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The One Night DRC Residents Could Forget about their Problems

In a field in central Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 36,000 people last weekend got the chance to forget fears about insecurity and enjoy some top African music acts at the Amani Festival. The annual festival, named after the Swahili word for peace, is a rare time for such large numbers to come together in one place here. Goma is the biggest city in a region that has seen an upsurge of violence in recent months. The three-day event started with a performance of a requiem – or prayer for the dead – based on Mozart’s Requiem but given a Congolese interpretation through local performers. The living were also remembered. Big acts from across the continent, food and fashion were the order of the day, in an event that wants to show that Goma is not all doom.