Page Banner

The Implications of Warfare in Kurdistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo

By Jayron Soh, Russian News Agency-TASS

Published: 18 Mar 2019 - 07:15 AM

Humanitarian aid in the Congo, November 2008

Humanitarian aid in the Congo, November 2008

The UNSC will discuss the issues of “The Kurdish Conflict”, as well as “Insurgencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, both of which are issues that have lasted for several years, affecting livelihoods, causing much unrest for civilians and violent repercussions in the area for decades.

On the issue of the Kurdish Conflict, it is a complicated dispute involving several parties, including prominent members of the international community such as Russia and the United States. The Kurdish have been inhabiting parts of nations such as Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, with the largest presence of 18 million Kurdish people in Turkey.

However, the Kurdish have been fighting for pro-independence movements in order to establish their own nation-state, which has resulted in major disputes such as the Kurdish Conflict. As a means of trying to gain independence, the Kurdish have resorted to hostile acts of terrorism. Kurdish nationalists, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have committed acts of terrorism directly targeted towards nations such as Turkey, causing these nations’ economies to suffer detrimental effects, slowing the growth of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as unrest in cities.

Yet, Western nations such as the United States of America, continue to support and arm Kurdish forces with weapons in a coalition known as Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. The United States claims that the intent of this act was to help battle Islamic State militants in Syria. However, the PKK continues to commit acts of terrorism against the countries that the Kurds inhabit. This has resulted in some of the countries such as Syria and Turkey to retaliate via armed conflicts against the Kurdish, and as a result, led to the ongoing Kurdish Conflict.

On the issue of Insurgencies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), it is a fierce dispute involving neighbouring nations around Central Africa. The ongoing conflict between the Congolese government and rebel groups such as the March 23 Movement and Allied Democratic Forces pose a serious threat to the peace and security of the country. Despite the DRC being extremely rich in natural resources with an estimated worth of over $24 trillion, it remains one of the world’s poorest and most poverty-stricken nations, with about 70% of its population living below the international poverty line. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, it is ranked 186th out of 187 countries.

The nation has been shrouded by corruption amongst its government and armed forces. As the people of the nation are poor, most citizens resort to joining the armed forces to exploit resources from civilians in order to make ends meet. As a result of the continuous corruption of the government, mass killings carried out by ethnic militia and countless human rights abuses, most Congolese are forced to seek refuge in neighbouring nations.

Yet, Congolese refugees still face significant discrimination in their host countries. Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia have all placed restrictions on the employment of DRC refugees, out of fear that these refugees would threaten the livelihoods of its own citizens by causing stiffer competition for employment. However, Uganda, the host of the largest population of DRC refugees has allowed DRC refugees to start their own farms to provide for themselves, so as to prevent competition for jobs against their own citizens.

Needless to say, the insurgencies in the DRC have brought about much unrest and detrimental effects to the lives of the Congolese people, destroying livelihoods and perhaps even leaving a devastating memory in the minds of the Congolese, both adults and children alike, for eternity.