Jeffrey Gettleman is East Africa bureau chief for The New York Times. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize this year for international reporting from Somalia and Sudan. (August 2012)

The War Against the Nuba

A woman from the Nuba Mountains at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, April 2012
The war between the northern and southern Sudanese is one of the longest and most complex in Africa, driven by religious schisms, racial politics, oil, and an especially convoluted colonial legacy. Within this broader conflict, the rebellion in the Nuba Mountains may be the most intractable. It is also the one causing the most intense violence and suffering right now.

Africa’s Dirty Wars

Young rebels from the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo—whose fighters, according to UNHCR, are told to spray themselves with ‘magic water to protect themselves from bullets’—Lukweti, Masisi Territory, North Kivu, 2011. The photograph is titled Vintage Violence and appears in Infra, Richard Mosse’s book of infrared images of eastern Congo. The book includes an essay by Adam Hochschild and has just been published by Aperture and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
In December 2009, the Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal African rebel group guided by a wig-wearing commander named Joseph Kony, massacred more than three hundred people in a remote corner of northeastern Congo. Most of the victims were clubbed to death, some were killed with machetes, a few were shot, …

The Pirates Are Winning!

Pirate militiamen at a port in Hobyo, Somalia, August 20, 2010
Abshir Boyah is one of Somalia’s pirate chieftains. Last spring, he took me to lunch at a small restaurant directly across the street from the presidential palace of the Puntland semiautonomous regional government. Boyah has hijacked dozens of ships and is a member of a secretive council of pirates called “The Corporation.” He is six foot four, very thin, with a long, handsome face, brilliant white teeth, and a booming, supremely confident laugh. The minute we walked into the restaurant, he was surrounded by admirers.

East Africa: The Most Corrupt Country

Young women walking to a food relief center in the drought-stricken village of Nadapal, Rift Valley province, Kenya, October 2, 2009; photograph by Stefano De Luigi
According to the United Nations, the average Kenyan makes $777 a year. Yet members of Kenya’s parliament are among the highest paid in the world, with a compensation package of $145,565 (most of it tax-free). That is 187 times more than the country’s average income and would be the equivalent …