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From premium conflict to neglected African conflicts

The ten crises most neglected by the international community are taking place on African soil, according to an NGO which fears that the continent will once again take a back seat.

Hard to believe for Western viewers, but the conflict currently unfolding in Ukraine is not the only one in the world. Since February 24, the Russian-Ukrainian war has been highly publicized. The French media observatory, Acrimed, asserts that "the Russian invasion of Ukraine was covered in the media almost continuously on the news channels" and that "it polarized most of the audiovisual flow and occupied the one of the newspapers. According to the association, an "almost exclusive focus of the media agenda" which recalls the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Acrimed highlights the over-mediatization of the Ukrainian conflict with the “near media indifference to the war in Yemen (…), to the interminable war in Iraq, or to the hundreds of thousands of dead from the war in Syria”. Wanting to play the conflict equity card, the French association however forgets to mention Africa.

However, many conflicts take place there every year, and the war between Russia and Ukraine has completely overshadowed them. Each year, the NGO Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) lists the ten most neglected crises in the world. Negligence based on three criteria: “lack of international political will, lack of humanitarian aid and lack of media interest”.

And for the first time in a long time, these ten neglected crises are all identified on the African continent: in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Burkina Faso, in Cameroon, in South Sudan, in Chad, in Mali, in Sudan , Nigeria, Burundi and Ethiopia.

African suffering takes a back seat

For the NGO, “with the polarization around the war unfolding in Ukraine on European soil, (…) African suffering (…) goes even further into the background”. And for good reason: the numbers themselves are staggering. In the DRC, recalls the NGO, 5,5 million people have been displaced and there are 1 million refugees in 2021 alone.

RFI also recalls that while the conflict is terrible, "no high-level meeting of donor countries has been held on the DRC and only 44% of the 2 billion dollars requested by the United Nations for humanitarian aid have been granted”.

This is where the main neglect lies: the lack of interest from the international community. But it also owes a lot to the media. The disinterest of the news channels prevents the public from realizing that the worst humanitarian crises are taking place in Africa.

Today, it is difficult to classify crises according to their severity. But this ranking according to international negligence shows that there is still a long way to go. Africa remains once again the great forgotten one. And it is time for the world to open its eyes to the humanitarian dramas currently unfolding in Africa.

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