Across the Democratic Republic of Congo foreign owned logging companies are causing widespread destruction of one of the most valuable remaining tropical forests in the world. Often local populations are ignored as their forests are cut around them. In a country largely lawless the use of violence is endemic. By using the police to crush opposition and resistance among the local populace the state is seen as openly supporting the companies over their own citizens. Acting with impunity people are being arrested, tortured and raped in remote regions.
The small forest dwelling community of Bayeria, in the Mai-Ndombe region, protested when their social improvement plans, an agreement made between the logging company and the village to help develop infrastructure, had failed to materialise. They tell their harrowing story in a region set to be the DRCs flagship forest protection area for new carbon investment projects.
View more stories at ifnotusthenwho.me/stories/