by Kellin McGowan (June 2021)
900,000 Congolese have left the country, fleeing the region’s violence.
Here are the key players:
DRC Military,Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, Allied Defence Forces of Uganda, other armed groups: Different factions on opposing sides involved in the conflict in North and South Kivu, DCR that has worsened the situation in the country.
Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo: Current president of the DCR who has overseen a decline in human rights in the region, including the jailing of dissenters and journalists.
Citizens: Armed conflict, the outbreak of diseases such as Ebola, and crippling infrastructure has led to the displacement of nearly five million people. The effects of these factors are especially pronounced in the county’s east.
The DCR is in the midst of one of the most severe humanitarian crises brought about by governmental instability and crippling infrastructure.
The country, unfortunately, has a long history of violence. Two decades of continued conflict has significantly harmed the lives of the Congolese, especially women and children, who are often the victims of sexual crimes.
Refugees from the DRC flee to other African countries such as South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Angola, and Zambia. Although the country’s violence is widespread, it is most present in the country’s eastern region.
Why is it so hard for the Congolese to find refuge?
The DCR refugee crisis has been described as one of the most forgotten and overlooked refugee crises. For this reason, Congolese refugees do not have the same levels of outreach as other refugee groups, making seeking refuge relatively difficult.