Conflict Region: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Long before the start of the civil wars in 1996, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was a nation ravaged by humanitarian atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law. Though the Second Congo War formally ceased in July 2003, the DRC has remained a region of concern because of many local disputes – religious and otherwise – and with conflict mineral trade fueling a great portion of the violence. The Kivu and Ituri regions of north-eastern DRC have been particularly affected by the conflict mineral trade. In the past eleven years the DRC has seen 2,400,000 to 5,000,000 deaths, mostly civilians, making the conflict the deadliest war of the 21st century. The violence in this country has severely impact neighbouring states due to civilian displacement and military overspill. The DRC is seen as the central location of Africa’s major war.
Despite continuous international efforts the DRC continues to be a space for major conflict and displacement. The DRC is a region of focus for STAND not only because of the large scale human rights violations occurring in the country, but also because of the prevalence of conflict mineral trade in the region. The conflict mineral issue has a major footing in the Congolese regions, and because of the tumultuous difficulties the country is facing the the potentially prosperous trade for the DRC remains violent and hazardous. STAND Canada will continue to research the conflict of this region to gain a more thorough and updated understanding, and will continue to recommend Canadian action to pragmatically address these issues.