As citizens in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) vote in elections for the second time in forty years, Christian Aid and EurAC - a european network of 50 non-governmental organisations focused on central Africa - have sent a team of 100 international election observers to the country.
Working alongside national civil society organisations, the observers collate factual reports from across the DRC to assess how effective and fair the elections have been.
Delivering democratic elections in the DRC is rife with challenges – practical, financial, logistical and political. It is a country nearly the size of western Europe, with few roads and little infrastructure, trying to recover from decades of repressive dictatorship and political transition.
Many communities have been engulfed in a cycle of armed conflict and instability, fuelled in part by competition for the DRC’s immense wealth in mineral resources.
Christian Aid has been working on accountable governance in the DRC for many years, working alongside our partners on a daily basis to help communities know and defend their rights, be equipped to participate at the local level and demand accountability and transparency.
Donatella Rostagno from EurAC told us: `In 2006, civil society organisations such as Christian Aid’s partners took part in electoral observation for the first time. Now they have five years more experience and have been pushing for civic education improvement for all these years. Civil society organisations in DRC face big challenges but at the same time they do a lot with the little they have because of their knowledge and their closeness to the communities.’
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Our podcast outlines the sheer scale of the challenges involved in holding elections in such a vast and challenging country. Christian Aid’s communications officer Tori Ray talks with Donatella Rostagno from EurAC and ex-MP Judy Mallaber, who travelled to the DRC with Christian Aid in 2006 and 2011 to observe the elections.
Listen to our podcast
NEW: Read our latest press release following the elections in the DRC
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