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Jun 22, 2018







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Not getting better


02/22/18



 I started telling my story right after I moved to the States as a healing process and therapy. Eighteen years later I am still telling the same story. My hope, of course, was that while I was telling my story, things would get better in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that the tragic war-torn story of Congolese people, like my own Congo story, would become past tense. My hope was not realized. The atrocities in the Congo continued, which made the urgency of shining a light on it all the more crucial.

In the last few weeks some mainstream media have covered some of the atrocities, protests and censorship that are happening today in the Congo. The term of the current president, Joseph Kabila, ended in December 2016, but he has not stepped down. 
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a long history of exploiting and mistreating its own people, many of whom are killed and driven out of the country. According to the UN, 6 million people have died there from war-related causes since 1996. The country is blessed and cursed with an abundance of natural resources, including coltan, uranium, diamond, cobalt, copper, gold and zinc. More than 60 percent of the world’s coltan comes from the Congo. This is where the American connection comes in. Coltan is the raw material that goes into making the computer chips and LCD screens in our televisions, iPhones, PlayStations and satellites. Many western governments and corporations have played a role in the outcome of Congolese conflicts in order to secure their interests and exploit its natural resources. Congolese refugees are amongst the largest groups of displaced people in the world. The U.S. government made a commitment back in 2014 to resettle 50,000 Congolese. The few that have had a chance to resettle in America are working hard earning a living to provide a better future for their family here in America and back home.
We must bring awareness to the U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen who are sometimes manipulated by lobbying organizations advocating for their clients. Companies you buy your electronics from depend on the raw materials extracted from the mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is time to rise up and advocate for the lives of those who are caught in this destructive cycle, which has been going on for the last 25 years. We need to pressure our government to be on the side of humanity in order to end the worst genocide and holocaust of our time.
A daring escape from the Congo led Deo Mwano to a life in Manchester. Mwano was on the cover of the Hippo’s Nov. 17, 2011 issue; you can read the story at hippopress.com, or learn more at deomwano.com. 





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