Fotografen galeries - Jan-Joseph Stok - Congo's Eindeloze Oorlog (42) Meer bestanden...
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country of 63 million people in the heart of Africa, a peace agreement signed more than four years ago pledged to put an end to hostilities from within the DRC and its relations with at least eight other countries. The international Rescue Committee (IRC) estimates that four million people have died from the war and its causes since it began in 1998, making it the world’s most deadly conflict since World War II.
In theory, the conflict is over. DRC is no longer a playing field for foreign armies but the misery of its people continues. Fighting persists in the east, where rebel groups loot, rape and murder. Millions of refugees live without proper health care, safe water or education. The Congolese army, which claims to defend the reunited country, has cut its own murderous swath, carrying out executions and razing villages. Yet deadlier are the side effects of war, the scars left by years of violence that have damaged DRC’s society and infrastructure. The nation is overwhelmed by illness, malnutrition and dislocation. According to the IRC, which has conducted a series of detailed mortality surveys over the past six years, 1250 Congolese die every day of war-related causes – a huge majority dying from diseases and starvation that wouldn’t exist in peaceful times.
Yet the DRC’s difficulties hardly ever make daily news headlines and the country is often low on the lists of international aid providers. After Sudan, the DRC is the second largest nation in sub-Saharan Africa, a land so immense and unmanageable that it has long been perceived as one of the worst-off countries in Africa. It is in part because of that harmful reputation – and because the nation’s incompetent rulers that have consistently reinforced it – that the world has been willing to let DRC bleed.

Since 2000, the UN has spent billions on its peacekeeping mission in the Congo and is at the moment the largest UN force anywhere in the world. But troops number just 17,500, an insignificant presence in such a large country. There are a variety of explanations for the neglect. Perhaps the international reservoir of wealth and goodwill runs only so deep. Maybe the concentration and indignation directed toward other African disasters, such as the genocide in Darfur, has left the world too exhausted to take on DRC’s problems. But such a choice comes at a cost. DRC symbolises the promise of Africa as much as it does its desolation. Its soil is full of diamonds, gold, copper, tantalum and uranium. The waters of its river could one day power the continent. Yet because DRC is so rich in resources, its problems, when left to aggravate, tend to suck its neighbours into a current state of abuse and chaos. Fixing Congo is essential to fixing Africa.
Jan-Joseph Stok
00064993
All these women are widows, their husbands have been killed. Hard work in the field is the only option they have to feed their family. The conflict in DR Congo has been the deadliest conflict on earth...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097095
PARECO rebels, most of the rebels are between 12 and 16, some a bit older, ~they are most of them congolese and fighting against the CNDP.During the day a lot of them are drinking heavily, and in the...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00064994
Two female aids patients are giving pills to each other. After the first three months of treatment where they stay in a special house in Bukavu, the care will be continued. Not welcomed anywhere anymo...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00064995
A young woman sick with malaria collapses in her bed.Illnesses are one of the consequences of the war. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00064996
Everything was taken from her, her entire familly, and half of her house. As most of the women, she has been raped and traumatized for the rest of her life. This picture was taken in Kabamba, in the p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097091
IDP Camp in Kitchanga, everyday thousands of new comers, people are forced to leave their villages, because of the war between the different rebel groups and the insecurity. ~Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097092
In the hospital of Msf in Kitchanga, daily victims of bullet wounds and machettes are coming for treatment. The insecurity can be very high in North Kivu. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097093
IDP Camp in Kitchanga, everyday thousands of new comers, people are forced to leave their villages because of the war between the different rebel groups and the insecurity. ~Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097094
PARECO rebels, most of the rebels are between 12 and 16, some a bit older, they are most of them congolese and fighting against the CNDP(congolese tutsis).During the day a lot of them are drinking hea...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097096
Entire famillies are leaving their villages because of the recent attacks, they don't feel safe anymore in their villages, they are heading to the overcrowed Camps.Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097097
Entire famillies are leaving their villages because of the recent attacks, they don't feel safe anymore in their villages, they are heading to the overcrowed Camps.Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097098
IDP Camp in Kitchanga, everyday thousands of new comers, the local population are forced to leave the neighboring villages because of the insecurity. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097099
IDP Camp in Kitchanga, everyday thousands of new comers, people are forced to leave their villages, because of the war between the different rebel groups and the insecurity. ~Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097100
IDP Camp in Kitchanga, north Kivu, due to the war a lot of congolese have to flee their villages. Living in extreme conditions.Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097119
Since 2000, the UN has spent billions on its peacekeeping mission in Congo, which is known by its French acronym, MONUC, and it is at the moment the largest U.N. force anywhere in the world. But troop...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097101
Portrait of Laurent N'Kunda, leader of the Tutsi rebels movement, CNDP, this picture ~was taken in one of his properties which are highly protected near Kitchanga, North Kivu. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok.
