In the World's Deadliest Conflict Zone, a Constitution is Ratified
The Democratic Republic of Congo, like Iraq, just ratified its Constitution.
But, unlike Iraq…
38,000 may be dying in the country each month.
4,000,000 may have perished in this country since 1998.
This is the deadliest conflict anywhere in the world in the last 60 years!
It was announced this week that Congo approved its Constitution in a landslide vote.
Rema Kakweyer, 7, sits in a bed at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital, suffering from machete wounds after she was attacked by militias in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo town of Bunia in February 2005. Conflicts in Africa and global shortcomings in confronting the ravages of AIDS dominated a list published by MSF of the most underreported humanitarian stories of 2005.(AFP/File/Simon Maina)
Four out of five rural residents have been forcibly displaced by the war. This is the highest number of African refugees ever recorded by the UN,
Strategy Page says that the death in Congo may be because of other reasons. The death rates in Congo before the war were high due to the horrendous rule of dictator Mobuto Sese Seko:
But what has been overlooked is that the death rate from disease and lack of health care was higher in Congo even before the civil war began. This was the result of over three decades of kleptomaniac misrule by dictator Mobuto Sese Seko. This guy was legendary for the degree to which he would steal public money.
By the late 1990s, there was practically no infrastructure left in the country, because nothing had been spent on that for many years. Health care was particularly absent, and the death rate was already the highest in Africa, or at least it appeared that way. Mobutu didn’t believe in keeping public health or census records either.
Things were so bad, that it was no surprise when a rebellion broke out, quickly spread, and turned into a civil war. The depredations of several hundred thousand armed men, and additional deaths among millions of civilians who fled into the bush, probably did create a record high body count. But not four million. Up to half of that can be blamed on Mobutu and his sticky fingered pals. The rest was largely civilian dead from disease and starvation. The smallest amount came from a direct result of looting and pillaging by the undisciplined gunmen and soldiers. Probably still four million. But blame should be placed where it belongs.