By Luke Kerr-Dineen
Locked in the center of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo has suffered through a long history of violence and war. It endured the brutal regime of Leopold II of Belgium in the late 19th century, which contemporary scholars estimate was responsible for the deaths of as many as 15 million Congolese. Following independence from Belgium in the 1960s, an additional 5 million people died in a series of conflicts in the late 1990s. Today, a small legion of experienced fighters called the March 23 Movement, better known as M23, are at the heart of a rebellion that is rocking the country to its core. As Melanie Gouby reports in this week’s Newsweek, M23 recently said they would withdraw its troops from the eastern town of Goma, but so far its positions are unchanged as some in the group resist, while the movement’s overall ideology remains unclear. These images provide a glimpse of life on the ground in Congo.