Nowhere to Run

Nowhere to Run

Nowhere to Run
2010
The mountains of South Kivu are home to a large population of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, a Hutu paramilitary group that has lived in exile in Congo since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, as well as local militias set up to defend the indigenous population against FDLR. These hills are also rich in rare earth minerals like gold, cassiterite, and coltan, which are extracted by artisanal miners who must pay taxes to the rebels. Because of systemic corruption and bankrupt civic institutions, the National Army and the National Congolese Police exert little influence in these remote areas, which exist in a near state of anarchy – a kind of Hobbesian State of War.
Lava Floe

Lava Floe

Lava Floe
2010
Overlooking suburbs of Goma adjacent to Mt. Nyiragongo. The last major volcanic eruption of Nyiragongo, which devastated Goma, was in 2002. Since then, the population has returned to Goma and many people have simply built new houses on the hardened lava rocks.
Lava Lake

Lava Lake

Lava Lake
2011
Mt. Nyiragongo has erupted at least thirty-four times since 1882, most recently in 1977 and 2002.
Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf
2010
Artisanal miner with gold dust found panning a stream in Mungbwalu, Ituri Province, Orientale.
Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday
2011
Alliance des Patriotes pour un Congo Libre et Souverain (APCLS) rebel with RPG launcher following Colonel Duga, walking to a rendezvous with FDLR Colonel Sadiki in the jungle west of Lwibo, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. At this time, APCLS, Sadiki’s FLDR Montana, and Mai Mai Sheka had allied in the mountains of Masisi and Walikale Territories.
Sadiki

Sadiki

Sadiki
2011
Colonel Soleil Sadiki of FDLR Montana battalion, at a secret location. Shortly after this photograph was taken, Sadiki was assassinated by his ally Sheka, who was allegedly paid a six figure bounty for the killing by Rwanda’s Tutsi controlled regime. The assassination took place in Sadiki’s mountaintop headquarters on the Walikale-Masisi border. This jungle base is now occupied by Mai Mai Sheka.
Virunga

Virunga

Virunga
2012
Virunga National Park is the oldest protected wildlife park in Africa. It is home to many different species including the endangered mountain gorilla. As a result of its remoteness, it is also home to guerrilla forces, nomadic armed groups of various alliances. Recent shifts in power in the region have seen FDLR forces, once strong in places like Shalio, South Masisi, flee the homespun grass roots insurgency of Raiya Mutomboki (in alliance with Rwandan proxy M23 rebels) to find refuge in Virunga. The park has been host to armed groups for many years.
Vintage Violence

Vintage Violence

Vintage Violence
2011
Young rebels from Alliance des Patriotes pour un Congo Libre et Souverain (APCLS) posing in foliage, Lukweti, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. APCLS are an armed group composed of Hunde tribesmen which have rebelled against Kabila and the national government, who they believe is aligned with the Rwandan Tutsi. They are at war with the National Army (FARDC), and the UN Mission in Congo (MONUSCO).
Mother Lukweti

Mother Lukweti

Mother Lukweti
2011
A mother with child outside their home in the village of Lukweti. At this time, Lukweti was occupied by General Janvier and the APCLS armed group, a small mai mai rebel force mainly comprised of Hunde fighters. Conditions in Lukweti at this time were deeply impoverished: no running water, no electricity, no sanitation. Bilharzia ran through the local river. Congolese national army (FARDC) troops, stationed on a distant hilltop, fired indiscrimately upon villagers, day or night.
Growing Up in Public

Growing Up in Public

Growing Up in Public
2011
Young APCLS rebel with AK47 wearing Spongebob Squarepants T-shirt on the Lukweti to Pinga road, Masisi Territory, North Kivu.
Better than the Real Thing

Better than the Real Thing

Better than the Real Thing
2011
Scarecrow planted by the FARDC in Virunga National Park, north of Goma. Myth and magic have played an important role in the conflict in eastern DRC. This scarecrow was planted to scare rebel fighters. There was a similar scarecrow on a road close to the Ugandan border with a human skull for a head. Congolese black magic is known as Juju, and is often blended with Christian purity rituals.
Hunches in Bunches

Hunches in Bunches

Hunches in Bunches
2011
Charcoal production on the road between Kirolirwe and Kitchanga, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. Masisi’s lush valleys are submitted to unsustainable charcoal exploitation, their forests rapidly cleared to make way for pastureland to graze cattle. This axis is fiercely fought over by a number of armed groups, and is considered a heartland of Tutsi warlords including Laurent Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda. The Tutsi tribe are traditionally nomadic pastoralists. Their claim to Congolese citizenship lies at the centre of the cycle of wars in this region since the Rwandan Genocide in the mid-1990s. Almost every industry in this region – from artisanal mineral exploitation to the culling of primeval forest for charcoal production – is controlled by armed groups. The illegal charcoal trade is estimated to earn DRC’s militias between $14-50 million USD per year in road taxes.
The Crystal World

The Crystal World

The Crystal World
2011
Deforestation on the road between Sake and Kirolirwe, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. Forestry in Masisi Territory being cleared to create pastureland for cattle grazing. Originally farmed by indigenous Congolese tribes, who subsist by growing crops and hunting bush meat, this landscape was seized by Belgian colonialists and more recently by militias from pastoralist tribes, such as Tutsi encroaching from neighbouring Rwanda, who have cut the primeval forest to create pasture for their nomadic cattle herds. Local populations are dispossessed through intimidation and human rights violations. This photograph was taken near Kirolirwe on the Sake to Kitchanga axis in North Kivu, very near the former Belgian colonial mansion, which now lies abandoned, where Laurent Nkunda was based before his arrest.
Stalemate

