Six million Congolese are said to have died since 1996.

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There is a lot of debate on social media, especially among those from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who say they need justice for all the crimes that have been committed in the East of that country for a long time, especially the killings carried out by armed groups.

It is a request that they say that it is a Genocide that has been perpetrated on these people for a long time and the people of the area also give numbers, that those who have fallen in these riots in the last 26 years are between six million and ten million.

The cause of the dispute, which was greatly increased by the lack of fighting by the M23 movement at the end of 2021, is that the movement will take control of many areas in 2022.

Congolese speakers immediately began to accuse Rwanda of being behind the M23, and the number of people killed in the long-standing conflicts in Congo is linked to Rwanda, based on the fact that it is one of the countries that supported Laurent Desire Kabila’s AFDL in 1996 when Mobutu was removed from power. Uncle Seko

From then until now, they say that all the security problems that Congo has been caused by Rwanda, so it should be held accountable for all the deaths of those who have been killed in that country where there are more than 130 armed groups.

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In June 2022, the Ambassador of the DRC to the UN, Georges Nzongola Ntalaja told the UN Security Council: “There is an American Internal Rescue Committee that has revealed that since 1998 there are more than six million Congolese who have died as a result of the admission by Rwanda.”

According to Nzongola, this report was made on the people killed by the riots in Congo from 1998 to 2007. There is no mention that those killed in those riots were killed by Rwanda, but the number of those killed is an estimated of 5.4 million.

It is a number that has been heavily debated by researchers because of the method used, as the French newspaper La Liberation revealed in 2020.

A lie in the death toll in the RDC

The fact that many people have died in Congo since 1998 in the so-called second Congo war is no secret. To this day, the remnants of that violence are still killing many in the East of the country, through armed groups.

Currently, there are more than 130 armed groups operating in Eastern Congo, both Congolese and foreign, operating on the country’s territory, and daily killing people in different areas under their control.

Although many people are still affected by these disorders, it is very misleading to assume that the number of victims has been affected. The first reason is that the State of RDC itself does not know the actual number of people living in it.

This is one of Africa’s largest countries, and its last census was in July 1984 under Mobutu Sese Seko. The figures obtained at that time are the guidelines even now, and they increase or decrease them based on various other reasons, but they do not show the true reality of the inhabitants of that country.

This country is estimated to be inhabited by 100 million people now, but if you ask who they are, and where they live, they cannot show them.

It was in February 2022 in Ituri when more than 60 people were buried who were killed by the CODECO armed group.
It was in February 2022 in Ituri when more than 60 people were buried who were killed by the CODECO armed group.

It is a country that does not have an identity card, the only thing that identifies the Congolese is the voter’s card which is issued in a vague way so that there are non-Congolese and non-Congolese who do not have it.

The only identity that the people of the country had was that of Mobutu Sese Seko’s regime which was invalidated in 1997.

The National Identity Agency in the DRC, Office national de l’identification de la population (ONIP), confirms that Congolese people do not have an identity card and it is a serious problem.

In September 2021, it was confirmed by the Director General of ONIP, Ilunga Ntumba Richard, when confirmed that the time has come for the introduction of identity cards in the RDC.

He said, “Until now, there are about one hundred million Congolese people who do not have an Identity Card […] if you don’t have a natural identity, a person can be born and grow up and die without knowing anyone as if he never existed.”

Several civilians killed in DRC by Daesh-linked militants
Several civilians were killed in DRC

Those who have the opportunity to obtain a valid document are those who have the ability to own a passport and travel abroad. Of course, lying is very possible because basic information is processed without proof, such as knowing where a person was born, when he was born, who he comes from, etc.

The fact that there is no way to identify the population, makes it difficult to identify the dead or the born. In the local authorities of RDC there are those responsible for registering births and deaths, but remember that it is a country with limited hospital infrastructure so the number of births in a doctor’s office where they can be registered is few, and those who die at home.

Although it would be selfish to know the victims of disease, how is it possible for Congo to know the victims of more than 130 armed groups in the East, given that most of them operate in the forests, in areas that cannot be reached by government agencies and where people often die?

In 2008, Belgian researchers Louis Lohlé-Tart and André Lambert conducted a study on the number of people who may have died in the Congo between 1998 and 2004.

It is a study funded by the European Union. At that time, the researchers revealed that they had done an analysis, and found that the number of people killed in the conflict alone, did not exceed 200,000.


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