The Democratic Republic of Congo and five million people uprooted
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is extremely severe. This relates to ethnic massacres, religious atrocities, and an infrastructure that barely exists in parts of the country. At the same time, Ebola and the measles epidemic killed thousands of people. Therefore, the convulsions in the DRC are extreme.
Approximately one million people have sought refuge from the ongoing crisis in neighboring nations. Meanwhile, five million people from the DRC have fled violence internally. Thus fear prevails and livelihoods of whole communities have been shattered.
The UNHCR reports, “DRC has one of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world. Over five million people have been uprooted by insecurity within the country’s borders, while nearly a million Congolese have sought safety in neighboring countries as refugees.”
The infrastructure of the DRC is non-existent in parts of the country despite being extremely rich in natural resources. Hence, until the encroachment of centralization takes place – be it the health care system, military, police, roads, and so forth; then the DRC will remain fragile and beset by endless chaos.
Of particular concern since 2017 are the regions of Kasai, Tanganyika, Ituri, and Kivu. However, the armed forces are already overstretched and limited campaigns can’t contain the crisis in the worse hit areas. Indeed, some reports state that all sides have been involved in the rape of women thus trust remains elusive.
In May, the Modern Tokyo Times said, “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.”
The United Nations reports, “The barbarity that characterizes these attacks, including the beheading of women and children with machetes, the dismemberment and removal of body parts of the victims as trophies of war, reflects the desire of the attackers to inflict lasting trauma to the Hema communities and to force them to flee and not return to their villages.”
Overall, the crisis in the DRC is enormous thus international support is needed on many levels.
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