Troops Of The 3310th Regiment
Words by – Hugh Cunningham Image by – Hugh Cunningham

This image depicts troops of the 3310th regiment of the FARDC (Congolese National army) preparing to move off in escort of health workers tackling the Ebola outbreak. Taken in Butembo, North Kivu, the current epicentre of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola crisis. Due to years of neglect, community resistance and attacks from rebels have become endemic, affecting the response to the virus, military escort has therefore been necessary for many health missions. MSF Ebola treatment centres in the region have been burnt and fired upon so tensions are high; the day before this photograph I had covered a funeral which was stoned and blockaded by persons sceptical of the reality of Ebola. Shot as part of a larger project at the same time as a wire assignment, this soldier’s elegance caught my eye, in hindsight I feel it is an important quieter moment of reflection before launching into one of the most complex health crises the world has seen.