The above photo was taken in eastern Congo by my old photographer Walter Astrada: we worked together in Uganda for a couple of months, right before I left and the crisis in Congo escalated to out-of-control proportions — though it could be argued it has always been in out-of-control proportions.
Fighting has continued among various rebel armies, the Congolese army and U.N. forces. To make matters worse, the armies of neighboring South Sudan and Uganda are now involved. Rwandan-Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda was captured in January by Rwandan forces, but his group is still active, and Ugandan troops are seeking out the rebel Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, which is hiding in — while terrorizing and slaughtering villagers — eastern Congo. Amid all this chaos, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are being killed, abducted to be soldiers and chased from their homes — not to mention the mass rapes.
So far, at least five million people have died in this cycle of war that has gone on since 1998. Five million, and Congo maybe makes the news once or twice in a blue moon. Why is this acceptable?
See moving portraits from the Congo here.
Photo via The Washington Post