the

Where is the congo will be available soon

in eastern Congo this month a rebel

leader declared his intention to march

west on the capital it's not a new

threat we've heard it now three times in

the past ten years one man even made

good on it between 1998 and 2004 this

almost cyclical movement both ways

across the Rwandan border and sometimes

west towards the capital cost the lives

of an estimated 4 million people

it continues to impoverish the country

Congo is roughly the size of Western

Europe it's blessed with gold copper

timber and coltan which you'll find on a

chip in your mobile phone as well as a

quarter of the world's cobalt which

you'll find in your mobile phone's

battery rich mineral deposits and

competing groups of violent people are

concentrated in the eastern provinces of

north and south key vu

the official language of Congo is French

the country is surrounded by a colonial

patchwork of French Portuguese and

English

in 1994 in Rwanda groups of ethnic Hutu

militias working for the government of

the day carry out a terrifyingly

efficient genocide against that

country's ethnic Tutsi minority killing

800,000 people in a hundred days after

the genocide Hutus now fearing for their

own safety stream west across the border

into congo which for 30 years had been

ruled by the West's favourite African

dictator Mobutu who had named the

country Ziya with the refugees across

the border come the militias the refugee

camps attract disease and the militias

attract trouble in 1997 the Rwandan

government now Tutsi controlled is

worried that the Hutus across the border

might return and back to Congolese rebel

Laurent Kabila a man of elephantine

appetites whom Che Guevara had once

dismissed as not the man of the hour

but with Rwandan and Ugandan help he is

and he takes control of the East he

announces his plan to march to Kinshasa

all the way across a massive heavily

forested country with no real roads to

everyone's surprise he does by some

reports massacring Hutu refugees as he

goes he reaches Kinshasa de poses Mobutu

and re renames the country as Congo the

Hutu militias joined with the Congolese

Hutus to form the FDLR a French acronym

that implies a future change of power in

Rwanda they still control parts of

eastern Congo today

a year later mr. Kabila has alienated

Rwanda Uganda donor countries and the UN

Rwanda has again had enough and with

Uganda sends a force west across the

border to back yet more Congolese rebels

this time Angola Zimbabwe and Namibia

come to mr. Kabila's defense and begin a

regional war that ends in a stalemate

short of Kinshasa in 1999 there is a

peace deal and in 2000 the UN stations a

peacekeeping operation in eastern Congo

eventually the largest and most

expensive such operation in the world in

2001

Laurent Kabila is assassinated and

eventually replaced by his son the

normal-sized Joseph Kabila who in 2006

manages to hold a somewhat fair and free

election

now Lauren Kunda a farmer and former

psychology student at the head of a

mainly Tutsi rebel army is advancing on

targets in the eastern Congo with a

tacit support again of the Rwandan

government the consequences of the

almost 15 year old Rwandan genocide

continue to lay waste to north and south

kevo in the past two years 850,000

people have left their homes in eastern

Congo Rwanda stated goal is to

repatriate the good Hutus and bring the

bad ones to justice but it doesn't seem

to actually want either of them back

ever again and Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa

is unable to produce an army that would

force them to leave and Congo after a

decade of war and cursed by geology is

now at the bottom of global measures of

both health and wealth behind even its

neighbor to the east that keeps helping

caused all the trouble

you

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