lynsey addario, photographer

Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo

Eastern Region

Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC has been plagued by civil war between Congolese government troops and local militas for roughly a decade.

In the first few weeks of December 2007, the Congolese Army, the FRDC, made a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Tutsi rebel leader, Laurent Nkunda, in late 2006, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle. Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu in eastern Congo, and are suffering a grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.

Approximately 1200 Congolese dies each day from hunger and disease.

Congolese displaced people from the village of Karouba hide out in an abandoned Catholic mission in Shasha, as intense fighting takes place between the Congolese Army, the FDRC, and soldiers loyal to the rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 11, 2007.  In the last few weeks, the FRDC has been making a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Nkunda late last year, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle.  Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are suffering  grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
  
Congolese people displaced from the village of Jomba live out of schools and a football stadium in Rutshuru, where they have been since the middle of October, after fleeing from their homes about 25 km outside of Rutshuru because of fighting between rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, the FDLR, and Congolese government soldiers in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 10, 2007. Former Hutu militias suspected of participating in the genocide in Rwanda are operating a variety of militias in the Congo, and the Conoglese government is under pressure to fight them, though it has been accused of using the Hutu militias like th FDLR to fight as allies.  Because of ongoing fighting between the government and these militias, thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
  
Villagers look on as the Congolese Army fires artillery at rebel soldiers under Congolese Tutsi rebel leader, Nkunda, from the village of Lushangi the morning after the Congolese military took the village of Mushake from Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 5, 2007. The Congolese army has been making a huge military push in recent days to take back territory that had fallen to rebel soldiers over the past year, and has been successfully pushing forward, and today gained the strategic town of Mushake. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
     
  
Thousands of Congolese people flee the village of Sake towards Goma as intense fighting takes place between the Congolese Army, the FDRC, and soldiers loyal to the rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 11, 2007.  In the last few weeks, the FRDC has been making a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Nkunda late last year, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle.  Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are suffering  grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
  
Thousands of Congolese people who fled the village of Sake rest along the road where they spent the night as they make their way towards camps for internally displaced people and towards Goma as intense fighting comes to a lull between the Congolese Army, the FDRC, and soldiers loyal to the rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 12, 2007.  In the last few weeks, the FRDC has been making a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Nkunda late last year, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle.  Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are suffering  grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
  
Shizanye Dorote, 33, from Busanza, lies sick with Cholera in the MSF-run hospital in Rutshuru, where about 50 Congolese people, most of whom have fled from their villages and are living as internally displaced people in camps or schools, are coming in each day for treatment of Cholera, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 10, 2007.  Because of ongoing fighting between the government and these militias, thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are living in dire conditions, without proper sanitation, nutrition, and access to healthcare. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
     
  
Valere Dimoubanzi, 44, lies sick with Cholera in the MSF-run hospital in Rutshuru, where about 50 Congolese people, most of whom have fled from their villages and are living as internally displaced people in camps or schools, are coming in each day for treatment of Cholera, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 10, 2007.  Because of ongoing fighting between the government and these militias, thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are living in dire conditions, without proper sanitation, nutrition, and access to healthcare. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
  
Celestin Mazirane, 9, a displaced boy from Murambe, and Noella, foreground, 12, also displaced, from Rangila, sit sick with Cholera in the MSF-run hospital in Rutshuru, where about 50 Congolese people, most of whom have fled from their villages and are living as internally displaced people in camps or schools, are coming in each day for treatment of Cholera, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 10, 2007. Because of ongoing fighting between the government and these militias, thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are living in dire conditions, without proper sanitation, nutrition, and access to healthcare. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.
  
Etienne, of Kiringi, lies sick with Cholera in the MSF-run hospital in Rutshuru, where about 50 Congolese people, most of whom have fled from their villages and are living as internally displaced people in camps or schools, are coming in each day for treatment of Cholera, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 10, 2007.  Because of ongoing fighting between the government and these militias, thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are living in dire conditions, without proper sanitation, nutrition, and access to healthcare. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.
     
  
A woman clenches her malnourished daughter while waiting to be transferred with her daughter to a hospital by a medical team attached to Doctors Without Borders on an emergency call in a village near Rutshuru, in the North Kivu region of The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 15, 2006.
  
A medical team attached to Doctors Without Borders visit a local clinic to pick up two malnourished babies while on an emergency call in a village near Rutshuru, in the North Kivu region of The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 15, 2006.
  
