Monday, February 15, 2021

DRC - Disease, Displacement and Destruction

 In the 'Democratic' Republic of the Congo nearly 22 million people (a  population number about equal to Netherlands and Ireland combined), are facing starvation and malnutrition.

This is in a country with  more agricultural land (80 million hectares of arable land), than any African country, with the potential to feed up to 2 billion people yet it cannot provide food for its 100 million inhabitants.

In the DRC’s case, however, war is the root cause and the seed of this starvation. Congolese people had already been ravaged by years of imported conflicts, which killed more than 5.4 million people between 1998 and 2008 – mostly through starvation or disease. Half of those who died were children – an entire generation. It is not drought or floods but the international climate of apathy to the suffering and the policy of impunity.  the international community chooses to turn a blind eye, ostensibly for “peace”. Yet there is still no peace to keep. There more than 17,000 UN peacekeepers deployed in the country, almost four times as many as in 2002 but still there is no peace. 

Joseph Kabila, president of the DRC from 2001 to 2019, whose security forces were linked to killings and torture. The Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, who allegedly supported the M23 militia gang responsible for atrocities in the DRC.  Last July, the DRC’s new president, Félix Tshisekedi, promoted General Gabriel Amisi, known as “Tango Four”, to the rank of army inspector general in spite of him being under US and EU sanctions for alleged human rights violations.

There are the growing numbers of militia who are killing Congolese people today. They kill for for control of minerals such as tungsten.  There are more than 100 “devolved” militia groups killing, raping, looting and displacing people who ratchet up the misery caused by diseases, displacement and destruction of local food production and food chains. 

There are about 6.6 million Congolese are internally displaced because of violence; three times as many as in 2002. 

This is an internationally sanctioned catastrophe.

DRC is rich with farmland, so why do 22 million people there face starvation? | Democratic Republic of the Congo | The Guardian

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