Please pray for the current situation North Kivu and Goma, DRC. News reports and a phone call this AM from our country leader in DRC confirmed that M23 (a large rebel, military group of Eastern Congo) has advanced upon Goma. Goma and the surrounding areas are home to many of the children Exile International (and you on this mailer) supports. There are also multiple reports that government soldiers are now fleeing the city (see sources below.
We, the team, personally know each of these boys, girls, our leaders and counselors there. My heart hurts, yearning to be there and scoop them into safety.
We are asking that you stop and pray for this situation. Share with others and ask for their prayers as well. Pray for the safety of civilians caught in this fighting. Pray for the safety of our leaders who are looking after the children: Didi, Joseph, Delphin, Christian and more. Pray for the safety of the former child soldiers and orphans looked after by the leaders and programs: Augustin, Michel, Shakuru, Baraka, Innocent, Elizabeth, and many more. Pray for the 19,000+ UN peacekeepers on the ground – that they keep M23 at bay and keep the men, women and children of North Kivu safe. Pray for miracles and God’s glory. Pray that each will have access to and have adequate food and water.
- Over 80,000 people had moved into displacement camps (i.e. internal refugee camps) outside of Goma due to of earlier M23 violence. One of the camps “has now been destroyed” according to one report.
- Half of the boys and girls at the Peace Lives Center (Goma) are former child soldiers. This may increase the risk that M23 would re-abduct them and force to fight, or harm them on the spot.
- Half of the children residing at the Peace Lives Center are young orphans.
News and Information:
- North Kivu Population – Estimated 5.9 Million. Goma is the capital of North Kivu.
- M23 rebels in Congo advance to the doorstep of provincial capital, Goma | The Washington Post (Nov 18, 2012) – http://wapo.st/UO9HSb
- Security Council condemns fresh attacks by M23 rebels in eastern DR Congo | United Nations News Centre (Nov 17, 2012) – http://bit.ly/109SC4m
- M23 Rebels Committing War Crimes | Human Rights Watch (Sept 11, 2012) – http://bit.ly/S8bw4X
- M23 rebels close in on Goma | The Telegraph (Nov 18, 2012) – http://bit.ly/QnqDO6
- DRC rebels close in on regional capital (Nov 18, 2012) – http://aje.me/QR4UOt