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From Christianity and Islam to the LRA: five stories on Africa you really shouldn't miss

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Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

(Read caption) Villagers who have formed a local self-defense force move during a training session in the village of Bangadi in northeastern Congo Feb. 18, 2009. In the face of attacks and massacres by Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army ( LRA) rebels, who have slaughtered some 900 Congolese civilians since December, villagers in Bangadi have formed their self-defense force with locally made weapons and have twice repelled LRA attacks in recent months.

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Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.

Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold recently came out with a new book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, that traces personal stories of believers across Africa and Asia. Maggie Fick reviewed the book for Religion Dispatches magazine online, and wove some of her experiences working in east Africa into her commentary.

The French humanitarian aid organization Premiere Urgence published a slideshow of photos from Bas Uele, Congo, an area frequently targeted by the Lord’s Resistance Army. As Enough’s own field staff have highlighted in recent reports, the region has become a haven for the LRA militia because of its remote location; the inaccessibility has also prevented many media reports on the suffering. This series of photos and accompanying narration (in French) gives a rare glimpse of life there.

Time magazine also turned a spotlight on the LRA, this time in a community in southern Sudan where the militia has frequently launched attacks. Reporter Alan Boswell wrote about speculation over the changing nature of the rebel movement, now over two decades old.

A team from National Public Radio created this impressive multimedia piece about the Congo River that makes arc through the country before passing through the capital and flowing out to the Atlantic. The writing, photos, and audio follow the journey of a barge downriver – a trek that this time takes a month – to illustrate how “the way of life along the water route in many ways mirrors Congo's checkered fortunes.”

The Nation is running an expose on the history of human rights by Columbia University professor Samuel Moyn, on newsstands now. Great weekend reading. (HT: Wronging Rights)

-- Laura Heaton is a staff member of the Enough Project and blogs at Enough Said here.


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