Category Archives: Diamonds, gold and guns

Hope Follows Terror in the Ituri

Young pygmy girls pounding cassava (photo Kim Gjerstad). In 2010 a cry of alarm went out to local government officials, military authorities, and traditional chiefs: “We are losing our elephants; Poachers slaughter elephants, terrorize villagers and subjugate pygmies. The military stationed around the Okapi Reserve supply poachers with arms and ammunition.” The letters were sent […]

Update: Criminal Escaped

See update at the bottom of earlier post. When we discovered the rebel groups poaching elephants, we feared it would take a long time to loosen their hold on the forest.  But for more than a year these criminals have been captured and gone;  we thought gone for good.  Alas. November 6th : Further updates […]

The Final Slaughter of Elephants is One by One.

Here is a sad story which, alas, is true: Hundreds of northern white rhinoceroses were slaughtered on the northern savanna of Congo in the 1970s and early 80s.  Their horns were shipped to the Middle East and Asia.  There was a brief recovery in the late 80s and 90s.  Then, in this the 21st century, […]

In Congo, Diamonds are Whose Best Friend ?

This was my first trip to Mbuji Mayi. I knew it as Congo’s city of riches: the diamond mecca of the country. But whatever I expected is not what I found. Diamond merchant at open air market in Mbuji Mayi. I flew south, over savanna towards Mbuji-Mayi , capital of Kasai Oriental, a Province whose […]