Project April 11, 2013

Congo: Consequences of a Conflict with No End


Soldier in the Congolese Army. Image by Fiona Lloyd-Davies. DRC, 2013.
Soldier in the Congolese Army. Image by Fiona Lloyd-Davies. DRC, 2013.

Conflict-Free Minerals
The vast mineral wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo is said to be its greatest curse—its value so great that it continues to drive the conflict in the eastern part of the country and the violence that has meant the deaths of nearly six million people in a decade.

One man believes he may have the answer. H.R.H Prince Jaime de Bourbon Parme is the Special Envoy on Natural Resources to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and heir to the House of Bourbon-Parmano. He has persuaded several of the world's largest electronics companies to take part in a project that could play a major part in ending the conflict. Is this a well-intentioned dream or an achievable reality?

Madness in Minova
In November 2012, as the rebel militia M23 walked into Goma, a city in eastern DRC, the Congolese army went on a rampage, raping over 80 women and children in just two days. Rape is so prevalent in Congo that many women expect it to happen to them at least once in their lifetimes, yet there are few prosecutions.

It often seems that soldiers rape automatically, almost as though this was an expected part of martial behavior. However, this particular mass rape is being investigated—a prosecutor is collecting evidence and a number of soldiers have been arrested, including two for rape. Will the perpetrators be brought to justice and could this make a difference in the climate of virtual impunity that has become the norm in this part of Congo?

Watch the trailer for Seeds of Hope, a feature-length documentary about one woman's struggle to dispel the despair of women survivors of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.