Extract published on June 1, 2012.
In this compelling debut, Ben Rawlence sets out to gather the news that never travels far – the news of the uneasy peace being made in the towns of Congo’s silent quarter. Rather than taking the direct flight suggested by aid workers and mercenaries, he travels by foot, motorbike, and boat, taking his time to meet the people who are making a new life in one of the world’s most dangerous places. He introduces us to Colonel Ibrahim, a guerrilla turned army officer; the Lebanese cousins Mohammed & Mohammed, young tin traders shipped to Africa by their family; the talk-show host Mama Christine, who dispenses counsel and courage in equal measure; and the priest Jean-Baptiste, who explains the price of beer and normality.
Along the way, Rawlence reveals the real story of Congo, during and after the war, and the seeds of a peaceful future.
About the author:
Ben Rawlence is a senior researcher on Africa for Human Rights Watch. He has written for the Guardian, Prospect, and Huffington Post, and contributed to BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent. He studied Swahili and History at the University of London and received his master’s in international relations from the University of Chicago
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