For those who have had to flee their homes, the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is very real.
It is estimated that 50,000 people have escaped the recent surge of ethnic conflict in Ituri since January by fleeing across Lake Albert into neighboring Uganda.
The deadly violence isn’t restricted to Ituri, home to long simmering conflicts over land and mineral wealth. It has also spread into provinces previously thought to be stable, such as Kasai and Tanganyika.
Adding to the misery is the political crisis surrounding President Joseph Kabila that doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon. Kabila’s mandate officially ended in December 2016 but he has stayed on in power, saying it’s impossible to hold elections amid the fighting. Elections to replace Kabila are repeatedly postponed. Widespread protests against Kabila’s failure to step down have been met with deadly violence.
Since the beginning of 2017, some 600,000 Congolese have fled the violence and general instability to other countries in the region. In addition, around 4.3 million people are now internally displaced, estimates OCHA, the UN office responsible for coordinating humanitarian affairs. DR Congo is also home to around 500,000 refugees from other countries.
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