Since 1996, conflict in the DRC has claimed, according to the International Rescue Committee, over five million lives, either as a direct result of hostilities or because of disease and malnutrition associated with the fighting. Considered the deadliest conflict since World War II, the targeting of civilians has been a hallmark of the violence. Millions have been killed and forcibly displaced. Women, men and children have been brutally raped, children have been abducted and forcibly conscripted, and towns have been pillaged. Committed with impunity and perpetrated by foreign and domestic armed groups, and by state and non-state actors including the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC), these crimes pose an ongoing threat to populations in the DRC, with those in the east facing the greatest threat.
This Policy Brief from the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect assesses the ongoing risks to civilian populations within the DRC and provides policy options for preventing further crimes, halting impunity and ensuring accountability for the crimes already committed.