The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been affected by civil war and state decay for many years causing a humanitarian catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Following a series of peace accords, a Transitional Government was set up in June 2003 to implement the various agreements made and prepare elections for the first time in 40 years. The DRC remains, however, in a fragile position of there being no war and yet no peace. Furthermore, as this article explains, a protection crisis continues on a massive scale in the DRC with the civilian population being the principal target of the insecurity that pervades the east of the country. The transition process has had only a minimal impact on the continued violation of human rights. There are state, international and non governmental responses to the protection crisis in the DRC, but they remain weak in the face of the scale of the problem. Protection issues should feature more centrally in the international community’s support to the DRC and in a post-war environment there is more opportunity for this to happen.
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