(This article was printed in the New York Times Opinion section on December 4th, 2017)
When I first visited eastern Congo in 2006, it was difficult to understand how anyone could be hopeful about the region’s future. The Congolese had just emerged from a decade of some of the worst violence the world had known since World War II: More than 3.5 million people died as a result of conflict, according to estimates. The genocide in neighboring Rwanda had flooded the region with over a million refugees, including fleeing armed combatants. The emergence of militias and the near-collapse of the Congolese state resulted in a protracted struggle. Civilians were caught in the crossfire, causing massive internal displacement and suffering. Read the full piece on nytimes.com.