Democratic Republic of Congo violence is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is in an endless cycle of violence that flares up quickly. It is difficult to understand events on the ground because of various internal tensions and regional intrigues. Therefore, you have various ethnic and religious angles interwoven over the control of natural resources.
At the same time, from the middle of 2018, Ebola began to ravage eastern parts of this country. The following year a measles crisis emerged leaving at least 6,400 people dead. Hence, the DRC faces countless problems including the ravages of poverty and a vicious cycle of ethnic and religious violence.
In the last two months, a reported 200,000 people have fled violence between the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups. This violence – like other tensions – is part of the approximately five million people who are internally displaced. Therefore, the recent upsurge in attacks in eastern regions is putting further strains on a country blighted by war and poverty.
Voice of America reports, “U.N. monitors have recorded more than 3,000 serious human rights violations in Djugu territory, mainly occupied by the Hema, in the last 60 days. UNHCR spokesman, Charlie Yaxley says nearly 50 attacks are taking place on average every day against the local community.”
Ironically, since late last year, the armed forces of the DRC have launched counter-attacks against various militia groups throughout the region. Yet, paradoxically, a fresh bout of inter-ethnic tensions between the Hema and Lendu returned to a higher degree.
Hence, what should be a wealthy nation with gold, oil, and other resources, is a nightmare based on internal and external intrigues. Therefore, these convulsions further exacerbate an already tense situation between the Hema and Lendu.
Last year, Reuters reported, “Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease.”
Sadly, the international community isn’t helping matters because the DRC needs support to overcome multiple complex issues. Including the horrendous health angle related to Ebola, measles, and other areas. However, an urgent economic appeal only ushered less than 20 percent of the requested funds that are needed.
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