The Forgotten War of the DR Congo

Unity for Tertiary Refugee Students Cape Town, July 21, 2009


Unity for tertiary Refugee Students (UTRS), students based organization seeking to promote the rights and well-being of refugees and asylum seekers at tertiary education will be holding a one day event to raise awareness in our society on a humanitarian crisis which is often forgotten: the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This event will take place on August 23rd at Hezlia High School in Cape Town.

As part of our mandate we seek to inform and educate people about refugees, their struggles, achievements, the history of their home countries and how their personal histories have been affected by war and persecution. We particularly seek to create opportunities to raise awareness about refugees and inform the public about the reasons for the presence of so many refugees in South Africa.  It is for this reason that we have decided to organize an event focusing on the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We intend this event to offer a brief showcase of the history and culture of the Great Lakes region, which the Democratic Republic of Congo is part of, with the presence of a group of panellists offering an analysis of the regional social and geopolitical reasons behind the endless war in Democratic Republic of Congo, and its consequences on the Congolese people and the people from the Great Lakes region generally. Refugee and asylum seeker students’ members of our organization will share their own personal experiences of living in the conflict, flight and becoming refugees in the Republic of South Africa.

We have also called upon our members to contribute to this event through performing arts and some have expressed an interest to perform poetry, drama, dance, song and visual arts to commemorate their origins and share their cultures.