For roughly 125 years the Congo and its people have been victims of a conflict based on control by other countries of the Congo's vast mineral wealth and fueled by intervention aimed at getting at it. The U.S., Belgium, France and other countries have taken advantage of colonial rule, weak government institutions, extreme poverty and aggression by the Congo's neighbors to provide corporate entities with a means to loot and then profit from another country's natural resources.
Along the way, millions of Congolese have lost their lives amid violence that also included rape, enslavement and forced labor. The United Nations has called the situation there the deadliest in the world since World War II. The most recent chapter of this humanitarian crisis involves the invasions in 1996 and 1998 by neighbors (and U.S. allies) Rwanda and Uganda. While one thread in the story has involved the weak government institutions that have allowed all of this to happen, another has to do with government and corporate policies of the U.S. and other countries that have placed profit over human rights.
To tell this tale, the DC-based nonprofit organization Friends of the Congo produced the film "Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering The Truth". It explores the history of the conflict in the country, depicting the crisis in what the film's web site calls "a historical, social and political context". It also shows how the Congolese people and human rights experts are standing up and looking for solutions. According to its creators, the film "unveils analysis and prescriptions...not normally available to the general public."
While "Crisis in the Congo..." will be a feature documentary that has not yet been released, Peace Action of San Mateo County will show an abridged 30-minute version, put out by the filmmakers, which serves as a summary of the film's theme. Following the film there will be an open discussion about what the film as brought to light.
The UU is wheelchair accessible.