Photo Essay: Portraits of Insecurity

A new alliance between Rwandan and Congolese forces may be a rare occasion for optimism, but as Michael J. Kavanagh of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting shows in this exclusive series of portraits, eastern Congo's future is still uncertain.

A new hope: In January, after nearly 15 years of conflict, the Rwandan and Congolese armies began a month-long joint military operation against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu rebel group with links to the 1994 genocide. The FDLR have preyed on the population in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo for years.

Here, a young soldier with the PARECO rebel movement waits at an Army integration ceremony in the town of Masisi. The Congolese government is trying to quickly integrate all rebel groups into the Army to continue the fight against the FDLR. Many of the rebels are poorly trained and — like PARECO — were allies of the FDLR until recently.

Photo: Michael J. Kavanagh

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