March 29, 2010

I'm spitting nails

I've been working on posts from our wonderful, fun weekend. But in the midst of what has happened in the Congo- I feel like I have to get this out there first. New reports came out yesterday of a massive attack in Congo. One of the most disturbing things about this is that this massacre occured 3 months ago and word of it is just now making the news. It is not making headlines- it is buried deep in the far recesses of the news. This blows my mind.

The Lord's Resistance Army (think SUPER HORRIBLE BAD GUYS) brutally killed 321 people in an attack in December. When I say brutal- I mean seriously, intensely brutal. I can't even write about it without bursting into tears.

The majority of the people who were killed were men- tied up to trees and then hacked to death by machettes or who were bludgeoned to death with axes.

For the children they massacred, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) decided they would make a little game of it. Children abducted by the rebels were forced to execute other children who had disobeyed the rebels. In several documented instances, the children were ordered to form a circle around their victim and take turns hitting the child on the head with a heavy object until the child died.

A 3 year old girl was burned alive while the other children were made to watch. My son is 3. I can't imagine how these children can endure. I keep thinking what if those were my babies. What if my 6 year old was forced to watch her brothers be burned alive? For the ones who aren't killed, you can only imagine how their bodies and spirits must be broken.

Reports are also saying that the rebel group abducted 250 other people- these were mostly women and children. They were forced to march to a town over 60 miles away. Those that walked too slowly were executed and villagers say that they found bodies all along the trail from Makombo to the town of Tapili in northern Congo.

You may be wondering how an attack this brutal didn't make the news when it happened. The anwser is chilling. The few victims that the LRA showed "mercy" to by letting them return to their villages, were sent home with their ears or lips or sometimes both cut off to serve as a warning to themselves and others that talking about the attrocities would result in swift punishment from the LRA.

Here we are in modern day and this is still happening in the Congo. This just should not be. I am just a mom. I am not sure what the solution is but I know it starts with each of us. If you are reading this right now- you can't say you didn't know. I can't sit back and continue to let this happen. I hope that you won't either. Today- I am going to make it really easy for you to become an activist.

Eight short months ago, secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, visited Congo in a visit that got a lot of press. She stood up in front of God, the Congolese and the American people and pledged to end the conflict in DRC. She has yet to act. Please urge her to use her position to help! Pull out your cell phone and text her. I want her line to absolutely blow up today. Text something like- HELP CONGO or END THE WAR IN CONGO to 90822.

Email your senators. Here's how you can find out who your senator is and how to email them.

I'll make it easy. You can copy and paste this if you don't want to come up with something on your own.

Dear Senator,
While the world turns a blind eye, thousands are dying every week in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of the genocide that has been going on there for nearly 15 years- genocide cause by fighting for control of mineral mines. I urge you to create policies that will help to end the conflict in the Congo. Specifically I ask you to support or co-sponsor the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128/S. 891) that will help end the trade in conflict minerals.
Thank you,

Because if it important to stay informed, if you want to learn more about what you just asked your senator to do- here is more info on the bill.

YOU do have the power to create change. Look at your children. Aren't you thankful that they are safe? That you don't have to worry about someone coming in the middle of the night to take them away, make them march 60 miles, and then rape and kill them? Every one of those children, is somebody's child. Somewhere in the Congo- a mother is grieving that her baby was burned alive. Somewhere in the Congo a family has been ripped apart. Somewhere in the Congo, little children are now orphans. Do something. Please.

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