As the world focuses on the terrible events plaguing the Middle East, we draw our attention to another atrocity in the world.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), millions of people have been displaced due to escalating violence and conflict.
According to the latest statistics by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a total of 6.9 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly in the east of the country, have been displaced.
Citizens in the DRC have suffered years of rebel conflict as well as recurrent natural disasters, fueling one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world.
This latest increase in violence comes after renewed conflict between the Tutsi-led M23 rebels and militias loyal to the government in the eastern province of North Kivu in October this year.
In North Kivu alone, up to one million people have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict with M23, IOM said.
According to data collected by the United Nations, at least 80 percent of the displaced people live in the eastern DRC’s provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, and Tanganyika.
“The most recent escalation of the conflict has uprooted more people in less time like rarely seen before,” said IOM’s chief of mission in the DRC, Fabien Sambussy.
A total of 4.8 million people (more than two-thirds of those displaced) live with host families, IOM said.
What’s more is that DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi says he has asked his government to fast-track the withdrawal of Monusco, a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
In 2010, Monusco took over from an earlier UN peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), in a bid to help quell insecurity in the DRC’s east, where armed groups fight over territory and resources.
According to the United Nations, the new mission has been authorised to use “all necessary means” to carry out its mandate relating to “the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel, and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilisation and peace consolidation efforts.”
Despite its goal to ensure peace, Monusco’s presence has been believed to have sparked protests and violence in the area.
At a UN General Assembly, Tshisekedi said: “It is to be deplored that peacekeeping missions deployed for 25 years... have failed to cope with the rebellions and armed conflicts".
“This is why... I instructed the government of the republic to begin discussions with the UN authorities for an accelerated withdrawal of Monusco... by bringing forward the start of this progressive withdrawal from December 2024 to December 2023,” he said.