Sunday, September 2, 2012

John Mpaliza's Long March.

Great to see the pressue being maintained 36 Parallel reports  on John Mpalaza.

" John Mpaliza and some of his team outside the UNHCR building in Geneva.
GENEVA, August 31 (UNHCR) John Mpaliza recently passed though Geneva, a third of the way through an epic walk across Europe to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by conflict in eastern Congo, which he himself left almost two decades ago.

The charismatic 40-year-old, accompanied by fellow walkers, reached Geneva, headquarters of the UN refugee agency, last week after setting out from the northern Italian city of Reggio Emilia on July 29. He met senior officials of the refugee agency’s Africa Bureau to discuss his walk and learn about UNHCR’s work."

To be fair the UNHCR are doing  their best  but the problem is one of size. The international comunity needs to ramp up the pressure on Rwanda

Mpaliza, an information technology expert who works for the municipality in Reggio Emilia, trained for months in preparation for the 1,600-kilometre journey, which took him to the northern Italian cities of Milan and Turin, before crossing the Alps to the picturesque French lakeside town of Annecy and then up to Geneva.

I am glad he is doing  it in summer I have been in the French Alps and Geneva in winter and I have never known cold like it.

"He will now pass through Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands before ending his mission late September in Brussels, where he hopes to meet officials of major international institutions, including the European Union.
He travels about 40-kilometres a day, stopping to spread awareness among officials and the public about the political situation and the continuing violence and suffering in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where hundreds of thousands of people are forcibly displaced almost a decade after the civil war official ended. Mpaliza is calling for a lasting solution."

If he manages to get European politicians thinking about cutting back aid to Rwanda or at least making that aid contingent on proof that they have stopped interfering in the DR Congo's affairs he will have succeded in his task.

" But he and his companions are also having fun in between the walking, speeches and meetings. Along the route they have put on performances, attracting artists, dance troupes, intellectuals, writers, students, refugees and curious citizens. A documentary is being produced and the walk has been getting good media coverage."

Don't underestimate the importance of this educating the people of the world the the situation in the DR Congo is very important. This manufactured crisis has claimed more lives than any other sinse WW II over % million and climbing. 

Some people have joined the walk spontaneously, drawn by the enthusiasm of Mpaliza and his core group of supporters, including an Italian priest, Silvio Turazzi, who has been living for many years in Goma, capital of Congo’s North Kivu province, where tens of thousands of people have fled fighting this year between government troops and the M23 group of defectors.

The best info I have seen on Goma is from  Emmanuel blogs

Mpaliza was born in the neighbouring South Kivu province, where the security situation also remains fragile and many have been displaced by fighting between rival armed groups. He fled the provincial capital, Bukavu, at the age of 22 and ended up in Italy, where he has lived ever since.

The Congolese dispersal is huge, in area and in numbers. They will be a power in the future and they will reclaim their land and demand justice. 

Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in this media release item do not necessarily represent the views of 36th Parallel Assessments.

No comments:

Post a Comment