The Road to Nowhere
I first arrived in Africa to cover the civil war in the eastern regions of Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008. Since then, I have returned numerous times travelling across the vast country. My last trip to the DRC was in 2012 to cover renewed fighting in Goma after rebels seized control of the town.
The war officially ended in 2003, however hostilities and conflict have since continued. The death toll remains disputed with estimates ranging over three million war-related deaths. Congo has an abundance of natural resources, especially in the east, including gold, coltan, and cassiterite. Due to mismanagement, corruption and ongoing fighting over control over resource rich areas it ranks among the poorest countries in the world. The eastern part of the country remains plagued by instability, with rebels waging war, some allegedly backed by neighboring countries such as Rwanda and Uganda.
Currently over 2.2 million people are displaced within the country, many of which from the eastern provinces of the country due to the numerous conflicts in these areas. Today the DRC has the largest and most expensive UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) which has more than 22 000 personnel and an annual budget of $1.2 billion.