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Capturing Congo

Gold, Guns, and Strife

News from the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is usually grim. But it has been particularly so in recent weeks, as the M23 militia overran the town of Goma, the capital of the mineral-rich province of North Kivu. The militia has already started to withdraw, but reports of random killings and human rights abuses still abound. Meanwhile, parts of the city lack power, and garbage and human remains have been left to rot in the streets.

The violence in eastern DRC might look like the disruption of the fragile calm that followed the 2009 peace agreement between Congo and the M23's precursor, the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP). In truth, however, it is part of a continuum of chaos that has gripped the region for some 15 years. Reliable studies have shown that five million Congolese have died due to the fighting,

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