A tank of the UN mission in Rumangabo, DR Congo

Democracy and human rights A weak state allows corruption and violence to flourish

The DR Congo still has a long way to go before it can be regarded as a democratic state under the rule of law. The separation of powers exists solely on paper. Freedom of the press and other media is severely restricted.

People working in the public sector misuse their positions for personal gain – often because their wages are not paid. Corruption pervades every level of government.

Government institutions are extremely weak, there is no independent judiciary and large parts of the country – especially in the east – are not under government control. Nor is there any political will to sanction human rights violations committed by government authorities.

The prevalence of sexual violence is alarming. Rape has been – and is still – used systematically as a weapon of war in the DR Congo, both by rebel forces and by the military and the police.

Millions of people displaced

In the eastern part of this fragile multi-ethnic state, there are repeated outbreaks of fighting between the Congolese armed forces and various rebel groups. The rebel groups are fighting for political control, land rights and access to raw materials.

According to United Nations reports, there are 4.5 million internally displaced people within the DR Congo. More than 860,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries (as at June 2019).