Crisis in Congo

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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Children at the Nyanzale Displaced Persons Camp, north of Goma, DR Congo. Source: julien_harneis hide caption

itoggle caption Source: julien_harneis

Since it started, more than a decade ago, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, has claimed millions of lives. Battles, between militias and government troops, have killed scores of civilians. Despite a peace agreement, signed in 2003, and the largest UN peacekeeping force in the world, the bloody fighting has continued. In today's first hour, we'll hear from NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, and the estimable Adam Hochschild, who wrote King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. Adam will handle the history, Ofeibea the present. What questions do you have about conflict in Central Africa? And do you see an end to the fighting there?

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Why did this happen again? Why do primitive tribal-types love to kill one another? You may as well ask why dogs bark? Why do birds fly? Why does the earth go around the sun. Democratic Capitalist governments are just too good for some people. Just ask an Iraqi.

Sent by MO | 2:08 PM | 12-17-2007

Don't just look at colonialism circa 100 years ago. Look at the period of the Congo's indpendrnce, when Belguim supported Katanga, mainly to protect it's interests in the region's gold. The UN may have been on the wrong side there. If Mkunda is mainly concerned about the Hutu militia, his concerns are valid.

Sent by Rob Astor | 2:44 PM | 12-17-2007

I think Paul Kagame not Nkunda is behind the killing in East Congo. Until when will the world community allow that millions if innocent Congolese including women and children continue to be killed by cronies of the man many in Congo call "the Hitler of Africa"?

Sent by Marcel | 7:01 PM | 12-17-2007