Congo: Still The Deadliest War in the World

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Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

February 25, 2007: Nine years of violence have left about four million people dead. The violence has been much reduced lately, but is still estimated at about 4-5,000 dead per month. For nearly a decade, the violence in the Congo has been the deadliest conflict on the planet.

February 24, 2007: For the last two days, there have been "expected" clashes between Congolese troops and Rwandan Hutu extremist militias occurred in eastern Congo. An army brigade fought with an FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) militia force in North Kivu province. At least 38 militiamen and five Congolese soldiers died in the firefights. An army battalion arrived in the area eight to ten days ago and reported that the FDLR was operating near the town of Rutshuru in North Kivu. The army brigade was supported by UN forces.

February 23, 2007: 153 more Pakistani troops left Pakistan for duty in the Congo. The troops are part of a normal troop rotation. Pakistani provides some of the UN's most reliable peacekeeping forces.

February 21, 2007:.A recent UN report critiqued the Congolese Army reintegration program. One observation in the report is very much in agreement with other assessments coming out of the Congo: many of the rebel units which have been integrated into the Congolese Army continue to look like and operate like rebel units. The former rebels may not be fighting the Congolese forces (a benefit) but they are still structured as an undisciplined militia force loyal to specific officers (usually tribal leaders) rather than the Congo government. The UN's "DDR" program (disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of rebels into the Congo Army) is attractive, in theory, but it is not happening in the field. NGOs report that there is little evidence of follow-up inspection of "reintegrated" army organizations.

 

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