World News in Brief: DR Congo conflict could spell catastrophe, plastics treaty progress, enforced disappearances rise ahead of Venezuela poll (2024)

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) called for greater international support for the Congolese people to avoid a potential catastrophe for the country and the region.

Tweet URL


Current conflicts have escalated levels of gender-based violence, displacement and hunger in the restive eastern region where multiple armed groups are battling the national army and each other for control.

Over the past few months over 700,000 people have been forced from their homes, bringing the total forcibly displaced to 7.2 million – an all-time high.

The IASC said it was important that the Congolese receive swift and sufficient aid, however, the existing Humanitarian Response Plan is severely underfunded with only 16 per cent of the needed $2.6 billion received.

Civilian lives at risk

With insufficient funds, humanitarian organizations are not capable of fully assisting civilians, leaving mostly women and girls in a vulnerable state as some have been exposed to high levels of sexual violence.

Children are also at risk of being abducted, killed, maimed or recruited into armed groups.

Over a quarter of the DRC’s population – more than 25 million people – are facing emergency levels of food insecurity, and with a deteriorating health sector, diseases like cholera and measles have been quickly spreading.

The IASC statement said the root causes of the DRC crisis need to be addressed before it can end. These include “conflict, the exploitation of natural resources, illicit financial flows, prevailing gender inequality and development deficits.”

Ottawa negotiations bring global plastics treaty one step closer

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) hasreported significant progress in talks this week in Ottawa to draw up the world’s first treaty curbing plastic pollution next year.

Tweet URL


Since its introduction in the 1950s, a staggering 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced, with seven billion tonnes of those ending up as waste.

Today around 430 million tonnes of waste plastics are generated each year with that figure projected to triple by 2060.

The meeting which ended on Monday brought more than 2,500 delegates from 170 Member States to Canada’s capital to discuss new global rules on how plastics are produced, used, disposed of and recycled.

Progress achieved

Discussing thedraft, delegates focused on emissions, production, waste management, and financing. A legal drafting group will be established during the next round of talks to be held in the South Korean city of Busan.

"We leave Ottawa having achieved both goals and a clear path to landing an ambitious deal in Busan ahead of us," said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of theUN Environment Programme (UNEP).

After the elements of the draft text are reviewed in November, the ambitious objective set before the negotiators is to have an historic treaty ready for signing in mid-2025.

“It has been an ambitious timeline of just 18 months and four sessions to get us to this point, and we are now firmly on the road to Busan. Compromise and commitment remain strong at this advanced stage of the negotiations,” said Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Executive Secretary of the negotiating committeesecretariat (INC).

She underscored that the process was crucial for “saving future generations from the global scourge of plastic pollution”.

Alarming rise in enforced disappearances ahead of Venezuela poll

There has been an alarming increase since December in enforced disappearances of Venezuelan citizens exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association,said the UN’s independent human rightsworking group on this issue, on Tuesday.

Most of the disappeared are members of the main opposition party together with serving military personnel.

“As the country gears up for the presidential election in July 2024, enforced disappearances could have a chilling effect and hinder the people’s right to vote freely,” the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said.

“These prolonged incommunicado detentions amount to enforced disappearances”, the five Human Rights Council-appointed experts emphasized.

Sinister pattern

“They appear to follow a pattern whereby individuals are deprived of their liberty by State authorities, taken to recognised detention facilities and denied fundamental rights and protections such as contact with the outside world and access to legal assistance,” they added.

They said it was crucial that accurate information on those who have disappeared “be guaranteed without delay to those with a legitimate interest, such as their relatives and legal representation of their choice”.

The crime of enforced disappearance entails the violation of multiple human rights, they said. These include the right to recognition as a person before the law, the right to liberty and security, and the right to be free from torture.

"The fundamental rights of the relatives of the disappeared person are also being violated," they said.

The experts urged the Government of Venezuela to prevent, eradicate, and condemn all enforced disappearances, provide full information on anyone being held or taken.

Special Rapporteurs, working group members and other UN-appointed rights experts are independent of any government, are not UN staffers and receive no salary for their work.

World News in Brief: DR Congo conflict could spell catastrophe, plastics treaty progress, enforced disappearances rise ahead of Venezuela poll (2024)


What is the main problem in Congo? ›

The resource-rich country, now facing a major rebel attack, has been racked by conflict for more than 30 years. Escalating tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have once again drawn global attention to the security crisis in the African country's mineral-rich eastern region.

