Conflict In DRC Causes Many More Deaths Than Ebola But Receives Less Attention
The Tyee: Ebola in the DR Congo? That’s Not the Real Tragedy
Crawford Kilian, contributing editor at The Tyee
“…[The Democratic Republic of Congo’s] really bad luck is that its Ebola outbreaks are not the real story. Not when millions of Congolese have died by Kalashnikovs, old-fashioned machetes, and starvation in the past 20 years, while the rest of the world ignored them. … West Africa, recovering from a couple of ruinous civil wars, was at peace when Ebola hit. So was the DR Congo’s Equateur province. In the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, however, a violent anarchy has prevailed for 20 years. … If this is news to you, you’re not alone. The western media tend to go comatose about the sorrows of Central and Southern Africa. … Over five million deaths might not catch our attention, but Ebola’s sheer grossness did … If Ebola does begin to spread, … we can’t blame the Congolese or the bandits. We can blame ourselves, for allowing a vast, rich country to fall into the hands of both domestic and foreign predators. And even if the DRC and its allies do suppress this outbreak, the underlying anarchy we have tolerated will remain, condemning scores of millions to needless misery and early deaths from much less dramatic deaths than Ebola” (9/5).