Survival in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Over many years, Western media have paid little attention to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but few can be totally unaware of the conflict that has troubled that country with such catastrophic effect since 1996.
The numbers who have died are counted in millions; the economy, which was precarious before the conflict, has largely collapsed; and the country’s institutional structures are seriously undermined.
Officially, peace has now come and the armed forces of neighbours like Rwanda and Uganda withdrawn. However, ethnic conflict in the Kivu provinces of the Great Lakes region in the east continues to cause chronic instability and immense suffering, mitigated only partially by the presence of UN forces.
The largest UN peace-keeping mission in the world (MONUC) with over 20,000 personnel is based in Congo.