Many members of the OHIO community are by now familiar with the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has claimed over 5.4 million lives. Human rights abuses perpetrated in the context of the war include sexual and gender-based violence, child soldiering and forced labor. Last semester, OHIO became the 13th university to acknowledge our indirect role in the violence: we issued a statement about the presence of minerals sourced from armed groups in the electronics we buy. As the university as a whole works toward socially responsible procurement and investment policies for electronics, individual students can also take action for human rights in Congo.
Today, students across the country are calling President Obama to urge him to develop a coordinated U.S. response to the crisis in eastern Congo. Specifically, we will ask him to appoint a Presidential Envoy to the peace process currently underway in Congo. An international presence is needed to facilitate because the parties currently participating in the peace process all are implicated in the violence, and have problematic ulterior motives. The last time these groups came together for “peace,” the result was more instability.
Please join OU STAND Against Genocide and students from across the country in calling the White House today to ask Obama to appoint a Presidential Envoy to the peace process in Congo. Dial 1-888-542-4146 today; we’ll give you simple, clear instructions and then transfer you straight to the White House. It will only take a minute, and your call could make a big difference.
Ellie Hamrick is a junior anthropology major and the student leader of STAND Against Genocide