africa_drcongoWhat’s Happening in the DRC?

The DRC has been plagued with periods of violence since the early 1990s, including what has been described as “Africa’s World War” — the deadliest conflict since World War II with over 5 million killed.

Since 1996, the civil war in DRC has claimed as many lives as World War II. Targeted attacks toward civilians by militias and the Lord’s Resistance Army continue.

Although the UN has had one of the largest missions in DRC for several years, and the first mandate with offensive action, the violence persists.

Read Full History


5.4 million

More than any other conflict since World War II


2.6 million displaced

From homes and villages due to ongoing armed conflict


20,000 Peacekeepers

The largest and most expensive UN mission in the world

Atrocities in DRC Today

Insecurity has persisted in the eastern part of the country, allowing armed groups to commit mass atrocities against the civilian population.

Many of the groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and various May-Mayi militias, have been around for years, but used the security vacuum created by the March 23 (M23) rebellion in 2012 to begin staging these attacks.

The mass atrocities include killings, abductions, and forced recruitment of civilians, particularly children. DRC’s wealth in natural resources, including gold, diamonds, tungsten, tin, and tantalum, has helped to stoke and support violence and child labor. More than 2.9 million have been displaced from their homes due to the violence and tens of thousands are without humanitarian assistance.

What We Are Watching For

The Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to face challenges with militia groups in the east and needs governance and security reforms to prevent further atrocities. We call upon the United States and international community to:

  • Support regional and local efforts at peacebuilding including by holding signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) to their commitments.
  • Prioritize the protection of civilians by the DRC and UN peacekeepers as they carry out missions.
  • Urge greater oversight and training of DRC military regarding protection of civilians and international human rights and humanitarian law including Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
  • Support efforts to stop the trade of conflict minerals that may be funding further atrocities.
  • Ensure accountability for perpetrators of atrocities through Specialized Mixed Chambers or other mechanisms to ensure justice for past atrocities.


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