Eastern Congo has been destabilized by war for more than a decade. The conflict has taken several million lives when those lost to preventable disease are taken into account. This would make it it the deadliest conflict since WWII.
One of the detonators of this conflict has been the struggle to control the regions' vast mineral wealth. Though the bloodshed has often taken the form of ethnic strife, but many feel that these are tribal struggles formented by outsiders that want to keep moving the mineral wealth across their borders. Large international mining companies have pulled out, leaving the work to be done by barefoot Congolese, some of them children, with shovels and buckets. The central government in Kinshasa has not been able to quell the various militias and rebel groups. This work was made on several journeys in in the mid 2000's and was awarded the POYi "World Understanding Award" from the Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.