Congo's decade of political violence has worsened a trend of stagnated development. The massive displacement caused by the last of three civil wars in 1998-1999 led to epidemic levels of malnutrition. Directly or indirectly, up to 50,000 lost their lives.
Peace, however, has been restored. Talks throughout 1999 and an amnesty in August led to the signing of a cease-fire. The Government has started a process of political reform, to include a constitutional referendum in 2001. UN activities all support the development of a culture of peace.