The current conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a complex and difficult to understand humanitarian crisis. Its roots lie in decades of weakened and corrupt government under Mobutu as well as the unresolved influx of genocidaires from neighboring Rwanda.
You can find the latest news on the DRC by following the DRC tag on the Museum’s blog. All of the resources listed below are available in the Carole Weinstein Holocaust Research Library.
Lemarchand, René. The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.
As one of the regional experts on the Great Lakes region of Africa, Lemarchand presents a political and historical examination of the factors contributing to the bloodshed in the DRC. The book covers a nearly forty year period and links the patterns of unrest between Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo into a single thesis.
Reyntjens, Filip. The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996-2006. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
The Great African War pulls together the threads that led to the collapse of the former-Zaire and the rebel movement that replaced Mobutu. Reyntjens takes a non-chronological approach tying the contributing factors together in a thematic approach.
Shannon, Lisa J. A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman. Berkeley, California: Seal Press, 2011.
The DRC is commonly referred to as the “rape capital of the world.” Shannon, a businesswoman in the United States, traveled to the DRC after hearing about the plight of women in the Kivu region and chronicles her experiences in A Thousand Sisters.
Stearns, Jason K. Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: the Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa. New York: Public Affairs Books, 2011.
There are a number of books on the evolution of the conflict in the DRC but few use the journalistic-style seen in Stearns’ book. He traces the origin of the First and Second African World Wars in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide through the narratives of those who witnessed and participated in the events.
Films and Videos
Heart of Darkness: The Democratic Republic of Congo. New York: ABC News, 2007.
This five-part Nightline series covers the African World Wars and the fractured patterns of violence and abuse which followed. The segments cover the history as well as providing a number of personal profiles of Congolese who have been witnesses and victims of the fighting and exploitation in the DRC.
A joint project between the Enough Project and Raise Hope for Congo, I am Congo is a video series profiling people from the DRC. The site is designed to show the faces of people who have been lived through the Congo’s recent violence and show how each of these people are working to overcome their nation’s current problems.
The War Against Women. New York: CBS Broadcasting, 2008.
Anderson Cooper recorded this segment for 60 Minutes detailing the inhumane treatment of women in the DRC. He focuses on the use of rape as a weapon of war and how it is devastating families and communities in the Kivu region.
Women, War & Peace. New York: WNET, 2011.
Produced by THIRTEEN and Fork Films for PBS, this four hour five-part series illustrates the insecurities women face on a daily basis. Special attention is paid to the way women are treated during times of violent outbreaks including in the DRC and Sudan. This series is currently available online.
The allAfrica site acts as an aggregator of news articles from 130 African news organizations. The feeds can be broken into geographic regions, countries, and topics, with a variety of other options to help narrow your search.
BBC News offers a concise and easy to understand summary of the DRC's history from independence to the present. The tabs at the top of the page offer access to additional information including country statistics, a presidential profile, a synopsis of Congolese media, and a chronological timeline.
The Guardian offers a portal for the DRC that pulls all their articles, blog posts, and video content into a single page format.
The IRIN website is a news aggregator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The site pulls together humanitarian articles and commentary on various regions of the world and divided by country.
The New York Times is one of the few papers in the United States that provides fairly consistent coverage on the current conflict in the DRC. The Congo section of their website includes a short history of the country; a selection from their archives; recent articles on the region; and a list of pages from other websites.
The Enough Project was founded to promote policy in the fight against genocide and crimes against humanity. The DRC is one of the conflicts they are currently monitoring and you can find regular updates on the situation in addition to a summary of the region’s history.
Founded by Gregory Stanton -- the creator of the Eight Stages of Genocide – Genocide Watch is a non-profit which attempts to predict and prevent genocide from taking place. The site acts as an aggregator for news and analysis of the current conflict in the DRC.
Human Rights Watch is an international organization that was founded to investigate and repot on human rights violations throughout the world. They create regular, detailed reports on countries where human rights abuses are taking place. Their DRC page covers a large array of issues from sexual assault, inter-ethnic warfare, and even election fraud.
The International Crisis Group is a think tank that focuses on any type of conflict including genocide and crimes against humanity. They provide regular updates on countries from around the world and their DRC page contains a variety of briefings and reports.
Raise Hope for Congo concentrates on informing the public about issues in the DRC. The site contains information on conflict minerals, armed conflicts, and sexual violence against women.
The Committee On Conscience at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum maintains a list of countries at risk of genocide including the DRC. The page presents an overview of the crisis along with statistics, and international responses.
United to End Genocide is an activist group committed to ending genocide. Their website contains a synopsis of the crisis in the DRC and you can find a blog with regularly updated information on the current situation.