The Democratic Republic of Congo has forever been a victim of injustice and violence; be it the colonial era or the post-colonial period, Congo has been cursed. It has been a victim of economic, political, and physical brutality. Year after year, history is being repeated, and a silent genocide has been occurring over time.
This month, one of the largest displacements has occurred in Eastern Congo, where 6.9 million people alone were displaced, according to the International Organization of Migration. This has been the most alarming number throughout history, and around 1 million people that were displaced were from North Kivu. The reason for this unrest in the North Kivu region is due to the M23, a Tutsi-led militant group that has had clashes with the government and claims to be a revolutionary army funded and supported by other states such as Rwanda and Uganda, due to their regional interests in the area.
Another reason for the exploitation of the Congolese could be because of the abundance of natural resources in Congo, such as Coltan. Coltan; a metallic ore is used in aerospace technology and electronic devices. Due to this, the West is exploiting these resources. Millions of Congolese are being overworked just to extract the mineral. Many underage kids have died because of this; the latest record to be found is around 6 million. Forty-eight women are raped every hour, and there are no humanitarian laws being enforced.
The West has not only funded this genocide but also created political uncertainty in Congo, which has resulted in unstable governments over time. The last elections held were in 2019, which also produced no fruit. The International Organization has claimed to provide around 3,347 shelters and 7,745 nonfood supplies kit, but the number is very low considering the amount of displaced people in such a short amount of time.
The funding for aid for the Democratic Republic of Congo is not sufficient enough compared to the numbers of people who are displaced from their homes. A reason for this is also the geographical technicalities in Congo. Since Congo has a dense rainforest, road transportation is very poorly built, causing aid to reach even slower. A reason for this poor infrastructure is the government’s corruption issues. The Congolese government has not been transparent with their spendings and has spent little to none on their country’s infrastructure and public.
The outcry of the people has been spreading throughout all regions of Congo as health issues have started to arise in multiple areas as water-borne diseases and viruses catch ahold of the people living in tents, having no access to clean drinking water. Life in East Congo has become a nightmare.
The West has always voiced up their opinions whenever a humanitarian crisis occurs, but they always refine what they want to talk about and what they want to leave silent. Congo has been such a case. The biggest IT and Tech companies are trying to extract as many minerals and resources from Congo to try and produce what they need. Over the years, many from the West have lodged their concerns about the Uyghur Muslims in the concentration camp in Xin Jiang region in China who are being overworked by Chinese companies to produce products for global selling but not a word has been heard since the past month on what’s happening in Congo.
Congo has been exploited during the colonial era too, and many slaves were captured and taken in by the colonizers to different parts of the world to serve the Europeans. Even after independence, nothing has changed; Congo still seems to be under the rule of the Westerners and has no way of coming out from this confinement.
The saddest part is that, for the past month, the United Nations has not once emphasized and tried to resolve the silent genocide of the Congolese; not once have they insisted on solving this violent conflict; no talks have been held to prepare a peace mission in Congo, a time where they certainly need it.
This has always been the bias of Western media, to show what they want and hide what they like. We as moral human beings should keep ourselves aware of what is happening to the people of Congo and try to voice our concerns regarding this. Information Technology has given us the privilege to know what’s happening around the world, and we should not be dependent on the media to show us what they want. We must use our voice to speak up and learn that we cannot be dependent on western media for the truth.
The Congolese people need our voices and support more than ever to get rid of their century’s old curse. We need to act as a support system for the Congolese as our moral humanitarian duty.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.