While the violence in Iraq is escalating with the latest attack on Thursday, marks one of the bloodiest days for U.S. forces in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. 11 soldiers and 130 Iraqis were killed according to the U.S. military. While the loss of life in Iraqi and the middle east has been tremendous there has been an even greater loss, one that is being tragically overlooked. In Congo one of the "the deadliest humanitarian crisis of the last 60 years" is happening as we speak.
The data from a report published today shows that the Congolese conflict has been the world's most deadly since the end of World War II and that the death toll far exceeds those of other recent crises, including those in Bosnia (estimated 250,000 dead), Rwanda (800,000), Kosovo (12,000), and Darfur in Sudan (70,000).The crisis in Congo is occurring in the wake of a war estimated to have killed nearly four million people, some 3.3 million between 1998 and 2002 alone, mainly through hunger and disease. The conflict kills approximately 38,000 people each month, says the Lancet medical journal. Most are children, who are the worst affected by the increased mortality rate, often from easily preventable and treatable diseases like malaria and diarrhea, the study found. A UN report has indicated that political progress is being made and urges disarmament of foreign fighters remaining in DR of Congo.
I find it alarming that a crisis and tragedy of such magnitude goes unnoticed and largely unreported. What I find more insulting is that that US forces and monies go into oil rich countries under the guise of protecting lives and freedom when tragedies like this are taking place. What about the freedom of the people in the Congo? What about the 38,000 deaths that are happening every month from lack of food and medicine. We decide instead to use our money to go after a ghost and invade a country because it has something it doesn't. The logic and the audacity is inconceivable.
The picture is from World-renowned photographers Ron Haviv, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Joachim Ladefoged, and James Nachtwey of the VII agency from their recent trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "Their images shed light on the suffering of the Congolese people as they struggle to survive through a war that remains virtually invisible to the outside world.
Full Report by London Reuters
BBC Quickguide to the War
Doctors Without Borders
World Food Program
Be A Witness--Genocide is News