What's going on in Dr. Congo? ›

Democratic Republic Of The Congo 2023. The human rights situation remained dire. Persistent large-scale attacks against civilians by armed groups and the Congolese security forces fuelled the humanitarian crisis in which nearly 7 million people were internally displaced and thousands of others fled the country.

How many people died in the Congo war? ›

The first war in 1996 began as a direct result of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The second began in 1998 and involved the armed forces of at least seven countries and multiple militias. According to the International Rescue Committee, from 1998–2007 an estimated 5.4 million people died due to conflict in the DRC.

What was the Democratic Republic of Congo crisis? ›

Decades of clashes between armed groups, widespread violations of human rights, and devastating incidents of gender-based violence have displaced 6.1 million people within the DRC.

Is Congo the poorest country in the world? ›

Despite being the second-largest country in Africa, with an approximate area of 2.3 million square kilometres (890,000 sq mi), and being endowed with rich natural resources, the DRC is the second-poorest country in the world. The average annual income is only $449 US dollars.

Why is Congo the poorest country? ›

The lack of formal economic opportunities, combined with the legacy of entrenched political conflicts and instability, as well as high rates of malnutrition, illness, and poor education, make the DR Congo one of the hardest places on earth to raise a family.

What happened in Congo in 2024? ›

Events. 16 January – A Congolese soldier is killed and two others are arrested by the Rwandan Army in a cross-border shooting incident in Rubavu District. 24 January – At least 18 people are killed after a truck plunged into a ravine in Kasangulu, Kongo Central.

Is Congo in danger? ›

The security situation in DRC is volatile. There are over 130 active armed groups in eastern DRC. Armed conflict has caused widespread civilian displacement and deaths. Conflict between local armed groups and government forces is ongoing.

What started the Congo crisis? ›

Shortly after Congolese independence in June 1960, a mutiny broke out in the army, marking the beginning of the Congo Crisis. Lumumba appealed to the United States and the United Nations for help to suppress the Belgian- supported Katangan secessionists led by Moïse Tshombe.

Who was the butcher of the Congo? ›

Leopold II was known for being king of Belgium, but more importantly, he was best known as the “Butcher of the Congo”. From 1884 to 1916, the “Scramble of Africa” occurred.

Who killed the most humans in history? ›

But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.

What was the worst civil war in Africa? ›

The Congo Civil War (1996-2003) was the deadliest conflict in modern African history, claiming an estimated five million lives. In Ethiopia, the Eritrean-Ethiopian War (1998-2000) claimed over 70,000 lives.

Why is Congo split in two? ›

The Congo River gave its name to two countries: Congo-Kinshasa, explored by Stanley and colonized by Belgium, and Congo-Brazzaville, explored by de Brazza and colonized by France. The two countries share a lot of traditions, languages ​​like Lingala and Kikongo, dishes and other things.

Who did the US support in the Congo crisis? ›

In October 1962, the Congolese Government asked the United States to provide jet fighters, pilots, several transport aircraft, trucks [Page 4] and other military equipment to fight leftist rebels. It was subsequently authorized for the Congolese Government to contract for the services of pilots.

Is Congo still at war? ›

Eventually involving belligerents from across the African continent, the war officially ended in July 2003 when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power. Although a peace agreement was signed in 2002, violence has continued in many regions of the country, especially in the east.

Why is the Congo being destroyed? ›

Palm oil plantations and other commercial agriculture operations are a growing threat, putting greater pressure on the Congo's forests and rivers.

Why are people seeking asylum from Congo? ›

Serious violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has led to mass displacement with many people finding themselves far from their homes and unable to grow their own food. This in turn has created a food crisis with new cases of acute malnutrition among children under five.

Why is the Congo disappearing? ›

Land Grabbing and Industrial Agriculture

The Congo Basin is the target of several international industrial-scale agriculture developers — including palm oil and rubber — who are looking to cash in on new operations in Africa. These plantations, however, often fuel wide-scale deforestation and spark social conflict.

Why is Congo still in poverty? ›

The World Health Organization warns that hunger, poverty, malnutrition, and disease have reached alarming levels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the east, where a resurgence of fighting between armed groups and government forces has uprooted millions of people from their homes.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated:

Views: 6163

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.