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Denebola » Article » Fighting ensues in Congo, but help is on the way
Global Education

Fighting ensues in Congo, but help is on the way

By Kevin Lee
Published: November 2008

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Despite a formal cease-fire declared in 2003, hostilities still exist in the new Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Second Congo War, also known as the Civil War of Congo, involved over seven African countries and resulted in the deaths of over 5 million people. The largest and most costly war since World War II, the civil war displaced and killed thousands of Congolese through disease, starvation, and brutal conflicts.

The Congo Civil War began in 1998 and ended in July of 2003 when the “Transitional Government of Congo came to power as stated in an official treaty between the warring parties.

The agreement was a global, all-inclusive agreement, which summarized a plan to reunite the country, neutralize warring factions, and to hold official elections.

Despite the government’s best efforts, however, fighting and instability continue to plague the country.

The primary reason for the government’s weakness is the unwillingness of the rebel groups to relinquish their power to a central government. Thus, battles among the government, rebel groups, and innocent civilians carry on.

Alongside an alarming number of civilian casualties, the Congo Civil War also displaced over 3.3 million people from the eastern part of the country.

Thousands more are now impoverished: without a home, food, or a sufficient supply of water. Additionally, poor sanitation conditions coupled with malnutrition leave civilians heavily exposed to diarrhea disease and cholera.

Fortunately, the UN has stepped in to provide support for the new government. UN diplomats have been sent in to carry on peace talks and supplies such as food, water, and other physical aid continue to arrive.

With malnutrition at an emergency level, food and water have become a top priority. Water purification operations have also begun in various regions of the country.

Although tensions between warring factions still exist in the DRC, with help from the UN and other humanitarian organizations, many hope that the country will soon enter a new era of peace.

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