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Democratic Republic of Congo

After the Rwandan genocide some of the Hutu perpetrators that fled into Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, formed the FDLR. The FDLR along with the Congolese armed forces, the FARDC, were violent against civilians. The atrocities included mass killings, thousands of sexual assaults, forced displacement, torture, abductions, looting, and use of child soldiers. Since 1996 at least 5 million people in the DRC have died from the mass killings, disease, lack of food security, displacement, and broken health-care systems.


The conflict in the DRC has made it difficult for women who live far from the towns to receive proper health care. Many don't have access to health care because the armed men have seized the hospitals and maternity wards. Many have fled the villages so the men have been doing whatever they want and have been violent with the women. After being raped some women have injuries to the groin and genitals, while some have their breast cut off or arm slashed. One woman recalls their children being robbed, then their lives being threatened. After she was raped she was left naked on the road. She was able to get medicine afterwards but it was only enough for three days.

YouTube - ICRC

In the DRC Human Rights Watch interviewed Congolese to get information about the mass killings. Witnesses said refugees had their skulls smashed or had other types of physical trauma. In the area that Human Rights Watch visited, machetes and knives killed many. The ADFL and RPA soldiers killed the refugees that were sick or too weak to flee. A lot of the remains of those killed were exhumed, burned, or disposed of so that witnesses would not see them. It's common for witnesses to be arrested, beaten, or killed for giving information about the slaughter.


While some of the fighting in Congo is due to political aspects, a lot of it is because of the demand for natural resources. Congo is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to natural resources. They have large quantities of gold, cobalt, tin, copper, diamonds, and coltan. The natural wealth has brought a lot of suffering to the Congolese and it is the cause of much of the human rights abuses. The desire to control Congo from armed groups and neighboring countries is for their own monetary benefit.

YouTube - Friends of the Congo

An estimated 30,000 children have been involved with armed forces in Congo, some even as young as eight years old. One boy said he feels okay when he kills someone because they are his enemies and if seen he would have been killed first. Another child soldier says he had already died inside and killed others because he was already bad. One twelve year old says he wants to be forgiven for killing, beating, and arresting people. He escaped and started working as a market porter, but if found by his former commanders he would be killed for running away. He remembers being beaten by the commanders for any little mistake.

YouTube - Al Jazeera

The Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga was ordered to pay $10 million in reparations to child victims for his crimes in the DRC. Lubanga is currently serving his sentence in a Congolese prison. The judges said the money would go towards the 425 victims named in the proceedings but also for any other victims that may come forward. They acknowledged there are possible thousands of other victims of Lubanga's crimes. The money will be used to help rebuild the victims' lives with psychological support and job training programs

Al Jazeera

In 2017 the violence in the DRC continued At least 250 people have been killed from March to June. There were cases of mutilation, injuries, abductions, and rape. There are also reports of looting, destruction, and burning of property. According to Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN human rights chief, there have been accounts of people being burned alive.

Al Jazeera

The International Displacement Monitoring Centre says the DRC is the country with the worst conflict displacement. The violence and insecurity in the DRC is causing about 5,500 people to leave their homes a day. They expect it to worsen in 2018. In the province of Tanganyika there are reports of murder, looting, extortion, and torture. In the Kasai region people that fled have recently started to return to find their property ruined and family members dead.

Al Jazeera

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