A 12-vehicle United Nations aid convoy went behind rebel lines Monday.
Luntukulu, Democratic Republic of Congo
But many attempts to end Congo's conflict have failed, in part because wars that appear to be all about ethnicity are also about business. Hutu rebels claim to be taking refuge from a vengeful Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who blames them for the 1994 genocide of more than 800,000 Tutsis. But the rebels have built a militia by controlling the trade in tin, tungsten, and coltan.
The rebels "are not in any areas that don't have minerals," says Joseph Mukind Kakez, a top government official in eastern Congo. He also blames his own government for its inability to control armed groups as well as ordinary Congolese, who buy and sell minerals from the armed groups, giving them the money to feed and rearm themselves and keep Congo's long conflict brewing.
"People ask: Who supports the armed groups?" he says. "It is we Congolese ourselves."
Efforts to stem the crisis
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