The militia is recruiting and using child soldiers while targeting symbols and institutions of State authority, according to a news release issued by the UN Stabilisation Mission in the African country (MONUSCO), which also cited the disproportionate use of force by Government security forces known as FARDC in their response to the situation.Particularly, since 9 February 2017, there have been ongoing clashes between Kamuina Nsapu militia and Congolese security forces within the area of Tshimbulu (160 Kilometers South East of Kananga) with unconfirmed reports of 30 to 50 deaths resulting from these clashes. The news release stated that the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of MONUSCO, Maman S. Sidikou, strongly condemned the actions of the militia, and expressed his concern about repeated reports of the disproportionate use of force by the FARDC.Mr. Sidikou expressed regret about the deaths and injuries suffered in these clashes and called upon the Congolese security forces to act in line with acceptable standards of national and international laws in their response to the situation. He offered the Mission’s support to a credible investigation of this regrettable situation.MONUSCO has deployed one of its mobile monitoring response team in the area covering Tshikapa, Dibaya, Bunkode, Tshimbulu and Luiza to possibly prevent, investigate and document human rights violations in line with its mandate. MONUSCO redeployed most of its resources to the country’s east in 2014. Given the improved security situation at the time, there was also a drastic reduction of military and civilian personnel affecting the Mission’s presence in Kananga in central Kasai. However, since December 2016, MONOSCO has deployed a military company of soldiers in Kananga with the task of protecting the Mission’s personnel and assets as well as protecting civilians.
Brock is searching for community partners in need of volunteers for the University’s largest day of service.Saturday, Sept. 8 will mark the 10th annual Brock Cares Day of Service — a one-day event where Brock students, faculty and staff donate their time to local community organizations.Last year’s day of service included 20 projects with 156 volunteers. Organizations included the Lincoln County Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the YWCA and Linhaven long-term care home, with projects ranging from garden cleanup and reorganizing a thrift store to volunteering with a seniors recreation program.A group of students stuff thank-you gifts for a local fundraising run as part of Brock Cares Day of Service 2017.Organizers from Brock University Students’ Union and Student Life and Community Experience are hoping the 10th anniversary will mark the biggest day of service yet.“Close to 1,100 volunteer hours were donated through last year’s Brock Cares,” said Megan Brown, Community Engagement Co-ordinator with Student Life and Community Experience. “If the organizations paid employees minimum wage to do the same work, it’d cost them more than $15,000. It’s incredible to think that we saved the Niagara community this much money in one day.”This year’s goal is to involve 300 volunteers or contribute more than 2,000 hours. It’s ambitious, but with the help of the Brock community, Brown thinks it’s achievable.“If we want to double what we accomplished last year, we need to find more community partners eager to welcome our volunteers,” said Brown. “There may be members of the Brock community who have existing relationships with not-for-profits, charities, service groups and other community service organizations that we’re unaware of.”Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to reach out to community service organizations in the Niagara region and inquire if they could benefit from the help of a group of volunteers on Sept. 8. It could be as little as a couple of hours or a half-day to a full day of volunteering from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Interested community partners are asked fill out an online form by Tuesday, July 31. Sites will be confirmed by the second week of August. Suggestions will also be accepted by emailing [email protected] those interested in volunteering, registration will open within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, faculty and staff are encouraged to connect with their colleagues and gather a team. Volunteers will be provided with food, snacks, a T-shirt and transportation to the community partner sites.“Volunteering in the local community is a great way to kick off the opening of term,” said Brown. “It’s an opportunity to connect with colleagues outside of the office while also making a lasting impact in our community.”