Helping Congo Help Itself

What It Will Take to End Africa’s Worst War

Up in arms: M23 fighters near Goma, November 2012. Goran Tomasevic / Courtesy Reuters

It would be easy to label the Democratic Republic of the Congo an irredeemable mess. For almost two decades, the country has been roiled by a series of wars involving neighboring countries and dozens of Congolese militias. Recent years seemed to bring some respite; in 2009, following a peace deal between the Congolese and the Rwandan governments, some of the main armed groups in eastern Congo joined the national government. But this agreement, like previous ones, soon succumbed to its flaws. Since April 2012, violence has once again begun to escalate, centered on a new rebellion in the eastern highlands led by the March 23 Movement, or the M23 (the group takes its name from the date of the signing of the 2009 peace accord, which it contends the government has not respected). There are now 2.6 million people displaced in Congo, over 30 different armed groups, and thousands of killings and rapes each year. The

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