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Getting Serious About Ending Conflict and Sexual Violence in Congo

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Abstract:

U.S.-led efforts in recent weeks to end the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo—the epicenter of the deadliest war since World War II with 5.4 million dead and count ing—have yielded a ceasefire, but the conflict is not over. The international community must follow through on recent progress with a comprehensive peace strategy for eastern Congo.

While a recent ceasefire agreement is hailed as a diplomatic success, the continued suffering of Congolese civilians remains an international failure. Systematic and widespread crimes against human ity continue to haunt the region. According to the International Rescue Committee’s latest study of mortality in Congo, death rates there remain un changed since the end of the regional war that tore through Africa’s Great Lakes region from 1998 to 2004. By the end of this and every month, 45,000 more Congolese—half of them children—will die from hunger, preventable disease, and other con sequences of violence and displacement.