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New trouble in Congo

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2. It's positioned to be a tinderbox – or a stabilizer

Congo is at the center of a very tough neighborhood. When Congo is weak, as it has been for the past two decades, it is open to manipulation by smaller, stronger nations. In August 1998, several nations, led by Rwanda and Uganda, invaded Congo to chase out rebel forces who had launched the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In the process, they kicked off a massive international war that ousted then-President Mobutu Sese Seko and killed an estimated 5.4 million people. That death toll makes Congo's war the deadliest since World War II. If Congo becomes politically stable, it could help reduce tensions throughout the region.

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