Saturday, March 08, 2008

Africa's World War

(CNN) -- The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and armed groups in the country signed a deal Wednesday to end years of fighting in Congo. According to the International Rescue Committee the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Congo had taken 5.4 million lives since 1998, and 45,000 people continue to die there every month. This loss of life is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark, or the state of Colorado, dying within a decade. Even with the country's violence, the IRC found that most of the deaths were from non-violent causes such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition. Nearly half the deaths were among children younger than five, even though they are only 19 percent of the population.

The reason why I'm speaking about this is that I didn't even know about this war until 2 days ago when I was listening to NPR. How can a war that is equivalent to World War II go so unnoticed by the media. Why haven't I heard any of my friends ever speak about this war? Why haven't I heard or read anything about this war until 2 days ago on NPR?

For an inside look on Africa's World War read:

1 comment:

Orangehouse said...

I found your blog today. I like the particular mix of topics you post (energy, Africa, the porn industry). Keep it up!

Living Water International ( says that 4900 children die of diarrhea EVERY DAY. And yet, we don't hear much about this in the media.

The tsunami of December 26, 2004 killed about 300,000 people. And while this was certainly tragic, that many children die of water related diarrhea every two months.

My point is that long-term, steady rates of death do not seem to be as news-worthy as sudden disasters. This is indicative of both the profit/entertainment orientation of the media, and of the attention span and depth of the public.

As Joseph Stalin said, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."

(Not that I normally quote Stalin!)