Don’t be blind this time; with less, change can happen. Only play your part.

To exist one has to resist.

Don't be blind this time 9

When you cannot see around you, of course it is difficult to react to what is happening.

Our people were taken away from our motherland Africa at the time of slavery because some of our ancestors chose to be blind to what was happening even sometime helping the slave traders. Colonization and its accompanying lot happened because among other things some of our forefathers decided to be blind, or gave up any resistance, and others cooperated with the oppressors of their people.

Dying in the Great Lakes 2

Don’t be blind this time. Millions of people are dying. Even if by chance there were no relative of yours to be concerned about, they are all human beings like you.

After the independence, our countries remained widely colonized because many if not all our leaders have chosen to be blind, while serving their old and external masters and their greedy egos. Until today millions of Africans are dying in the Great Lakes region [DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi] because other millions of their brothers and sisters have deliberately or unconsciously opted to be blind and silent about what is happening. The rest of the world is equally indifferent. To change all this and bring about a better future for everyone: Don’t Be Blind This Time.

Yes many have been in forced blindness for so long, but if they don’t open their eyes now, they might think in the future that what they would experience then would be what the world was meant to be. The Democratic Republic of Congo is in an ongoing turmoil for almost 15 years which unfortunately does not seem to end soon. The number of victims has already exceeded the 6 millions of Jews of the Holocaust. What is astonishing is an apparent complicit indifference from the rest of the world about what is happening. This is occurring while the surviving populations either on the ground or in their Diasporas are quite paralyzed by the weight of their suffering.

We are all in together. It is about our common humanity. Did you know that by upgrading your mobile or iPad you are helping to rape a Congolese woman? That sounds silly, but that is the reality.

We are all in together. It is about our common humanity. Did you know that by upgrading your mobile or iPad you are helping to rape a Congolese woman? That sounds silly, but that is the reality.

It is not only the Democratic Republic of Congo which has suffered or continues to suffer, though it has been the most affected in the Great Lakes region. Before were Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. DR Congo started experiencing its share of suffering when nearly 2 million of mostly Hutu refugees fled Kagame’s war in their country and move into the then Zaire called today the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 1996, the Rwandan president Paul Kagame invaded DR Congo with the false pretense of protecting his country against Hutu rebels.

The never-ending and human tragedy of the DR Congo and other countries of the region is fuelled by economic interests. Global mining companies backed by their respective governments are intensively involved, but with front face players. In the production chain of electronic devices and luxury goods, they are behind the criminal strategies applied by Joweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, respectively president of Uganda and Rwanda, to get the necessary minerals from the Congolese soil.

In July 2013, and after assessing different attempts of raising awareness,

From now if you haven't been doing this already: people need to live consciously their consumption of electronic devices, by not helping mining companies to kill more Africa to get their minerals.

From now if you haven’t been doing this already: people need to live consciously their consumption of electronic devices, by not helping mining companies to kill more Africa to get their minerals.

some more successful than other, it appeared to many concerned people that not much was changing on the part of the victims. Same approaches of advocacy seemed to achieve very little if any at all. At that time, BK Kumbi, Congolese historian and activist, came up with this new concept of advocacy.

In her understanding I reckon, though DR Congo had most of the victims, it was not alone in its experience of suffering. Other countries of the Great Lakes region had had their share, and they were still very far from their full recovery, if any to be talked about. BK Kumbi devised a way of staging in a western public place a scenery showing to westerners how people in the DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda were dying or had died in a not so far past.

Don't be blind this time 10

He comes from Bukavu [DR Congo]. He told me. I come from Rwanda. I told him. I passed through his native city fleeing war in my country in 1994. He had to leave his native city when the same war of conquest and minerals started in Uganda some years back reached his country.

After several meetings with her network of contacts in the Diaspora from the Great Lakes region, a final concept to be staged in Central London was almost agreed. Once the London authorities were approached to get permission, they replied negatively to the initial request. The first format of the planned activity had to change fundamentally for the organizers to get an official authorization.

The pictures featured in this note are some of the evidence of what could be achieved in that new line of advocacy to impact on what is happening in the Great Lakes region and particularly the DR Congo. The event started in London – Saturday 14/09/13. More similar actions are planned again in the same city and other places around the world. The next event where more people are invited and expected is scheduled for October 19/10/13.

Dying in the Great Lakes in the news
Diagonal Global
Africa Fundacion SUR

Don't be blind this time 11Don't be blind this time 8Don't be blind this time 1Dying in the Great Lakes 3Dying in the Great Lakes 4Dying in the Great Lakes 7

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