War in the Congo

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The Rebellion that ousted Zaire’s cold-war kleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 has turned lately into what Madeleine Albright calls “Africa’s first world war.”

Seven African countries (and some Western companies, too) are taking sides in Africa’s most complicated civil war. When Laurent Kabila took over Zaire and renamed it The Democratic Republic of Congo, the world applauded because Africans were taking charge of their own destiny.

Since then, civil war has killed tens of thousands of Congolese, turned a million out of their homes, and left millions more without food. Reports of ethnic killings, torture, and rape accompany battle reports as three rebel groups fight the government, and each other, to control central Africa.

The UN Security Council made only cautious noises about sending a peace keeping force to Congo last week, despite an extraordinary session with seven African Presidents.

Mending the heart of Africa, in the first hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)