The Second Congo War claimed the second-highest number of casualties since World War II.
Today, we remember the Second Congo War (1998-2006) and the 5.4 million African lifes lost during the war. It claimed the second-highest number of casualties since the Second World War.
The Second Congo War was a conflict that took place largely in the territory of Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). The war began in 1998 and officially ended in 2003 when a Transitional Government took power. The widest interstate war in modern African history, it directly involved nine African nations (Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi), as well as about twenty armed groups, and earned the epithet of “Africa’s World War” and the “Great War of Africa.” More than 5 million people died, mostly from starvation and disease brought about by one of the deadliest conflicts since World War II. Millions more were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries.
Despite a formal end to the war in July 2003 and an agreement by the former belligerents to create a government of national unity, the state remains weak and much of the eastern region continues to suffer from violent conflict. In 2004, an estimated one thousand people died every day from violence and disruptions to basic social services and food supply. Sporadic outbreaks of fighting continue to lead to large scale forced migration.