People shocked to learn that a war in the late 90s had more deaths than World War One
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People were shocked to learn that the Congo War had resulted in 5.4 million deaths, making it the world's deadliest conflict since World War II.
Responding to a Reddit user’s post highlighting the atrocious loss of life during the Rwandan genocide - which precipitated the Congo War - comments such as: “Absolutely gut wrenching”, “Traumatising” and “Why do people not know this?” quickly racked up beneath their post.
Years ago, the International Rescue Committee, which is a private relief agency, put the death toll at almost five and a half million, while an estimated 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 people are thought to have perished during World War II.
The Second Congo War started shortly after the First Congo War in 1998 and ended in July 2003.
The First Congo War spilled through 1996 and 1997 and began shortly after the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda in 1994.
The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, saw members of the Hutu ethnic majority in Rwanda murder as many as 800,000 people, most of whom were of the Tutsi minority.
In the early 1990s, the small country of Rwanda had one of Africa’s highest population densities, 85% of which were Hutu, with most of the rest being Tutsi.
Rwanda was also home to a small number of Pygmy group, Twa, the country’s original inhabitants.
After WWI, Rwanda - which was part of German East Africa between 1897 and 1918 - became a Belgium trusteeship under a League of Nations mandate.
During Rwanda’s colonial period, the ruling Belgians favoured the minority Tutsis over the Hutus, sparking tension for decades to come that would later erupt into violence.
The horrors of war still resonate across the world to this day, which is why it was such a joy to see 98-year-old veteran Manny Frockt presented with a Congressional Gold Medal for his service in WWII last month.
Frockt had a crucial role in misdirecting Nazi forces to aid the Allied troops liberating Europe.
Officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the 'ghost army' consisted of around 1,100 men armed with inflatable tanks and trucks which produced sound effects to fool the enemy.
Their job was to go around impersonating other units of the Allied forces, tricking the Nazis into thinking they knew where certain troops were.
On 1 February this year, US president Joe Biden signed into law, the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act in recognition of the service that Frockt and his comrades had performed.
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