Breaking the Silence: 20 Years After Invasion & War in the Congo

October 18, 2016

Congo Week Event with Maurice Carney, Friends of the Congo

Tuesday, October 18, 6:30PM, Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, 1803 E 1st Ave, Vancouver

The event is being organized in partnership with Friends of the Congo. Friends of the Congo is a majority Congolese institution made up of members of the Congolese diaspora from US, Canada, Europe and Africa. 

This local event is being organized in response the call for international solidarity by Friends of the Congo to organize Congo Week events. The local event is supported by Friends of the Congo, members of the former United Congolese Community of BC, SFU's Institute of Humanities, Mining Justice AllianceStreams of JusticeSouth Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), & Stop the War Coalition.

This is a free event. The event is child friendly. Side entrance is street level and wheelchair accessible. Washroom has a stall that can accommodate a wheelchair (washroom door is 86 cm, the stall door is 61 cm). Sign language interpretation will also be a part of the program.

This year marks the 20 Year Anniversary of the invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Uganda and Rwanda in 1996 that resulted in what is commonly described as the bloodiest war since World War 2. The conflict has torn apart the region. It is responsible for more than 5 million lives lost, many of them children. Rape has widely been used as a tool of war. While western governments have been complicit in supporting the war, the occupation of the eastern Congo and the plunder of the resources for multinational corporations, the conflict and region have been largely ignored. Vancouver is also headquarters to mining companies operating in the Eastern Congo and benefiting from the war as well as imperial strategies in the region.

Congo week events are being held in various communities to help educate and encourage activism. In Vancouver, this event hopes to help provide a deeper understanding of the conflict, the geopolitical struggle for power, industrial interests, the human costs and the role of solidarity campaigns.


Maurice Carney is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. Friends of the Congo is a majority Congolese institution made up of members of the Congolese diaspora from US, Canada, Europe and Africa. Friends of the Congo works to educate people about the challenge of the Congo, mobilize a global movement in support of the people of the Congo and support local Congolese institutions working in the interest of the people. Maurice has also been involved in organizing around Congo Week and conflict minerals campaigns. Watch:

Kim Haxton is involved in community healing work as co-founder of Indigeneyez, emphasizing leadership development, embodied awareness and 'betrayal-to-trust' rites of passage, de-escalation, de-colonization, diversity and anti-oppression training using the arts and the natural world. Currently, Kim volunteers her services in the Democratic Republic of Congo, developing training programs for Peace and Conflict Resolution, where Ms Haxton is training local Congolese women who have been affected by civil war, poverty and sexual violence as trainers to work with others in their communities.

A speaker from the former United Congolese Community of BC organization. The United Congolese Community of BC organization has formally disbanded but a member of the community network will be presenting.

Territorial welcome and words from Cease Wyss, a Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/ Hawaiian/Swiss media artist, community organizer and activist. She has produced various formats of media art, as well as being a mentor in her field for close to 15 years. She is also an ethno-botanist, traditionally trained in this field by Indigenous Elders. Her work involves site-specific and culturally focused teaching with storytelling as her means to sharing knowledge.