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The Congo Wars: geography NOT in the news
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The Congo Wars: geography NOT in the news

November 2011

Is enough said in the media and classrooms about the world’s worst on-going conflict?

5.4 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996, making "Congo Wars" the world's most lethal conflict since 1945.

Events have impacted on the economic development of some of the poorest states in central Africa, pushing millions of displaced people into poverty or refugee status.

At the heart of the conflict lies a range of geographical factors including natural resources and ethnic rivalries.

Many young geographers will not appreciate the scale of this tragic conflict: because it is so seldom reported on in the mainstream media outside of Africa.


This article is useful for A2 students studying development processes, especially the Edexcel course. It is highly relevant to students taking the AQA optional course "contemporary conflicts and challenges" (looking at the geographical basis of conflict and the role of local resources in generating conflict). It also ties in with the IB looking at populations in transition and disparities in wealth and development.

In the Members' Area:

  • What is the geographical basis for conflict in DR Congo?
  • What is the impact of conflict on development in DR Congo?
  • Why has more not been done to end this conflict?
  • A2 / IB essay assignment

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