By Camilla Lunani
Students from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UEAB) in Eldoret, Kenya, recently held a solemn gathering to honor their home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following the devastating massacre in the eastern region.
The atrocity, which has claimed over 5.4 million lives since 1998, has exacerbated the region’s insecurity, leading to the displacement and brutalization of countless individuals, including over 6 million women who have been victims of sexual violence.
Dressed in black on Wednesday, in a gesture they termed “mercredi noir” (Black Wednesday), the students united in a powerful symbol of mourning and a call for peace. Their gathering included prayers for the victims and their families, reflecting on the immense loss and yearning for a brighter future for the DRC.
“We are deeply saddened by the ongoing violence in the DRC,” stated a UEAB student leader. “We stand in solidarity with the victims and their families, and we urge for an immediate end to the suffering.”
“Though physically separated from our homeland,” remarked another student, “our hearts are with our loved ones and our nation. We hope that our actions, however small, will contribute to raising awareness and advocating for an end to this senseless bloodshed.”
The UEAB students’ initiative exemplifies the profound impact of the ongoing conflict in the DRC, not only on those directly affected but also on individuals abroad who carry the weight of their heritage and yearn for peace in their homeland. Their act of solidarity serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of violence and the enduring hope for a just and peaceful world.