Take Action! Let Secretary of State Kerry know you want US to change its policy in the Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, located in the heart of Africa and vital to the future of the African continent, has experienced the deadliest conflict in the world since World War Two. An estimated six million lives have been lost since 1996 when U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda first invaded the Congo. Both countries invaded the Congo again in 1998 and continue to sponsor proxy rebel groups inside the Congo resulting in tremendous suffering on the part of the civilian population.
Recognizing the destructive role that Rwanda and Uganda have played in the Congo, as Senator, Barack Obama sponsored a bill that was co-sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton, called the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act, Public Law 109-456.
Although the bill was signed into law by President Bush in 2006, very little has been done to implement the law. There is a key provision in Section 105 of that law that if implemented could play a constructive role in addressing the current instability and conflict in the east of Congo, which has displaced over 100,000 Congolese since March.
Section 105 says "The Secretary of State is authorized to withhold assistance made available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), other than humanitarian, peacekeeping, and counter terrorism assistance, for a foreign country if the Secretary determines that the government of the foreign country is taking actions to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
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I signed this petition because I believe that the United States is uniquely placed to advance peace and stability in the region through diplomatic means. Sweden and Netherlands acted in 2008 by withholding aid to Rwanda and it made a small difference with the arrest of a key rebel leader and the demobilization of his rebel army. Should the United States bring its diplomatic weight to bear on its allies in the Great Lakes Region it can make a tremendous difference.
I encourage you to act and fully implement Public Law 109-456
Most noteworthy in the Law is the call for the withholding of U.S. aid from Congo's neighbors (Rwanda and Uganda) who are most responsible for the instability in the Congo (Sec. 105) and support of democratic institutions in the Congo (Sec. 102).