The War in DR Congo: The Story of Pascal and Vestine

The Democratic Republic of Congo has endured one of the world’s bloodiest wars for over a decade. More than 5 million people have died, mostly from preventable disease and starvation.

In the last year alone, more than a million people have fled the fighting in eastern Congo.

In spite of a peace accord in 2003, fighting continues and many fear that foreign countries are still involved. Recently, there have been more signs of Rwandan involvement and encouragement of rebels.

The 17,000 United Nations peacekeepers in Congo cannot ease the growing number of casualties as a rebel group threatens to overthrow the Congolese government.

Worldfocus correspondent Michael J. Kavanagh of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and video journalist Taylor Krauss recently visited the refugee camps in eastern Congo. Together with Lisa Biagiotti, they produced this video on one family’s story.

Note: In the weeks since this story was filmed, the camp has been attacked and Pascal was forced to flee a third time. The camp is now deserted except for a small rebel force, and Worldfocus reporters have not been able to locate Pascal and his family.

Read reporter Michael Kavanagh’s blog post about his experience reporting with video journalist Taylor Krauss in Congo here: Giving a human face to Congo’s conflict.

Taylor Krauss recounts their detention by Congo’s secret police here: Detained by Congo’s secret police.