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3 Reasons Why the Second Congo War (1998-2003) Was Very Fatal

The Second Congo War, also called the Great War of Africa, or Great African war, was a critical conflict that did more harm than good in the lives of the inhabitants of the country.

It costs many lives, and several factors constitute why it is dubbed a deadly war, which we will discuss here.

Read below to know why the second war in Congo was fatal.

1. It’s the deadliest of Second World War

The Second Congo War, which started in August 1998 and ended officially in July 2003, was the most disastrous and deadliest global conflict of all World War II.

The war and its resulting aftermath amassed in the death of 5.4 million people, mainly due to starvation, malnutrition, and disease. 

Such illnesses included diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria.

The increased disease resulted from the social and economic disorder from the conflict ensuing disruption of health services.

2. Displaced up to 2 million people from their homes

The Second Congo War was fatal because it displaced more than two million people from home after the war.   

Similarly, it led many people to sort a place of shelter and protection in nearby countries during and at the end of the war.

Due to the years of economic and political turndown, the fatal outcome of the second Congo war gave rise to population displacement.

3. The rate of poverty is at the apex 

The second war in Congo is categorized as fatal because even though the war ended a few years back, the country is still striving and toiling out of poverty.  

The poverty rate that was constantly increasing during the war sprouted from the spillover conflict in the nation.

A Glance at the Second Congo War

The second Congo war, otherwise the Great War of Africa or the Great African War, is sometimes called the African World war, started in 1998, precisely in August.

The war began shortly after the country’s first war because of the same issue though it ended in July 2003.

Its dissolution in July 2003 was after the intermediary Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took over the ruling authority.  

Though the war stopped officially in 2003, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a peace agreement in December 2002 with violence lingering in various regions, particularly in the east.  

The war had several African countries involved, thereby resulting in its tag as the deadliest war globally.

In late June 1999, significant war parties assembled at the peace conference in Lusaka, Zambia, to cease fire and exchange prisoners, but it turned out to be a failed trial.  

Also, the seven countries concerned signed the Lusaka Peace agreement.

The government sent 5,000 peacekeepers of the U.N. (the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or MONUC) to observe the affairs.

The ethnic violence swept the lives of 5.4 million people away and displaced many away from their homes.

African countries involved in the second Congo war 

So many countries from Africa have been concerned about the second Congo war, including Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, etc.

Rwanda and Uganda backed the Congolese rebels, while Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Sudan, Chad, and Libya supported the Congolese paramilitary groups and the government led by Kabila.

The pro-Kabila forces supervised the West and central part of the Congo, while the anti-Kabila forces managed the east and region of the north.

Much of the fighting was proxy fights. As the military continued to fight, Kabila offered sponsorship to the Hutu militias in rebel territory and pro-Congolese forces.  

These groups sustained by Kabila attacked the rebel group known as Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD).

Uganda also supported a second rebel group called the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo (MLC) in the northern Congo.

Conflict minerals in Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo mines four common mineral resources from the eastern parts, otherwise 3TGs, which conflicts affect its trade and mining. 

These mineral resources (conflict minerals) include wolframite (tungsten), cassiterite (tin), coltan (tantalum), and gold ore. 

Diversion of focus during the war

As the war proceeded, Ugandan and Rwandan parties started changing focus on gaining entrance to the Congo’s wealth of riches.

Although all the people involved in the extraction and sales of the conflict benefited a lot during the war, they passed the sadness and risk for those who were not, especially women.

As the war gradually became obviously about gains, the diverse rebel groups began fighting amongst each other.

The early divisions and unions that had described the war in its previous stages dissolved, and troops took what they could.

Joseph Kabila confirms to be a skillful mediator and in 2002 concluded victorious peace deals that finally saw Rwanda’s and Uganda’s departure from the Congo.

Slowly, these reasons combined brought about a decline in the Congo War, which formally stopped in 2002 in a peace meeting in Pretoria, South Africa.

Why did the Congo crisis happen?

The Congo crisis was partly a proxy conflict in the cold war, in which the Soviet Union and the United States merged as an allegiance against the opposing factions.

How many people died during the second Congo war?

Eventually, the war involved nine African countries and about twenty-five armed groups, contributing to the death rate.

A survey made it known that the aftermath of the war caused 5.4 million deaths which ensued from disease and starvation.  

What has caused most people to die in the Congo since 1998?

The primary characteristic of the Congo war (1998 to 2002) was the mass displacement, fall of health systems, and food scarcity, all causing a high mortality rate.

What causes death major in DR Congo?

The significant cause of death in the Democratic Republic of Congo is malaria, and it mainly affects children below five years of age.

World malaria day in 2019 marked over 13,000 deaths from malaria in DR Congo.

Conclusion

The Second Congo War, which lasted for five years, was fatal and the deadliest conflict in Africa.

The rebels of the war renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire, before the war.

The writing above discussed reasons people termed the Second Congo the most fatal in Africa and deadliest of all World War 2.

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