Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kinshasa female demonstrators join the Sisterhood of Bereavers at MONUSCO HQ

(PHOTO 1: Female demonstrators at the gates of MONUSCO HQ, Friday,
November 23, 2012)

(PHOTO 2: I call these women the "Sisterhood of Bereavers." They don
black mourning clothes and white headbands. They have been squatting
MONUSCO HQ since the day after the fall of Goma)


Flanked by riot cops led by Col. Kanyama-- Lukunga District
commander--thousands of Kinshasa women from all walks of life marched
Friday, November 23, from the Central Post Office on Boulevard du 30
Juin to MONUSCO's headquarters, before heading to the US Embassy.

They all wore white headbands as a dual sign of peace and mourning.

These women were protesting the hijacking of the city of Goma and of
vast swaths of North Kivu Province by murderous highway bandits
belonging to the M23 outfit whose sole objective, according to the
recent statement released by the DRC Conference of Catholic Bishops
(CENCO), is "the plunder of Congo's natural resources."

At both MONUSCO headquarters and at the US embassy, the angry
"Kinoises" were received by the respective missions' representatives
to whom they voiced their demands and submitted their memorandum.

After speaking with MONUSCO's officials, Adèle Kayinda, the women's
demonstrators' spokesperson, told the media:

"There are concrete actions that are being undertaken and that's
reassuring to us. Nevertheless, we wish that the mandate of MONUSCO be
reinforced so that it'd give out the best of itself."

As it turns out, the reinforcement of the Mission's mandate--pursuant
to Chapter VII of the UN Charter vesting the Security Council with the
power to "take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be
necessary to maintain or restore
international peace and security"--figures prominently in the agenda
of the Sisterhood of Bereavers, a dozen of Kinshasa hardcore feminists
donning black mourning clothes and white headbands, who've been
squatting the front gates of MONUSCO headquarters since Wednesday,
November 21, the day after the fall of Goma.

These Bereavers demand the strict application of the provisions of
Chapter VII so that MONUSCO could live up to its promise.

As one of them explained their action: "M23 bereft us of Goma. And
we're here to mourn till MONUSCO restores our beloved city to us!"

The Bereavers have vowed to squat the gates of MONUSCO till their
demand is taken seriously and M23 highway bandits are thrown back to
Rwanda where they belong!

--With Radio Okapi & Kinshasa media--


PHOTO CREDITS: John Bompengo

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