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097102
Displaced mother with her children.After being raped by rebels in Kaniola she had to flee with her children to Bukavu. Where she is living in extreme conditions; hardly finding any money to feed her c...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097103
Children living in extreme poverty. Their mother has been raped, the father has been killed, there is no money to go to school, and during the day they try to find shoes in the trash to resell them on...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097104
Displaced mother with her children, after being raped, she is living on her own with her children, trying everyday to find food for survival. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097105
Children living in extreme poverty. Their mother has been raped, the father has been killed, there is no money to go to school, and during the day they try to find shoes in the trash to resell them on...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097106
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097107
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097108
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097109
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097110
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097111
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097112
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, (where they cultivate, do some training, and control the area) made less p...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097113
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, made less pretense of administrative control but nonetheless exercised pol...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097114
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, made less pretense of administrative control but nonetheless exercised pol...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097115
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, made less pretense of administrative control but nonetheless exercised pol...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097116
The FDLR, less centralized and more geographically scattered than the CNDP, living in different camps build in secret places, made less pretense of administrative control but nonetheless exercised pol...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097117
Since 2000, the UN has spent billions on its peacekeeping mission in Congo, which is known by its French acronym, MONUC, and it is at the moment the largest U.N. force anywhere in the world. But troop...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097118
Since 2000, the UN has spent billions on its peacekeeping mission in Congo, which is known by its French acronym, MONUC, and it is at the moment the largest U.N. force anywhere in the world. But troop...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097120
A group of people is praying for the dead. Even in the Bas-Congo, a lot of people are still being killed, in the entire country, attrocities happen. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097121
Women at work. Congolese women are strong. Many of them raped, HIV-positive and widows, they are fighting to survive. July 2007 Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097122
In many places in East Congo, vestige of the war are often visible. Destroyed buildings, ~damaged vehicles. Foto: Jan-Joseph Stok
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097123
Two women, HIV-positive. Threated in a special house for the first three months, they are looking into an unknown future. Routine and treatable illnesses have become weapons of mass destruction. Foto:...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097124
A woman in the province of Kabare with one of her arms cut off by the rebels. She is a widow and takes care of her entire family. Even though the population suffered a lot from the war and keep on suf...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097125
Sandra Kaborongo, 11 years old. Recently she has been tortured by the FLDR (Rwandese Hutus rebel group in exile in RD Congo). In May 2007, while 30 people of her village were killed, some of her famil...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097126
This woman is a widow, her husband has been killed during the war, she has to raise all her 7 children by herself, no perspective to remarry, they all sleep in the same bed, with hardly any income. Fo...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097127
This womans husband has been killed during the war. As a widow, she has to raise all her 7 children by herself. No perspective to remarry, they all sleep in the same bed, with hardly any income. Foto:...
Jan-Joseph Stok
00097128
Congolese woman who is HIV positive, under treatment for three months, this woman was rejected by her husband. Without any income and no perspective to find another husband, she has to take care of al...