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Where have, according to figures released by humanitarian agencies, some 1 million people been massacred over the last year? Where have more than 2 million people been 'displaced' i.e. made refugees within their own land? You wouldn't think that so many humans could suffer so without an international clamour in the media. Unless, of course, those people are African, and more specifically, Congolese.

The new self-appointed president, Joseph Kabila, son of the late Laurent Désiré Kabila, may appear more peaceful than his father, but he is unlikely to prevent the various contenders in the the war from heading to renewed confrontations. The quarrelling and fighting over the wealth of that country continues to boil.

But at the same time, is there hope? Is there some solace in the fact that the country that has drawn into its vortex of terror the armies of Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda, some of these troops have begun to withdraw?

What will that leave behind? Hardliners are said to be in control of Kinshasha, unwilling to engage in dialogue with the various factions. The country's infrastructure - such as it has been - is torn apart. "Transition", "reconstruction", or even "reonciliation" remains a distant dream.

People often say that Africa's suffering is caused by its poverty. What Congo suggests is that the suffering - and poverty - are both caused by the potential wealth of its natural resources - or rather, by the fight for control over that wealth.