Reportage: DR Congo
Few countries have a history of suffering as long as the Democratic Republic of Congo's. Centuries of slave trade, ineffable cruelty and plunder as Belgian King Leopold's personal territoryas well as during colonial rule, the kleptocratic dictatorship of Mabutu Sese Seke and a five-year civil war that became known as Africa's World War have utterly devastated the nation. A vast country the size of Western Europe, Congo has enormous natural resources and potential. Yet there is virtually no infrastructure and the population subsists in a state of abject poverty. Over 1200 people die every day as a direct result of the recent conflict, primarily from preventable causes such as malaria, tuberculosis and malnutrition.