A trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, joining a UN mission to investigate the massacres there:
In the last few months, I’ve spent time in the Democratic Republic of Congo where I used an embarrassing fuck-up by one of the world’s most publicly accountable organizations as a bargaining tool to get a story. A mistake by the United Nations means I saw something I shouldn’t have*, and when I agreed to agree it never happened, they reluctantly allowed me to join a massacre investigation mission in the most damaged part of what is, if their own statistics are to be trusted, the most damaged country in the world.
I was to accompany a three-person Human Rights Team into one of the remotest parts of the Masisi district in Eastern DRC. I was expecting something like the cast of The Matrix, but what I got was a Head of Mission who wore Prada loafers, a spherical Congolese lady with a kind smile and another guy who wore a Thailand tourist T-shirt and fell asleep all the time. The UN histrionics surrounding our departure made it seem like we’d be spat out into an as yet unseen sequel of a Hollywood blockbuster, but in truth, we were middle-class happy campers on holiday.
“Sleeping Through the Slaughter.” — Jessica Hatcher, Vice