Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Trekking through the mountains to Congo’s “De Gaulle”

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Emmanuel Braun was named as Reuters Video Journalist of the Year this month for his coverage of Africa.

The call takes me by surprise. It is our contact at the CNDP, the rebel movement in eastern Congo, telling us its leader Laurent Nkunda has agreed to meet us in his stronghold in the Masisi Mountains.

It would normally be a three-hour drive from our base in Goma to the region. But the government has banned journalists from using the main road to its enemy so we are forced to take muddy mountain paths. What follows is a 27-hour ordeal by car, motorbike and foot.

 

Our problems start as we approach the Rutshuru mountain area, a beautiful volcanic landscape. Our heavy 4×4 car is designed for deserts and is sliding toward the chasm below us. We get out and push it out of the mud. Night is falling. Some CNDP political advisors show up but are vague on how far we are from Nkunda’s headquarters. ”Twenty minutes,” says one of them. Pushed, he ups his estimate to 15 hours, maybe.

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