Editorial Analysis – Surging Violence Threatens Populations Across Eastern DRC

Congo

Editorial Analysis – Surging Violence Threatens Populations Across Eastern DRC

Lunga Dweba

Human rights abuses and violations of International Humanitarian Law could be indicators of two major challenges in the DRC that need to be addressed right away.  The first is that the security forces have yet to see the laws governing hostilities strictly enforced.  The second is that non-state armed groups may be operating under the assumption that the rules of combat do not apply to them.  Under these conditions, it is reasonable to predict that the murder of civilians in the DRC will continue unabated.  This article presents a historico-philosophical analysis of social exclusion as one of many other core causes of conflict in the DRC.

Beyond human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, there are even more significant challenges to reckon with as the violence in the DRC deepens.  Historical realities of social exclusion that lead to violence and forced displacement are critical in identifying the root causes of conflict and assisting in the development of long-term solutions.

The Banyamulenge people have been deeply involved in the DRC conflict since the mid-1990s. They are critical to the current conflict and played a crucial part in the Congo’s two major wars, which lasted from 1996 to 2003. In 1996, Banyamulenge and Rwandan Hutu refugees fought in the South Kivu area. Tensions arose after an estimated 1,000,000 to 2, 000, 000 Hutu refugees from Rwanda entered [then] Zaire in 1994, according to the 2010 Australian Government Refugee Review Tribunal.

Scholars and geopolitics experts also agree that the Banyamulenge in the DRC experience exclusion, inferiority, and prejudice.  This minority population, it is claimed, suffers more generally as a result of their residency in the Eastern DRC, a region wracked by violence and civilian fatalities.

According to a 2009 Freedom House report, societal discrimination based on ethnicity is widespread among the country’s 200 ethnic groups, especially among indigenous Pygmy tribes and Congolese Banyamulenge Tutsis.  This situation persists despite the fact that the DRC is a signatory to international legally binding agreements.

The hostilities affecting the Banyamulenge people have been discussed for some time. However, there has been no sign of concerted efforts that are aimed at remedying the situation.  Recent hostilities have been marked by violence, which can be characterised as the effect of social exclusion inspired by identity, place of origin, and ethnicity. The destruction of housing, property, the looting of cattle, and killings happen without direct consequences.

The UN has struggled to secure peace in the DRC, despite outstanding international accords and peace efforts. The majority of the atrocities occurred in the presence of MONUSCO, including allegations of crimes perpetrated by UN forces.

While paying attention to human rights breaches and violations of international humanitarian law is considerably more vital, it is also critical to explore and deal with the origins of the war in the DRC.

The GI ADVISORY is a research-based security firm, whose primary purpose is to contribute to safer communities and world order. 

Defusing conflict with intellect.

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