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Nonfiction that reads like a suspense novel

The Rebels' Hour

Lieve Joris

Lieve Joris has written a lot about the African Congo. In The Rebels’ Hour, she chose the genre of faction to let the reader experience the complexity of human tragedy in what is called the African First World War. The book records the story of fatherless Assani who grows up on the upland planes of East Congo, protected by his mother from his uncles’ harshness. During his school years the bloody conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis in neighbouring Rwanda flows over the border and he discovers that he is a Tutsi. From that moment on the fight for his identity will dominate his existence. Owing to his origins Assani is drawn into what is sometimes called the African First World War.

A book that seems to have been written with a video camera on the shoulder

He fights on the side of Kabila against the dictator Mobutu, but when Kabila sends its Rwandan Tutsi allies home he has to flee the capital city. Dozens of times Assani stares death in the face, but he survives and reappears in the capital city after a five-year rebellion as officer of the united Congolese army.