But recent unrest in the country's mineral-rich eastern region threatens to escalate into full-blown war, drawing Congo's neighboring nations into yet another bloody, costly conflict. The international community is getting uneasy, and earlier this week U.S. and British envoys paid Congo an emergency visit to try to quell the violence.
Click the "Listen" link to hear about the recent bloodshed in Congo, and the U.S. role in maintaining the peace.
Duncan Woodside, freelance reporter based in Kigali, Rwanda, covering the Congo conflict for the Christian Science Monitor
John Shattuck, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, leader of a 2003 human rights delegation to Congo
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, a native of Congo, former US Marine, former Voice of America broadcaster, former employee of US Embassy in Kinshasa
Judithe Registre, international development expert, Congolese director of Women for Women International
This program aired on June 24, 2004.