CBC Newsworld, Sundays at 6:30 PM ET. (Please check the program guide for local airtimes.) http://udpsonline.com/eikones/gomafocus/goma%20en%20feu.jpg?0.8356853770116401

The war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is, incredibly, even more horrifying. The fighting, which started in 1998, and never really ended, has been called Africa’s World War. It has left more than five million people dead and the killing is of the most macabre kind, with women targeted and children recruited as child soldiers.The root cause of all the violence, which has plagued Congo for centuries, is the struggle for control over its vast mineral wealth. Wealth has complicated its foreign relations; bringing intrusions from neighbours like Rwanda and Uganda.

This week we look at two humanitarian horrors. First, Darfur, where relief missions struggle as the Sudanese government expels western aid workers. Brian speaks with Canadian doctor, Samantha Nutt, who’s just back from the refugee camps. Second, we look at the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where fighting broke out in 1998. What is often called Africa’s World War officially ended in 2003, but violence shows no sign of abating. We meet three experts who explain the roots of the conflict and how it could conceivably end. 

The  civil war that has terrorized the people of Darfur, Sudan has been ongoing for six years! An estimated 300,000 people have died. Violence has displaced more than two million people. And millions more survive on humanitarian aid. It’s a civil war that pits different ethnic groups. The government and its proxy fighters, the Muslim Janjaweed, against black African farmers in the west of the country. The struggle is largely about control over scarce resources: land and water supplies. The international community’s occasional cries of outrage haven’t stopped the slaughter. 

The horrible regional war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is, incredibly, even more horrifying. The fighting, which started in 1998, and never really ended, has been called Africa’s World War. It has left more than five million people dead and the killing is of the most macabre kind, with women targeted and children recruited as child soldiers.

The root cause of all the violence, which has plagued Congo for centuries, is the struggle for control over its vast mineral wealth.

Wealth has complicated its foreign relations; bringing intrusions from neighbours like Rwanda and Uganda. The latter two countries played important roles in, first, unseating the long time dictator Mobutu Sesse Seko, but then triggering Civil war as a land grab ensued. Much of the world has simply tuned out; in part because of the complexity of the struggle, but also because of the barbarity of the fighting.

CBC Producer Meuni Kithuka, from Kenya, however, is among those who believe that we have to try to understand. She recently interviewed three African experts visiting Toronto to talk about Congo. We present their explanation of how the spiral of violence started, and on a possible way out.