Back to focus index

CIAO Focus, January / February 2008:
Humanitarian Crisis in the Congo

Congo Map

View full-sized image

Source: United Nations

War, disease and mass starvation have claimed 5.4 million lives over the past 10 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo according to a recently published study by the International Rescue Committee.

The report claims that Congo's war--which lasted from 1998 to 2003--and its aftermath have caused more deaths than any other global conflict since WWII.

For five years government forces, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe fought against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Although the war nominally ended in 2003, fighting continued in the eastern portions of the country where the International Crisis Group reported that 1,000 people were dying each day from war-related causes.

In January 2008 the government signed a peace agreement with the rebels aimed at ending the suffering in the east. The treaty gives United Nations peacekeeping forces a mandate to set up a buffer zone in that part of the country.

This month CIAO examines the humanitarian crisis in Congo.


From the CIAO Database:

Congo: Consolidating the Peace

Katanga: The Congo’s Forgotten Crisis

Securing Congo’s Elections: Lessons from the Kinshasa Showdown

The Congo war and the prospects of state formation: Rwanda and Uganda compared

Outside Sources: *

Country Profile: Democratic Republic of Congo (BBC News)

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Congo to the United Nations

World Health Organization: Congo

African Studies Center: Democratic Republic of Congo Page (University of Pennsylvania)

Human Development Reports: Congo (UNDP)

Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The Ongoing Crisis


* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.