Homerton woman campaigns against Congolese president

A Hackney woman, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but moved to London as a child with her family, is trying to awareness of the plight faced by people in her African homeland.

Henriette Longa, 23, says she plans to attend a march in central London next Thursday (Feb 16) to protest against the “oppressive” Congolese regime and “commemorate the deaths of hundreds of Christians who were slaughtered in 1992”.

The central African country was left devastated by the Second Congo War which broke out in 1998, and left 5.4million people dead. Although peace was declared in 2003, fighting continues in some areas and various reports note the country’s soldiers have a reputation for rape and sexual violence against women.

Miss Longa, who lives in Homerton and is currently looking for a job, said: “I have family in Congo and I have not seen them since I left. I am scared on a daily basis about their health and safety and feel uneasy and uncomfortable about the whole situation.

“I long to go back to my country one day, but because of the instability in the country I feel helpless.”

The march will call on international leaders not to recognise Joseph Kabila as president following contested election results, but to recognise opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi instead.

For more information about the campaign, visit http://www.facebook.com/events/230433493706111/