Congo - The World’s Gravest Humanitarian Crisis

8 Pages Posted: 6 May 2012

Date Written: May 6, 2012


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a war ravaged country located in central Africa and surrounded by nine countries, whose troops were involved in what is known as a second African World War. The Congolese crisis is a classic case of international neglect and apathy which began immediately after its independence in 1960. There are three phases to the humanitarian crisis that has engulfed this country since inception: First (1961-1963), during which Congolese Army revolted, Katanga secession occurred and UN intervention finally resolved the conflict with American help. However, it devastated Congo financially and international economic and financial program was launched to aid the state (STATE, 1995). Second major crisis point came in 1996-1998, also known as the African World War which was precipitated by what is known as Rwandan genocide. During this period, thousands of Tutsis died at the hands of the Hutu community. The flash point of the dispute was east Congo, then known as Zaire. This region continued to simmer as the crisis brought an end to the ten year old corrupt rule of President Mobutu Sésé Seko, who used to live an extravagant life at the expense of the locals. However, the peace was temporary. In 1998, second Congo war began, which according to The International Rescue Committee estimates, claimed more than five million Congolese lives since 1998 - including more than 500,000 per year since the official end of the war (Gambino, 2008). In the third phase of crisis, Laurent-Désiré Kabila came to power in 1997; his Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL) threw out foreign diplomatic missions and brought a darkness over the Congolese people. In 2001, Kabila was killed; further fuelling the dispute among the communities and the peace deal was broken by the international community. 'This is a pointless war — now a dozen years old — driven by warlords, greed for minerals, ethnic tensions and complete impunity’ (Kristof, 2010).

Keywords: Congo, civil war, lawyer, advocate, chenoyceil, chenoy ceil, humanitarian

Suggested Citation

Ceil, Chenoy, Congo - The World’s Gravest Humanitarian Crisis (May 6, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

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