Internally displaced people wait to see a doctor at a clinic in Magunga Camp since fleeing their villages after fighting began about one year ago between Congolese Government soldiers and Tutsi rebel leader Nkunda outside Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 7, 2007.  The IDPs in Magunga complain that because of an upsurge of fighting around Magunga, they have not received any food distributions in over a month, and some IDPs are allegedly dying of starvation.  In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.
     
  
Esperance Cahombo, 1 year, lies with her mother in a therapeutic feeding center for severely malnourished children in Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 6, 2007. Esperance and her family fled the village of Massisi about a year ago, spent one year in Magunga camp for Internally Displaced People before coming to the Caritas-run center one week ago.  Since the fighting between the Congolese army and rebel soldiers loyal to Tutsi rebel leader Nkunda has intensified in the past year, the humanitarian condition in the DRC has reached the most desperate it has been in years: about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.
  
Mugisha Mashimango, 3 1/2 years, lies malnourished in the pediatric ward of the Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Rutscuru, in the North Kivu region of The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 15, 2006.
  
Esperancia Nyirasafari, 26, awaits an emergency cessarian section at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Rutshuru, in the North Kivu region of The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 15, 2006.
     
  
Dr. Rose Ange, right, watches Amuri Cheusi, 2 years old, die from lack of oxygen caused by measles minutes after they disconnected him from a respirator in a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Rutscuru, in the North Kivu region of The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 16, 2006.  Amuri was sick at home for months before coming to the hospital for treatment, but his family had no means of reaching the hospital, and had no money to pay for treatment.
  
Reziki, 10, stands in the banana grove adjacent to Magunga camp for Internally displaced people where the IDPs have been burying their dead dying of starvation and sickness in the camps since fleeing their villages after fighting began about one year ago between Congolese Government soldiers and Tutsi rebel leader Nkunda outside Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 7, 2007.  The IDPs in Magunga complain that because of an upsurge of fighting around Magunga, they have not received any food distributions in over a month, and some IDPs are allegedly dying of starvation.  In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
  
Hundreds of Congolese people flee the village of Kingi towards Sake as intense fighting takes place between the Congolese Army, the FDRC, and soldiers loyal to the rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 11, 2007.  In the last few weeks, the FRDC has been making a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Nkunda late last year, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle.  Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are suffering  grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
     
  
Thousands of people displaced from dozens of surrounding villages due to recent fighting gather outside a church for shelter adjacent to a base of Pakistani peacekeeping forces in the village of Aveba, about 80 km south of Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 11, 2006.
  
Thousands of people displaced from dozens of surrounding villages due to recent fighting gather inside a church for shelter adjacent to a base of Pakistani peacekeeping forces in the village of Aveba, about 80 km south of Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 11, 2006.
  
Thousands of people displaced from dozens of surrounding villages due to recent fighting gather outside a church for shelter adjacent to a base of Pakistani peacekeeping forces in the village of Aveba, about 80 km south of Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 11, 2006.
     
  
  
Bahati Bikuba, a nurse at the non-governmental organization, Heal Africa,  holds an 11 month old girl who was raped a week prior in her village in the district of Walikale, in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 4, 2007. Because of fighting in recent months between government soldiers, rebel soldiers loyal to Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda, and militias, thousands of Congolese have been suffering a grave nutritional and sanitation crisis, lack of access to healthcare, women and children have been raped by the thousands, and almost one million people have been forced into camps for internally displaced people. have been securityfled their homes to relative safety in camps and outside of areas of fighting between government soldiers and rebels led by Nkunda.
  
Thousands of Congolese people who fled villages close to the frontline line up to register at a Magunga camp for internally displaced people as intense fighting comes to a lull for the first time today in more than a week between the Congolese Army, the FDRC, and soldiers loyal to the rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 12, 2007.  In the last few weeks, the FRDC has been making a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Nkunda late last year, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle.  Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are suffering  grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)
     
  
Thousands of Congolese people who fled villages close to the frontline line up to register at a Magunga camp for internally displaced people as intense fighting comes to a lull for the first time today in more than a week between the Congolese Army, the FDRC, and soldiers loyal to the rebel Tutsi leader, Nkunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 12, 2007.  In the last few weeks, the FRDC has been making a large-scale military push to take back villages they lost to Nkunda late last year, and the civilian population has been caught in the middle.  Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes across the region of North Kivu, and are suffering  grave health and malnutrition crisis. In the last 12 months, about 410,000 Congolese civilians have been displaced by new fighting, and coupled with the previous 400,000 from past years, there are now about 800,000 internally displaced people in the DRC.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)