The Atrocities of the Congo

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When the word ‘genocide’ is mentioned, the Holocaust is almost always the first one to come to mind. It was one of the most horrible and inhumane events of mankind, but it wasn’t the deadliest or even most brutal genocide. While approximately six million Jews were murdered, an even more death-dealing incident took place forty-years earlier in what is now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a span of twenty-five gruesome years, over ten-million Congolese were slaughtered and mutilated ("Congo Free State, 1885-1908"). In fact, the genocide is considered one of the worst in history because of the number of people massacred. Although this genocide is not as well known as more infamous ones such as the Holocaust, the Belgian-Congo genocide is still considered one of the deadliest.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is located in the central region of Africa. It emcompasses 2,344,858 square kilometers of land, about one-fourth the size of the United States. Most of the Congo is a low-lying plateau, with mountains in the east. Its warm and humid climate allows a variety of plants and shrubs, such as the rubber tree, to thrive. The Congo River Basin covers most of the country, forming lakes in various areas (“Democratic Republic of the Congo"). Rains are perennial and the rainy season lasts from April to October (Mukenge 5). In the summer, temperatures can reach nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Congo also hosts over two hundred ethnic groups and languages (Dickovick 173). The majority of its citizens came during the Bantu migration. The Bantu originally lived in west Africa, and in 1000 BC, they migrated both east and south, towards the Congo region ("Bantu Migrations, 3000 B.C.—A.D. 1100"). Before colonization, there were ma...

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