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Ask for a U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region

Recently, wanted war criminal and M23 rebel leader Bosco (“The Terminator”) Ntaganda turned himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. And Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was appointed the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region.

Now, the U.S. government must take advantage of this opportunity and make Congo a higher priority. The U.S. must engage more significantly in the UN peace negotiations between the Congolese government, M23, and regional governments (including Rwanda and Uganda) to coordinate a regional response to the ongoing conflict.

The U.S. government should appoint a Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region to lead a coordinated response to the crisis in eastern Congo.

Sign your name to this petition asking President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a high-level Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region.

Dear President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry,

Thank you for the attention you have given to addressing the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo. The UN mediated peace process between the Government of Congo, M23, and regional governments is a chance to deliver lasting peace to this war-torn region.

Recently, significant developments including the appointment of Mary Robinson as a UN Special Envoy, and the surrender of Bosco Ntaganda to the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, highlight an opportunity for U.S. involvement. Now is the time for the U.S. government to demonstrate its commitment to peace in eastern Congo.

I am asking you to work together now to appoint a U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region to lead a coordinated U.S. response to this crisis. The Envoy should be a high-level individual with experience and relationships in the region. He or she would be responsible for working with UN Special Envoy Mary Robinson and coordinating the U.S. government’s response to this regional crisis.

The U.S. government has an important role to play in working with international partners to ensure that there is a transparent, credible peace initiative that is also inclusive of Congolese voices, including civil society, women, youth, and religious leaders.

Thank you for your urgent and immediate action in response to this crisis.

Sincerely,
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