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DRC: A Year of Survival

18 Jul 2023


Belesi, a displaced mother, holds her son, Embuscade, born during their flight from Bokala after their home was attacked.  Credit: OCHA/Wassy Kambale

Text and photos by Wassy Kambale

While the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains under the international spotlight, a year-old conflict in western DRC has disrupted lives and sowed the seeds for another long-term displacement crisis.

It’s been a year since armed violence erupted in DRC’s once-peaceful Mai-Ndombe region. Fuelled by conflict over land, customary laws and taxes, the violence spread to neighbouring Kwango and Kwilu Provinces, and to the outskirts of DRC’s capital, Kinshasa.

Many villages are now deserted; according to local authorities, more than 161,000 people have fled their villages since June 2022 in search of safety.

One year on, people still hope to return to their villages, but return is not imminent for those living in precarious conditions in collective displacement centres and with host families.

Read the entire article here.