Insecurity is by far Congo’s biggest impediment to progress. There are more than 140 armed groups active in eastern Congo’s North and South Kivu provinces. In central and eastern Congo, various armed groups, and in some cases government security forces, attacked civilians, killing and wounding many, according to Human Rights Watch. Much of the violence appeared linked to the country’s broader political crisis. The humanitarian situation remains alarming, with 4.5 million people displaced from their homes, and more than 130,000 refugees who fled to neighboring countries. Government officials and security forces regularly carry out widespread repression and serious human rights violations against political opposition leaders and supporters, pro-democracy and human rights activists, journalists, and peaceful protesters.