DRC: Day of Prayer for Peace

Displaced Congolese who fled Laurent Nkunda's advance through Rumangabo. They're staying in schools, courtyards, and churches and are scared to go back to their fields to get food. Aid has been cut off in the region because of the recent fighting. Image by Michael Kavanagh. Congo, 2008.

Today the government declared a national day of prayer for peace and gave everyone a holiday. The army commemorated the day by attacking Nkunda positions in at least two places by 6am. As one national aid worker told me, "We've been at war for 15 [sic] years and now they choose to tell us to pray for peace."

In the city, the roads were quiet, and in the morning people went to the cathedral or the local churches to pray. By afternoon, dozens of men were drunk in the streets.

I met a taxi man named James who wouldn't work past dark because it would be too dangerous to get home to his neighborhood – he's a Tutsi – and so he gave my friend his taxi to keep for the night and took a moto home.