Democratic Republic of the Congo Freedom Petition sign now

Dear Mr. President:

We thank you for your long-standing commitment to a comprehensive US policy regarding the tragedies
continually unfolding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We urge you to continue this support by
taking immediate action to end the suffering of women and girls in eastern Congo. Since 1996, eastern Congo
has been the epicenter of the deadliest war since World War II, and it remains a place where combatants on all
sides routinely use rape and sexual violence as a weapon to destroy women, families, and communities. We
ask you to announce your administrations initial plan to end the scourge of violence against women
and girls in eastern Congo on International Womens Day on March 8, 2009, and then report back on
your progress toward this goal one year later.

We ask you to embrace a comprehensive approach that promotes peace, protects people and punishes
perpetrators by:

Promoting Peace: Lead aggressive diplomatic efforts to forge an inclusive peace agreement between the
Congolese government and rebel groups, press the governments of the Congo and Rwanda to abide by
the commitments made in the Nairobi joint communiquй in November 2007; particularly to end
negative propaganda against each other and to refrain from providing support to armed groups; and
end the illegal exploitation of Congolese natural resources a major driver of the conflict and violence.

Protecting People: Ensure rapid deployment of the recently increased MONUC peacekeeping force.
Ensure also that these peacekeepers aggressively patrol areas where women are most vulnerable,
increase support for UN and charitable programs responding to sexual violence, and urge the new
Congress to pass the International Violence Against Women Act when it is reintroduced in 2009.

Punishing Perpetrators: Call for the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into rape as a
war crime in eastern Congo, work with the Congolese government to increase rape prosecutions in
Congolese courts, and aggressively enforce existing UN sanctions.


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Lizzie AdkinsBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
AIUSA, Attn. Crisis Response 600 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, #500, Washington, DC 20003

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