2006 Photo Contest, People in the News, 1st prize

Sven Torfinn

Panos Pictures

01 March, 2005

Grieving relatives surround the corpse of five-year-old Vani Vamuliya, who died of dysentery in March. Vani's last days were spent in a camp for internally displaced persons in Tche. Nearly four million people are believed to have perished over six years of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II. Government forces, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe were pitted against rebels supported by Uganda and Rwanda. Most of the casualties were women and children, and most died from starvation or disease. Although a peace deal was signed in 2003, militia violence continued, especially in the east of the country. In the weeks before Vani died, some 13,000 people sought refuge in the camp at Tche.

About the photographer

Sven Torfinn

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