Stalemate

Stalemate
2011
UN digger derrick stuck in the mud during the rainy season, near Nyabiondo, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. There are four rainy seasons per year in this part of DRC.
Taking Tiger Mountain

Taking Tiger Mountain

Taking Tiger Mountain
2011
Pastureland at Katale, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. Human Rights Watch have reported ongoing intimidation and human rights violations occurring in Katale Valley.
Flower of the Mountain

Flower of the Mountain

Flower of the Mountain
2011
A hill beside the village of Kirolirwe on the main axis between Sake and Kitchanga in Masisi Territory, a heartland of Tutsi armed groups including M23 and CNDP. Recent deforestation causes soil erosion and has dramatically affected the region’s delicate micro-climate.
Colonel Soleil’s Boys

Colonel Soleil’s Boys

Colonel Soleil’s Boys
2010
CNDP rebels being integrated into the Congolese national army, the FARDC, at Mushaki, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. After a short period integrated into the ranks of the FARDC, this armed group defected in 2012, forming a new group known as M23 who eventually took the city of Goma in November 2012. M23 were eventually decimated in 2013 by a joint force composed of FARDC troops supported by a new MONUSCO Intervention Brigade under the command of Brazilian General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz.
Men of Good Fortune

Men of Good Fortune

Men of Good Fortune
2011
Farm near Bihambwe, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. This rich pastureland is fiercely fought over in an escalating territorial conflict. Originally owned by indigenous Congolese tribes, who subsist by growing crops and hunting bush meat, this landscape was seized by pastoralist tribes, such as the Tutsi, who have cut the primordial forests to create pasture for their cattle. Farmers and their families are dispossessed through intimidation and human rights violations. Traces of Belgian colonialism are clearly evident, and the landscape is often evocative of northern European or Swiss pastures.
Tutsi Town

Tutsi Town

Tutsi Town
2010
A National Congolese Police officer with villagers from Mushaki, Masisi Province, watching a military ceremony celebrating the integration of CNDP rebels into the FARDC, once known as “Brassage”. The officer’s blue uniform has been turned red by Kodak Aerochrome. The scene’s tensely confrontational nature is possibly a result of the local population disavowing a Western photographer’s gaze. Or perhaps it’s an expression of the village’s disapproval of the integration of CNDP rebels into the national army, a process that legitimized war criminals. Perhaps both.
Better the Devil You Know

Better the Devil You Know

Better the Devil You Know
2010
Villagers of Bihambwe alongside United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) Indian Battalion troops, observe National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebels celebrate their integration into the FARDC.
Blues March I

Blues March I

Blues March I
2011
FARDC soldiers at Huitième Région headquarters, Goma.
Triumph of the Will

Triumph of the Will

Triumph of the Will
2011
FARDC soldiers demonstrate the purpose of an old Belgian commando training structure at Rumangabo military base, North Kivu. Rumangabo was taken and held by M23 rebels throughout 2011, but retaken by FARDC in 2012. Soldiers live with their families in the old Belgian style colonial bungalows. Often several families will occupy a single bungalow, living in very poor conditions.
General Février

General Février

General Février
2010
Rebel from the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) poses on the day of the armed group’s integration into the National Army (FARDC), near Mushaki, Masisi Territory, North Kivu. After a short period integrated into the ranks of the FARDC, this armed group defected in 2012, forming a new group known as M23 who eventually took the city of Goma in November 2012. M23 were eventually decimated in 2013 by a joint force composed of FARDC troops supported by a new MONUSCO Intervention Brigade under the command of Brazilian General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz.
Untitled

Untitled

Untitled
2011
A young Hutu refugee, born 1984, named Mugayaya, photographed in Masisi Central. Mugayaya’s deformed face and arm may have been caused by machete strikes, which were then exacerbated by a noma tumour resulting from bad sanitation in IDP camps in the region where he has lived throughout his life, fleeing violence. Or perhaps a traditional medicine doctor cut the boy’s face to treat noma, making the problem worse. Many concerned people, including doctors, have been in contact with me about this photograph, to try to locate and help Mugayaya. Mugayaya himself told me he is happy to be treated as, he explained, he had “given up on his life.” However, his condition is extremely complicated and I was told it cannot be treated in the regional hospital in Goma.
Dawn

Dawn

Dawn
2011
Farmers walking to work at dawn, Nyabiondo, Masisi Territory.
Orphic Highlands

Orphic Highlands

Orphic Highlands
2011
Aerial photo from Busy Bee flight chartered by Merlin NGO, showing upland farming and settlements in valleys of North Kivu.
She Brings the Rain

She Brings the Rain

She Brings the Rain
2011
APCLS rebel in the hills above Lukweti, Masisi Territory, North Kivu.
Nineteenth-century Man

Nineteenth-century Man

Nineteenth-century Man
2011
Congolese Wildlife Authority (ICCN) ranger guarding a trail on the slopes of Mt. Nyiragongo, Virunga National Park, North Kivu. Hutu FDLR paramilitaries and other armed groups roam freely in Virunga, occasionally ambushing ICCN park rangers, who protect wildlife and attempt to control deforestation and charcoal production.
Another Green World

Another Green World

Another Green World
2010
Equatorial rainforest and the River Congo, en route from Kisangani to Bukavu via a United Nations–operated flight.

The Infra series is marked by Mosse’s use of Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued reconnaissance infrared film. The film registers chlorophyll in live vegetation. The result is the lush Congolese rainforest rendered into a beautifully surreal landscape of pinks and reds. Mosse said in an interview with The British Journal of Photography "I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we're allowed to represent this forgotten conflict… I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed."