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Photographing the Terror and Joy of Refugees in DRC

Alexis Huguet, a French photojournalist who has been based in central Africa since 2017, was covering the humanitarian crisis along the border for Agence France-Presse and MSF. “When [people] fled in early January, they were really scared,” he remembers. “[The forces] attacked with heavy weapons. There was bombing in Bangassou. People heard the bombing and gunshots and ran to the river to cross to Congo. Some tried to find canoes, some swam. Some of them were pregnant. It was a mess, it was crazy.” This wasn’t the first time Huguet had been to Bangassou and Ndu. He was in the area covering a similar situation in 2017. “It was almost the same,” he says. “Back then, Bangassou was attacked by an armed group and tens of thousands of people had to flee their homes.”