Congo Watch: Humanitarian crisis continues in the Congo: Death toll 4 million - 1,200 people dying every day

Friday, January 06, 2006

Humanitarian crisis continues in the Congo: Death toll 4 million - 1,200 people dying every day

Report from Reuters today says the Congo conflict is the deadliest humanitarian crisis of the last 60 years but the world is still not doing enough to save lives, according to a survey published in the Lancet medical journal. Excerpts:

Its authors pleaded urgently for more aid and tougher security in the wake of a war estimated to have killed nearly four million people, mainly through hunger and disease.

The U.N.'s 17,000-strong Congo peacekeeping force -- its biggest in the world -- is trying to establish order across Africa's third largest country in the wake of the war which began in 1998 and officially ended in 2003.

Bands of gunmen still intimidate civilians in large areas, particularly in the east whose mineral riches are believed to have fuelled a conflict that at one point drew in six foreign armies and was dubbed Africa's first world war.

The survey showed that the death toll in the Congo conflict so far was higher than the numbers killed in Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo and Darfur.

Full report by Paul Majendie London (Reuters) 6 Jan 2006.

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