Maj. John Imani Nzenze, an M23 rebel commander, reveals what's in his camouflage backpack.
- By Anjan Sundaram<p> Anjan Sundaram has reported from Africa for the Associated Press and the New York Times. </p>
Maj. John Imani Nzenze is a commander in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s M23 movement, a Tutsi rebel group of army defectors that captured the eastern provincial capital of Goma late last year and is now threatening to plunge Congo into another protracted war. Foreign Policy caught up with Nzenze at M23’s military headquarters in Rumangabo — about 30 miles north of Goma, inside the famous Virunga National Park — where rebel forces were awaiting tense peace negotiations with the government. The camp is filled with the spoils of the rebellion: a jeep that belonged to Congolese President Joseph Kabila, anti-aircraft guns, heavy artillery, piles of ammunition and rockets, and even a German-made tank. Nzenze, who boasts of leading a few dozen rebels to beat back hundreds of Congolese soldiers in one of last year’s pitched battles, says everything they didn’t capture from the Congolese army came from the black market in Dubai. One thing is clear: Even in a remote jungle camp, today’s rebels are increasingly wired for war. “Technology is our advantage,” the major says. Here’s what he carries in his camouflage backpack.
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Turtle Bay |