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DR Congo ‘mega-crisis’ worse than Syria

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More than 5,500 people fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo every day during the first half of 2017, leading one charity to label the situation in the country a “mega-crisis”.

The figures mean that, for the second year in a row, DR Congo is the country worst-affected by conflict displacement in the world, according to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

Fighting between armed groups added to a worsening political crisis – as President Joseph Kabila refuses to step down – has made the area particularly volatile, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) country director in DR Congo, Ulrika Blom, said.

She added:

It’s a mega-crisis. The scale of people fleeing violence is off the charts, outpacing Syria, Yemen and Iraq.”

However, despite there now being four million displaced people, as well as more than seven million struggling to feed themselves, help has been slow to materialize.

The United Nations declared its highest level emergency in October, but less than half the money needed has been received.

Ms Blom – whose colleagues have seen firsthand the “absolute squalor” of those fleeing violence were being forced to live in – said:

Donor fatigue, geopolitical disinterest and competing crises have pushed Congo far down the list of priorities for the international community.

This deadly trend is at the expense of millions of Congolese. If we fails to step up now, mass hunger will spread and people will die.

We are in a race against time.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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