Escape from genocide and rebel invasion

They 'walked in PEACE with God'

The Arc Of Central Africa, defined by the Congo River basin, has had a troubled history of tribal conflict, colonial exploitation, and military dictatorship. In the 1990s, during the final years of President Mobutu Sese Seko's 27-year rule, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), and the city of Goma in particular, became a magnet for refugees fleeing genocide in Rwanda, and later for armed rebel groups. Zaire's army fell apart under rebel assaults assisted by troops from neighboring countries, and Mobutu fell in 1997.

In 1986, Congolese citizen Makengo Ma Pululu and his family left Zaire's capital, Kinshasa, and went to Rwanda where he worked as a teacher and translator. The last school at which he taught was Zaire's consular school in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. The Sentinel asked Makengo what happened to him and his family when Hutus in Rwanda began brutally attacking Tutsis and others believed to be sympathetic to the Tutsi minority.

When the fighting broke out in 1994, for three days we couldn't go out of our homes. Eventually the United Nations was able to obtain a cease-fire. We were able to reach the embassy of Zaire, and a day later we were evacuated across the Rwandan border to the town of Goma. Almost one million people came to Goma in three days' time. But before we went out of Rwanda, we were able to call the offices of my church in America, The Mother Church, for prayerful aid, and we had the assurance that work had started. We asked for help so that the war would stop.

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The Sadhu of Nairobi
June 16, 2003

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