

Goma is a city that holds a special place in our hearts. One year ago, we traveled to eastern Congo with the Enough Project and spent time in Goma with Enough Project field researcher and human rights activist Fidel Bafilemba. We met with residents of displaced persons camps near Goma, survivors of sexual violence at health centers, and local activists fighting for increased security in this embattled area. One of the highlights of our trip was visiting Fidel's home and meeting his wife and five children. We took turns holding his newborn daughter, Israeli, and enjoyed the samosas his wife prepared as we sat around his living room.

Today, amid the current violence, Fidel and his family remain in Goma. When we last spoke to Fidel, just days ago, bullets were zipping past his house. Fidel and his family are safe for now, but they are terrified about what this latest development means for the war, their city, and their country.

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