"We've been at war for 15 [sic] years and now they choose to tell us to pray for peace."
A press release in the Democratic Republic of Congo announces that "violence has reached its highest level in years."
At 0500 on a mountaintop in the forests of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel Sibilondire struggles to start his generator.
Mike India, a one-man radio operation, spends his nights on the mic trying to convince Rwandan rebels to lay down their arms and go home.
Dr. Kasereka "Jo" Lusi risks his life tending to victims of war in some of the hardest-hit areas of the Congo. He performs operations in remote areas often under the crudest of conditions. And more than once, he's had to literally run for his life, as he's now become a target for guerillas. He does this work because he believes there's no greater act of love than putting his life on the line for the betterment of others.
Music heard in this story was by Anouar Brahem.
Government and militia factions have signed a peace deal to end a deadly conflict in eastern Congo.
Bukavu is perched high above Lake Kivu, gently encroaching on the placid body of water between Rwanda and Congo. Once known as the pearl of Congo because of its beautiful climate and mountains, the Bukavu I found last summer barely resembles the famed city I heard about as a child.
Last week, Congo installed the winner of its first multi-party presidential election in 40 years: Joseph Kabila is now the leader of the war-torn country.
Mvemba Dizolele describes the Congolese response to their historic elections as 'giddy'. Mvemba is an American citizen who was born and raised in Congo. He talks with Dick about his detention as a young man by the dictator who had employed his father, why he became an American…and what it was like to encounter a pygmy taller than he is.
When Nelson Mandela was released from jail in 1990 and during the subsequent 1994 independence and elections in South Africa, the United States displayed a dramatic commitment to the democratic movement in Africa that has not been in evidence since. That seemed to change, however, with the U.S.-sanctioned arrest of Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, on March 29, 2006, for human rights violations in neighboring Sierra Leone.
The Mushangi area is nested high in eastern Congo's mountains, far from the capital, Kinshasa, on the border with Rwanda. The hills are barren, stripped of their lush vegetation both by erosion and by a seemingly never-ending conflict. While the rest of Congo prepares for the second round of presidential elections scheduled for Oct. 29, the people of Mushangi worry about one thing: survival.
A series presenting DRC's Tchomia IDP Camps by Pulitzer Center grantee, Mvemba Phezo Dizolele.