Project

The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Eastern DRC

The 2006 election in the Democratic Republic of Congo was supposed to usher in a new period of peace and stability for the beleaguered, exhausted Congolese people. Instead, it made one of the country's most intractable problems worse. After the election, the small but powerful Tutsi community in Eastern Congo saw their representation in the national government disappear and as a result, many among them decided their future belonged not with the ballot box, but with a gun.

As the Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda leads an open rebellion through Congo's Kivu region, the country is — once again — on the brink of war. In the last year alone, hundreds have been killed, thousands of women have been raped, and over a million Congolese have fled their homes.

But the roots of ethnic conflict in the Kivus stretch back beyond the elections, beyond the two Congolese wars and even beyond the genocide that first sent the destabilizing force of Rwandan Hutu génocidaires fleeing into Eastern Congo's hills.

Reporter Michael Kavanagh returns to Eastern DRC to unearth a decades-long story of exile and atrocity that casts doubt on whether there can ever be peace in Africa's Great Lakes if the status of the Tutsi in the region isn't settled.

January 07, 2010|

Michael Kavanagh Discusses the Problems Afflicting the DRC

Contributor Michael J. Kavanagh reported for Worldfocus last year on the crisis in eastern Congo. He's currently based in the DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa.

He discusses the controversy surrounding the United Nations' peacekeeping mission, the problems with integration of rebels into Congolese Army ranks and the economic future of this resource-rich, war-torn country.

Q: Why has the UN's peacekeeping mission come under such intense criticism in eastern Congo?

January 05, 2010|

Crumbling security situation further cripples DR Congo

Journalist Michael J. Kavanagh reported on the Crisis in Congo for Worldfocus last year. He's currently based in the DR Congo's capital Kinshasa and gives Daljit Dhaliwal an update on the civil war that continues to cripple the country. He says the security situation is the worst he has seen in the last decade.

May 04, 2009|

Letter From Goma: An Implausible Savior

In late February, I was walking down the dusty road that winds through Nyabiando, a town deep in the forests of eastern Congo, when a young Congolese man approached me. Nervous and sweating, he insisted that we talk immediately. We ducked into an alleyway. "We're all going to be killed," he said. A mile-long column of Rwandan soldiers was marching past on their way home to Rwanda. "Why are they leaving before they've finished the job?"

April 21, 2009|

Meet Students from Congo

In this video you will meet young Congolese students from the Magengo Institute in Goma (Eastern Congo). Watch and learn about their daily lives.

June 25, 2009|

Michael Kavanagh is a Finalist for Prestigious Radio Award

Michael Kavanagh's "A Call to Rebels," which aired on NPR's On the Media and is part of his The Roots of Ethnic Conflict in Eastern DRC reporting project, is a finalist in the New York Festivals Radio Programming and Promotion Awards. The recognition comes in the Best Special Report category.

For 52 years the New York Festivals Radio Programming and Promotions Awards has recognized The World's Best Work in radio broadcasting.