In Congo, the violence continues to recur in spurts, never dissipating enough to provide real security for civilians or allow true post-conflict rebuilding to take root. Despite the end to official hostilities and numerous ceasefires, up to 45,000 people continued to die every month from war-related causes in 2008. Tens of thousands of women have been raped or sexually mutilated, leading to a host of complex health problems for survivors. Many women and their children are abandoned by their husbands and communities. New waves of violence and reprisal attacks continue to displace millions.
In the midst of recurring violence and as a result of the central government's failure to effectively secure and govern the entire country, there has been little opportunity for lasting reconstruction in eastern Congo. Rape, attacks by armed forces, and the humanitarian crisis caused by the collapse of much of the country's health system and economic structures remain serious and constant threats to the population.