CONGO, (iexclusivenews) – On November 8, a video of a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) setting himself ablaze in front of a crowd in Kinshasa, the capital city of the DRC, went viral on X, the former Twitter.
The man was holding a sign that said “Stop the genocide in Congo.”
The video shocked and moved millions of people around the world, who witnessed the man’s extreme act of protest against the genocide that has been taking place in his country for over 20 years.
But why did the man resort to such a drastic measure?
And why is the world so unaware of the genocide in the Congo?
The Roots of the Congo War
The Congo war is one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history, claiming over 6 million lives and displacing nearly 7 million people, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
The war started in 1998, when rebel groups backed by Rwanda and Uganda invaded the eastern provinces of the DRC, seeking to overthrow the government of Laurent Kabila, who had come to power after ousting the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997.
The war soon became a regional conflict, as several neighboring countries intervened on both sides, either to support Kabila or to oppose him.
The war also became a scramble for the natural resources of the region, such as gold, colta, and cobalt, which are essential for various technologies and industries.
The eastern DRC is rich in these resources, but they are controlled by various armed groups, who exploit them for their own benefit and use them to fund their operations.
The war officially ended in 2003, when a peace agreement was signed and a transitional government was formed.
However, the peace was fragile and short-lived, as violence continued to erupt in the eastern region, where several armed groups still operate and fight each other and the government forces.
The Suffering of the Congolese People
The war has caused unimaginable suffering for the Congolese people, especially in the eastern region, where the armed groups have committed horrific atrocities against the civilian population, such as rape, murder, kidnapping, and looting.
They have also recruited child soldiers and forced them to fight.
The war has also destroyed the infrastructure and the social services of the country, such as health care, education, and sanitation, leaving millions without food, water, medicine, and shelter.
The country is also faced outbreaks of diseases, such as Ebola, cholera, and COVID-19, which have worsened the humanitarian crisis.
The war has also created a massive displacement crisis, as millions of people have fled their homes and sought refuge either within the country or in neighboring countries.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) states that the DRC has the highest number of internally displaced people in the world, with nearly 7 million people forced to flee their homes as of October this year.
The IOM also states that the conflict has intensified in the past few months, as new armed groups have emerged and old ones have resurfaced, increasing the insecurity and the violence in the region.
The World’s Silence
Despite the magnitude and the severity of the Congo war, the world has largely ignored it and failed to take effective action to end it.
The United Nations has deployed a peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MONUSCO, which is the largest and the most expensive peacekeeping operation in the world, with over 16,000 troops and a budget of over $1 billion per year.
However, the peacekeeping mission has been criticized for being ineffective, inefficient, and corrupt, as it has failed to protect the civilians, to disarm the armed groups, and to support the political process.
The peacekeeping mission has also been accused of human rights violations, such as sexual abuse and exploitation of the local population.
The United Nations has also imposed sanctions and an arms embargo on some of the parties involved in the conflict, but these measures have been violated by several actors, who continue to supply weapons and funds to the armed groups.
The international community has also failed to provide adequate humanitarian assistance to the Congolese people, who are in dire need of food, water, medicine, and shelter.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the humanitarian response plan for the DRC in 2020 was only 46% funded, leaving a gap of over $1 billion.
The international media has also largely neglected the Congo war, giving it little coverage and attention, compared to other conflicts and crises in the world.
The Congo war is often referred to as the “forgotten war” or the “silent war“, as it remains invisible and unheard to most of the world.
The Man’s Message
The video of the man who set himself on fire has shaken the world and exposed its ignorance of the Congo genocide.
The man’s message was clear and powerful: he wanted the world to stop the genocide in his country and to help the Congolese people.
The video has also sparked a wave of solidarity and support for the Congolese people from various groups and individuals, who have expressed their outrage and sympathy for the man and his cause.
Some have called for a boycott of some of the products that use the resources from the DRC, such as laptops, smartphones, electric cars, and other advanced technologies.
The video has also raised awareness and consciousness about the Congo war and its causes and consequences, and has urged the world to take action to end it.
The video has also honored the courage and the sacrifice of the man, who gave his life for his country and his people.
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