By Scott Baldauf
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
(AXcess News) Kitchanga, Democratic Republic of CONGO – The general walks into the hut, his boots freshly brushed, his green beret tilted just so, his silver-capped swagger stick tucked under his arm. He greets a group of journalists, puts his hand over a table full of food, and closes his eyes in prayer.
"Father, we thank you for the food we are about to eat, and we ask you to ensure a safe journey for your children who have come to visit us," Gen. Laurent Nkunda intones, in the rhythm of an evangelical preacher, which he has been in the past.
It's not the picture one expects of Congo's Public Enemy No. 1.
Called a war criminal and terrorist by his opponents in the Congolese Army, General Nkunda maintains a well-armed and -supplied militia of 8,000 in the mountainous eastern region of Congo, carrying out a guerrilla war against the government and other ethnic militias in defense of his ethnic group, Congolese Tutsis.