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A vote for a piece of soap

IRIN - June 20, 2006

Congo River - KisanganiThe men and women in Yasira market have no illusions about the upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the benefit their votes will bring. "We expect presents from candidates, otherwise we will not vote for them," 20-year-old Lobela Lionda told IRIN.
Rare Okapi Sighted in Eastern Congo Park

WWF - June 16, 2006

OkapiAfter nearly 50 years, the okapi -- the closest known relative to the giraffe -- has been rediscovered in Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), World Wildlife Fund announced today. This is the first sign of okapi presence in Virunga National Park since August 1959 according to official records.
New disarmament deadline, amnesty offer for militiamen

IRIN - June 16, 2006

Congo MilitiamenMilitia active in Ituri District in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have until 30 June to disarm, according to an ultimatum by the national army and the United Nations Mission in the DRC, known as MONUC.
EU force commander details mission's mandate

IRIN - June 14, 2006

Gen Karlheinz Viereck, EU Operation Commander for the DRC
At least 800 European Union soldiers, mainly French, will be on the ground in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), during the country's general elections, according to the commander of an EU force.
Interview with Apollinaire Malumalu, president of Independent Electoral Commission

IRIN - June 14, 2006

Abbe Apolinaire Malu MaluThe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to hold its first series of elections in 45 years on 30 July. There have been many obstacles and delays: The country is huge, with few roads, and is in the process of emerging from a decade of civil conflict
Interview with Valentin Mubake, representative of the opposition UDPS

IRIN - June 14, 2006

Valentin MubakeThe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is preparing to hold its first democratic elections in 45 years on 30 July, but the main political opposition party is not participating.
Demo held over polls as UN team visits Kinshasa

IRIN - June 13, 2006

UDPS supporters after a demoThousands of Congolese on Monday took to the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, to demand negotiations that would see the main opposition party included in the country's electoral process.
Interview with William Swing, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative

IRIN - June 13, 2006

William Swing - Special Representative of UN Secretary-General to the DRC and head of MONUC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is to hold its first elections in 45 years on 30 July. Donors are providing almost half a billion dollars to fund the polls, and the United Nations peacekeeping mission there, known as MONUC, is responsible for transporting the electoral personnel and voting material to 53,000 polling sites around the country.
EU military communications advance team arrives

IRIN - June 8, 2006

Gen Karlheinz Viereck, EU Operation Commander for the DRC
A 20-member advance team of the European Union (EU) force charged with safeguarding the first general elections in 45 years in the Congo has arrived in the capital, Kinshasa, a spokesman for the force said on Thursday
To vote, or not to vote?

IRIN - June 8, 2006

Abbe Apollinaire Malumalu
Among the many political problems weighing on this giant, war-weary nation as it staggers towards its first elections in 40 years, is the fact that its main opposition has missed the deadline to register.



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