Personalizing the Congo on A1

Last week, Armin wondered why the conflict in the Congo wasn’t receiving (more consistent) A1 coverage. Today, New York Times readers (well, print readers) meet a reuinited Congolese family — Protégée, Résponse, and Esperance Nirakagori —on the front page (below the fold) via powerful images (before and after the reunion) from the AP’s Jerome Delay. And readers who follow the jump to A6 get a very vivid sense, courtesy of Jeffrey Gettleman (someone Armin rightly singled out as having done admirable work on the topic to date), of “the desperation —and weirdness—…creeping across eastern Congo as more terriotry slips into a jumbled world between government and rebel control.”

UPDATE: Delay, the AP photographer cited above, writes up the story of that family reunion (and his role in it) here. In part:

When I set out to search for Protégée, I had little certainty of success but I was determined to try to help. As a journalist, I’ve photographed war and refugees all over the world since the early 1980s.

But I was particularly moved by readers’ reactions to this photograph of two little girls, their faces wrenched in fear and desperation. I knew that the chances of finding them again were slim, as I see children walking alone on the roads every day. But I found myself imagining how it would feel if I were searching for my own daughters — and having two, that was not difficult.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.