Commodities of War

Communities speak out on the true cost of conflict in eastern DRC

Publication date: 20 November 2012
Author: Steven Van Damme, Protection Policy Adviser, Oxfam GB, DRC

More than 760,000 people have been displaced in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of 2012, in the Kivu provinces alone. This reflects a new dimension to the ongoing crisis for the country. Areas that were relatively stable are again under attack as the Congolese army fights M23 rebels, and new localized armed groups spring up.

Evidence gathered from communities by Oxfam in 2012 shows that people from communities in many parts of eastern DRC feel that their security situation has deteriorated. Government soldiers, armed rebels, police, and civilian authorities are all competing to exploit local communities and extort money or goods from them, pushing people further into poverty and undermining their efforts to earn a living.

Oxfam urges the government of the DRC, regional and international governments, and the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to take action to ensure greater protection for civilians.

Related links

Photos: IDP camps near Goma, eastern DRC

Blog: Safe water for Congolese refugees in Rwanda

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Oxfam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo