Edward B. Rackley has been traveling in the Congo and has a report and some photos in the Old Town Review.
The human catastrophe of Eastern Congo is, for visitors, a bundle of numbness and raw nerves. In September, at the invitation of a British think-tank, I visited the unstable region to assess the causes of ongoing violence against civilians. With close to 15,000 peacekeepers on the ground, a transitional government anticipating national elections in six months, and well-funded efforts to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate combatants into civilian life—the “DDR process”—why are civilians still being killed with such impunity? Scores of interviews with humanitarian actors, UN staff, and Congolese revealed the usual suspects: predatory governance, uncontrolled armed groups, endemic impunity, and the inaccessibility of civilian populations due to ongoing combat.Read the rest here.