CODECO advance witnesses 500,000 fleeing in the DRC

CODECO advance witnesses 500,000 fleeing in the DRC

Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida

Modern Tokyo Times

In the three months of 2023, over 500,000 people have fled the military advancements of CODECO (the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo). This group is a mixture of various Lendu militias.

CODECO was initially formed concerning land disputes with the Hema and being opposed to the exploitation of resources by non-Lendu.

The Ituri Province and North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are blighted by an array of various militias. Accordingly, over 500,000 people in the last three months have fled CODECO in the province of Ituri.

Voice of America reports, “The CODECO raids have worsened a long-standing humanitarian crisis in Ituri province, where 3 million people desperately need aid, according to the U.N. humanitarian agency.”

Reuters reports, “Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “While ethnic and religious massacres occur in several African nations – along with 349 million people facing food insecurity: the G7 and the European Union (EU) are funding Ukraine to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. This concerns military arms and propping up the economy of Ukraine. Therefore, G7 and EU nations deem conflicts in Africa to be secondary – and the same concerns the politically correct media that negates widespread ethnic and religious massacres because it doesn’t suit their racist mantra at home.”

The Central African Republic, DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and others have been blighted by wars – and insecurity for decades. Other nations, including Burkina Faso and Mali, are worse now. However, compared with the over-saturation of media attention on Ukraine and the Palestinian Question: the coverage and attention to try to build a framework of hope are lacking when it concerns Africa.

The UN high commissioner for human rights (Volker Türk) said, “The armed groups, M23, ADF, CODECO, Zaire and Nyatura, continue to carry out egregious attacks against the civilian population and they do this with full impunity.”

He said, “The targeted violence endured by civilians in the conflict-affected areas include sexual violence, sexual violence of extreme brutality. This has historically been used as a deliberate weapon in the DRC and as a strategy of terror.”

UN News reports – despite 5.8 million people being displaced in the DRC – “It is also one of UNHCR’s most underfunded operations worldwide. For 2023, UNHCR is asking for $232.6 million to assist internally displaced people and refugees in the DRC. As of today, the DRC operation is only eight percent funded.”

It remains to be seen if a solution can be found in the DRC to stabilize the dire situation.

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