SHONA Congo


Thursday, October 30, 2008

updates on the war

Check the following articles for current news:
Seattle Times

As rebel soldiers have advanced on Goma in the past two days, they have sent before them a wave of refugees and fleeing government soldiers. Whole refugee camps have emptied out and begun the march into Goma. It is estimated that 45,000 people have been displaced in the area in the last couple days. Relief agencies are largely unable to operate because of the ongoing fighting, leaving tens of thousands exhausted and scared refugees to arrive at the outskirts of Goma with nothing in place to aid them.

Along with the refugees have come the fleeing government soldiers. Most of the soldiers passed through Goma and headed South. This caused wide scale panic in Goma. The UN forces remain in Goma and continue to hold positions and try to maintain some level of security. Rebel forces reached the edge of town and then pulled back and supposedly declared a unilateral ceasefire. Over the night there was wide spread looting and shooting. As we talk to people this morning, it appears that some government soldiers returned to Goma in the night and soldiers along with police tried to regain some measure of control, as rebel soldiers remained on the outskirts of town.

4 comments:

Lucía said...

My dear Dawn,
I had no idea such terrible things were happening over there. I just finished reading everything you´ve posted on this blog and am left with a feeling of amazement for what you and the women of Shona have accomplished, but also with a sense of frustration because I don't know how else to help you.
And while I figure this out, I will continue promoting Shona wherever I go and however I can.
Please keep safe and tell the women who are living with you that they have someone praying for their well-being here in Jersey City.
All the love,
Lucía Cárdenas

Shona said...

Lucia,
Thank you for your heartfelt concern over the situation here, and also for the women of Shona. We were fortunate that the women of Shona were able to cross here to safety, as they are particularly vulnerable during times of looting and violence because they can't run away. We will remain here until there is enough security to return to Goma. But as we sit here, we too struggle with the frustration of not knowing how else to help. There are many, many people without food, water or shelter in Eastern Congo right now, and aid agencies are unable to get to them because of the continued fighting and insecurity. It is very frustrating to sit here in Rwanda and be able to do little more. But I know that the people of Goma would appreciate your thoughts and prayers, as well as any effort to get the word out. The more people are aware of the situation, the more pressure there will be to resolve it. Thanks for all your concern Lucia!

sarah said...

dawn & sam,
as elections here approach, many americans cannot look past our own borders. in fact, i haven't seen any media coverage on congo. thanks for the heads up. we will be praying. love, sarah

Shona said...

Hi Sarah,
Thank you for keeping Congo in your thoughts and prayers. I am sure, as you say, that the news in America is flooded with coverage of the elections. Even here, in the midst of war, many people ask me who I will vote for or who I think will win. It is a funny world.