Worldfocus contributor Michael J. Kavanagh is based in the DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa. In this Q&A, he explains the controversy surrounding the United Nations peacekeeping mission, rebel integration into Congolese Army ranks and the economic viability of this resource-rich, war-torn country.
The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been called the deadliest conflict since World War II. More than 5 million people have died, mostly from preventable disease and starvation, in this decade-long war. In the last year alone, more than a million people have fled the fighting in eastern Congo.
Worldfocus correspondent Michael J. Kavanagh of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting traveled to eastern Congo as fighting intensified in the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009.
The staggering statistics of death and displacement in the region sometimes overshadow the personal stories of human suffering. Michael reports on the humanitarian crisis and the epidemic of rape by telling the stories of two families caught up in the war. Pascal and Vestine flee from refugee camp to refugee camp, and Georgina and André explain how her rape tore apart their 33-year marriage.
The "Crisis in Congo" videos produced by Marc Rosenwasser, Michael J. Kavanagh, Taylor Krauss and Lisa Biagiotti won the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the international television category.
"Crisis in Congo" is a collection of signature videos, interviews, web original videos, an online radio show and Q&A, reporter observations and analysis from the field and blogger perspectives.
Crisis In Congo
January 7, 2010
UN, Rwanda and investors entangled in Congo’s future
January 5, 2010
Crumbling security situation further cripples DR Congo
Worldfocus contributor Michael J. Kavanagh is based in Kinshasa, DR Congo. He gives Daljit Dhaliwal an update on the civil war that continues to cripple the country. He says the security situation is the worst he has seen in a decade -- since the start of the Second Congo War.
December 17, 2009
2009 marks decade’s deadliest year for African journalists
In Somalia, nine local journalists were murdered or killed in combat situations. Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalists writes about the deteriorating situation for journalists in Somalia and explains why this figure is especially startling considering that sub-Saharan Africa has historically had one of the lowest journalist murder rates.
December 15, 2009
Human rights group condemns UN eastern Congo mission
A new 183-page report by Human Rights Watch faults the U.N.'s largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation for supporting the Congolese Army's murderous tactics. The report calls for the embattled U.N. mission -- whose mandate is set to expire in two weeks -- to cease backing the Congolese military, which is accused of serious human rights violations.
August 11, 2009
Clinton demands an end to Congo’s rape epidemic
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country with vast natural resources that for years has been plagued by civil war and sexual violence. Severinne Autesserre of Barnard College discuss how the country's government and people will respond to Clinton's message.
August 10, 2009
Clinton must call for an end to Congo’s media censorship
The catastrophe in Congo has received relatively scant international media coverage, writes Worldfocus contributor Tom Rhodes, and violence continues unabated. Admittedly, it is costly for foreign media bureaus, but there is another reason for the lack of western media coverage: censorship.
July 14, 2009
Worldfocus receives two Emmy nominations!
Worldfocus received two Emmy nominations today for our reporting on Africa. "Crisis in Congo" was nominated for best story and "21st Century Africa" was nominated for outstanding feature story.
April 20, 2009
Surrounded by war, Congolese women find beauty
The fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has lasted for more than a decade and killed more than 5 million people. Some Congolese women living under the most adverse conditions are still struggling to preserve something precious to them -- their beauty.
April 10, 2009
Congo’s crisis continues; mass rapes and scarce resources
The United Nations has said joint efforts between Rwanda and Congo represent real hope in a war that has raged for more than a decade. But since late January, Human Rights Watch cites continued insecurity, reporting that over 180 civilians have been killed and at least 90 women and girls have been raped.
March 26, 2009
Pascal and Vestine are alive in Congo, but still not home
Correspondent Michael J. Kavanagh returned to eastern Congo last month and found Pascal and Vestine. We interviewed the Bumbaris last year, and since, they've fled for a third time and are now in a new refugee camp.