Tainted date hide the cost of Africa's upheavals (125 comments)

24 May 2009

By Michael Holman and Greg Mills

Even by Africa's grim standards, it was a horrendous statistic: 5.4m people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo from "war-related causes since 1998", claimed the International Rescue Committee in January last year. Most of these statistics are treated as authentic because the United Nations or the World Bank is their source. However, an accurate count of lives lost in war or famine is never easy.