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Effacer le Tableau

keith harmon snow | Central Africa

A Rwandan militiaman aligned with the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) is taken captive by UN forces in the Walungu territory of South Kivu, DRC. The UN guards emptied the captive's Kalashnikov (rifle) of bullets and made him carry his gun and a sack of his few meager belongings as they marched him out of the remote hills where peasants had reduced the forests to swidden and the peasants worked the hillsides with giant hoes while fires sometimes burned around them. The FDLR are roundly accused of the worst crimes in the Congo, while the true perpetrators of mass atrocities on an unimaginable unquantifiable and unprecedented scale are sent into the Congo by the criminal elite regimes in power in Rwanda and Uganda. The dictatorships of Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) are supported (in every way) by the United States, EU countries, and Israel, and are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Uganda (1980-present), Rwanda (1990-present), Congo (1995-present) and Burundi (1990-present).

Countless forces have perpetrated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Africa's great lakes region. The almost permanent insecurity and violence in the region is driven by corruption, dictatorship, and the global demand for natural resources.  

Armed conflict and related violence have plagued the border states of the eastern DR Congo; these include tortures, abductions, disappearing, coupled with starvation, poverty, sexual crimes, forced labor.   

Effacer le Tableau roughly translates to "erasing the board" and it is one of many brutal military campaigns that brought unspeakable atrocities upon the local populations; atrocities still occur, throughout the great lakes region, and the climate of insecuirty and impunity persists today. Meanwhile, proper documentation, collection of testimonies and preservation of evidence is lacking.  

This ongoing long term project documents war and related desperation and survival.  It roughly began with my first journey into Zaire by bicycle in 1991, and it has followed the lives of some of the people seen herein, and it will continue to do so. It also seeks to explore truth, responsibility, accountability and possible reconciliation.

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