Watching catastrophe

by Michael O. Allen on November 12, 2008

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images via The New York Times

The United Nations warned today of “humanitarian black holes” in the North Kivu region of Congo as continued fighting has forced aid agencies to halt operations in some areas. At a camp for internally displaced people, a girl huddled near a fire in Kibati, just north of the provincial capital of Goma.

I trudged through Goma in late summer 1994. I was chronicling another human catastrophe, the outbreak of cholera and other disease in the wake of the Rwandan genocide that claimed over a million lives. You would think that lesson would be enough for the world to never let it happen again.

It is happening. Again. As the world watches.

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