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The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo has made the situation dramatically worse for the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. But this is only the latest crisis on top of years of conflict and suffering. The ongoing war in the DRC has cost the lives of up to 2.5 million people in less than four years. One of the driving forces behind the war is the exploitation of natural resources. After two comprehensive UN reports on the subject, there is now an urgent need for action. This should include immediate and longer term regulatory measures to control the plunder of natural resources, and high level political engagement to support peace. The peace process must address economic interests, and include a concerted effort towards disarmament, including a binding arms embargo. Meanwhile, there remains a huge gap in resources for humanitarian assistance, with new funds needed following the volcanic eruption.
Balfour-Paul, Jamie, and Robert Wilkinson. "Poverty in the Midst of Wealth: The Democratic Republic of Congo." Oxfam International, January 2002.