Over 5.4 million dead. Over 2 million displaced. Congo is home to the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The war in eastern Congo began in the early 1990s and continues to this day. It has encompassed two international wars—from 1996 to 1997 and 1998 to 2003—and multiple invasions from neighboring countries, with combatants from many armed groups, both foreign and domestic. While Congo has abundant natural resources, it is also the world’s poorest country per capita, according to the United Nations. Congo is also home to the largest and most expensive U.N. peacekeeping mission in the world, MONUSCO, which has more than 20,000 personnel and an annual budget of $1.4 billion. The eastern part of the country is plagued by instability, as militias continue to wreak havoc on the population. Meanwhile, the conflict gets very little coverage by the international media.
The conflict in Congo is notorious for serious violations of human rights, including violence against women and the use of child soldiers. Since 1996 the International Rescue Committee has calculated that approximately 5.4 million people have died from war-related causes. In 2012 Congo ranked lowest on the United Nations Human Development Index.
Armed groups wreak havoc in eastern Congo by terrorizing communities and fighting for power and access to mineral resources. Read More
Armed groups and Congolese military use profits from trading in conflict minerals to self-finance campaigns of brutal violence against civilians. Read More
Congo needs a system of justice and accountability by which perpetrators of atrocity crimes are caught, tried, and punished for their crimes. Read More
Congolese security forces pose a significant threat to civilians. In eastern Congo, they commit murder and rape, and carry out torture and extortion. Read More
Every day, women and girls face threats from armed militias, the military, and even the police who are responsible for protecting them. Read More