It's certainly been an exciting few weeks following all of the news surrounding the DRC. There is a lot of momentum and we hope that this surge of interest and action continues as we move towards the National Mall installation, June 8-10, 2013, and advocate on Capitol Hill with our partners at the Enough Project! Take a moment to check out what's been going on:
-On March 18, notorious Congolese warlord Bosco "The Terminator" Ntaganda, co-commander of the M23 rebel group, turned himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, seven years after an indictment from the International Criminal Court. Read what Sasha Lezhnev, senior policy analyst at the Enough Project, thinks this means moving forward here.
-Former Irish president Mary Robinson was announced as the new U.N. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region of Africa, and will be focused on supporting the implementation of the recently signed Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa.
-Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced a resolution in the House on March 21, 2013 calling for increased efforts by Members of Congress, the Administration and the international community to work towards achieving long-term peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read the full text of H.Res. 131 here.
-The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted to send a special peacekeeping brigade to the DRC to battle rebel groups in the eastern region. The "intervention brigade" of 2,500 is unprecendented in its offensive nature and will join the larger MONUSCO mission, extended until March 2014, in the DRC.
-Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, announced an agreement signed by Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon on March 30 to address the rampant sexual violence rates in the DRC, following a ten-day trip. Committments in the agreement include fighting impunity for such crimes, offering support services for surviviors, ensuring better control over mineral resources, and working with the state, NGOs, and donors to prevent future gender-based violence, among others.