Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 1, 2012 - Travel - 320 pages
Brash hustlers, sinister colonels, resilient refugees, and intrepid radio hosts: meet the future of Congo

In this extraordinary debut – called ‘gripping’ by The Times of London – Ben Rawlence sets out to gather the news from a forgotten town deep in Congo’s ‘silent quarter’ where peace is finally being built after two decades of civil war and devastation. Ignoring the advice of locals, reporters, and mercenaries, he travels by foot, bike, and boat, introducing us to Colonel Ibrahim, a guerrilla turned army officer; Benjamin, the kindly father of the most terrifying Mai Mai warlord; the cousins Mohammed and Mohammed, young tin traders hoping to make their fortune; and talk show host Mama Christine, who dispenses counsel and courage in equal measure. From the ‘blood cheese’ of Goma to the decaying city of Manono, Rawlence uncovers the real stories of life during the war and finds hope for the future.

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RADIO CONGO: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War

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A firsthand report from deep inside Congo.Covering much of the center of Africa, Congo is "[b]lessed with deposits of ninety percent of the world's minerals"—gold, tin, copper, diamonds and more ... Read full review


The lost city
What you wanna go there for?
Under the volcano
Meeting the colonel
Guerrillas in the mist
Blood cheese
The waves on the lake are not negligible my dear
The guns of Moba
My name is Zongwe
The return part II
The lake of snails
Eating the neighbours
Of pigs rabbits and popes
La route principale
Beer and normality

A fishless lake
The return part I
Trouble in the Mulenge hills
The end is nigh
In search of goats and gold
A cruise on Tanganyika
The intelligence directors bath
The forest people
The bend in the river
The price of
Electric dreams
The news from Manono
Illustration credits
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About the author (2012)

Ben Rawlence is a senior researcher on Africa for Human Rights Watch. He has written for the Guardian, Prospect, London Review of Books, and others, and contributed to Radio 4. He lives in the Brecon Beacons, Wales.

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