Congo, With or Without Kabila

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What does it tell you that a leader of a country of continental proportions can be shot dead and the world not know for days whether it was an accident or an assassination, even whether it happened? The leader in question was President Laurent Kabila of Congo, what it tells us is that in the year 2001 the world can still be in the dark, especially about a place Joseph Conrad called the “Heart of Darkness.”

Laurent Kabila’s son Joseph has been declared the new president. Beyond that headline its hard to say who’s really running Congo or even that there’s still a nation there on the battlefields of what Madeline Albright called “Africa’s first World War.” The armies of seven nations have been fighting for three years now for control of Congo’s vast riches in diamonds, timber and minerals. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed. Millions displaced. Africa with and without Kabila is this hour, on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Phillip Gourevitch, correspondent for The New Yorker

Michaela Wrong, author of “In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz”

and Chris McGreal, Africa correspondent for The Guardian. Allan Little, Africa correspondent for the BBC. Phillip Gourevitch, author of “We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families.”