The Forgotten War and Why It Matters

Kaila Acheson – Anchor Contributor

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s ongoing war affects all of us on a global scale. With a country with vast natural resources and threats of Ebola, this war should not be forgotten. The Congo has been a tumultuous region since the Scramble for Africa, when King Leopold II of Belgium acquired the land and essentially turned it into a huge work camp. Despite being rich in resources, the people are still poor. Ever since 1994, as a result of the Rwandan genocide, The Congo has experienced the horrifying effects of war.

As of in the last month there has been a report that the rebels have killed 15 innocent civilians and threatened the outbreak of ebola. The Red Cross is attempting to contain the ebola virus but now villagers are so paranoid due to the constant rebel attacks and so isolated that they are becoming sceptical if the ebola virus is even real. The villagers are now beginning to fear The Red Cross’s intentions and are relectent of seeking their help. The civilians are now becoming hostile towards the ones attempting to protect their population and the world from an outbreak.

Accompanying the threat of a viral outbreak, The Congo’s main exports are copper, cobalt, diamond, crude petroleum, and cobalt ore. The Congo’s main partners are The United States and China. About 70% of their exports is oil. This could deeply impact global manufacturing and the economy if The Congo continues to be unstable.

The Congo has a lot of potential and is considered to be an area that could connect Africa because it is geographically positioned in the center of the continent. The first civil war in the Congo started in June 1997 and although there was a peace treaty signed in 2003 the fighting has never ceased. Violence has been continuous and recently the rebels have been out of control. If this unfortunate war were to end then a lot of problems would be solved.