Congo's 3.9 m victims make it deadliest crisis for
By David Blair
01/07/05 "The Telegraph" -- -- The civil war in the Democratic
Republic of Congo has claimed 3.9 million lives, according to a
It says starvation and disease caused by a conflict, which began in
1998, were by far the greatest killers.
The results of the study, conducted by the International Rescue
Committee, a New York-based relief agency, are published in the
British medical journal The Lancet.
"Congo is the deadliest crisis anywhere in the world over the past
60 years," said Richard Brennan, the study's main author. "Ignorance
about its scale and impact is almost universal and international
engagement remains completely out of proportion to humanitarian
need." The committee found that Congo's war claimed 38,000 lives
every month in 2004.
Researchers visited 19,500 households across the vast country over
three months last year and recorded the number of deaths experienced
by families. They found that, of every 1,000 people, 2.1 died every
month. This compared with a pre-war mortality rate of 1.5 in every
1,000. Assuming war to be the sole cause of the increase in death
rates, the study said the conflict has claimed 3.9 million lives,
with the numbers rising each month. Civil war began when Uganda and
Rwanda invaded Congo, ostensibly to hunt down rebel groups.
Both countries looted its mineral wealth and fighting escalated when
five other African nations sent in their troops.
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