45K Dying Each Month in Congo

Civil war's over, but disease, malnutrition keep killing
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 2:34 PM CST
A 3-year-old malnourished boy looks on at an emergency feeding center in Rutshuru, Congo, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007. Five years after the end of an earlier war that drew in half a dozen African armies and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo officially ended in 2002, but it's still killing 45,000 people a month, a new study concludes.  Malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition caused by 10 years of conflict—not to mention continuing armed skirmishes in the east—have left 5.4 million dead in the most lethal conflict since World War II, the Guardian reports.

Nearly half of all the deaths reported were of children under the age of five, even though they make up less than a fifth of the country's population. "When war destroys a country's economy and infrastructure, there's no quick fix," said one of the survey's authors. The continued civil war in eastern Congo showed signs of improvement today, as the government and some rebel groups were reported to be set to sign a peace deal.