Friday, September 29, 2006

Dying in Silence

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Map of the Congo from the CIA World Factbook.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dying in silence

We are on our way to central Africa. Right now we're in Dubai waiting for one of several connecting flights we'll be taking to get to the Congo.It's a place many Americans know little about, and yet each of us carries a piece of the Congo with us, wherever we go. Minerals mined in the Congo like tin ore and coltan are essential components in cell phones, computers, and video game consoles.

The battle over who gets to mine those minerals has fueled the deadliest conflict the world has seen since World War II. More than three million people have died in the Congo since 1998 and there has been very little coverage of it. Tens of thousands of women have been raped; often gang raped by soldiers and militia members. What has happened there is hard to fathom, and still some 1200 people are dying every day from malnutrition and disease.

It is ironic of course, that in our hi-tech world, the very place that makes our phones and computers work, is one of the least developed and impoverished places on the planet. Next week we will be doing something I don't think any other network has ever done. We will be covering two major humanitarian crises at once, the Congo and Darfur. Jeff Koinange and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be reporting on Darfur and I will be in eastern Congo.

Logistically this is an incredibly difficult undertaking. It's expensive, and requires a huge team of people. The truth is no one but CNN would undertake a mission like this. Our plan is to take all of you along on this journey, to two places you have rarely seen. So many people in the Congo and Sudan have already lost their lives; so many more lives hang in the balance. There are few things worse than dying in silence, too many already have. I hope you'll join us on this trip.

Posted By Anderson Cooper: 4:04 PM ET

--from the AC 360 blog

Go here to read a blog that features news about the Congo.

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