Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
1,300 international observers for polls


BRUSSELS, 28 Jul 2006 (IRIN) - At least 1,300 international observers will be deployed all over the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during Sunday's elections, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"I really feel part of a historic moment in this country. It is such a big event," Albert von Hal, one of the observers, said on Friday in the capital, Kinshasa. "We were amazed when we came across the banners everywhere, at the scale of the whole thing."

He added: "Our group is here at the invitation of local civil society [Cadre de Concertation de la Société Civil pour l'observation des élections] and we are very happy to be here."

UNDP and the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) are concluding the training of 12,000 polling centre supervisors at 210 regional training sites, who will assist local staff in organising "fair and transparent elections", the UNDP said in a statement on Wednesday.

The international observers are in addition to the tens of thousands Congolese observers from civil society. The Congolese churches plan to deploy 50,000 observers, according to the Rev Milenge Mwenalwata of the Church of Christ in Congo, a member of the Federation of Protestant Churches in the DRC.

Most of the international observers will be provided by the independent European mission financed by the European Commission. The team will include 100 long-term observers and 150 short-term observers as well as 50 locally recruited observers.

The core team of 13 people has been deployed since 9 June and is led by the European Member of Parliament Philippe Morillon, a retired general who commanded the UN force during the war in Bosnia.

The African Union, Africa's foremost political body, is providing 50 observers; the Southern African Development Community (SADC) 130 short-term and 15 medium-term observers; the Economic Community of Central African States 30 observers; the Carter Center 58 observers; the Francophonie 30 observers; and the Electoral Institute for Southern Africa 30 observers.

The US has sent a delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer to "underscore support for this historic transition". South Africa has 128 observers, Japan eight, and Belgium has sent its own observers. There are also 30 former and current Belgian Members of Parliament, under the aegis of the European Parliamentarians for Africa.

The UN Office for Project Services will coordinate the activities of the international observers.

The network of European NGOs active in Central Africa, known as Eurac, has 125 observers to reinforce the Cadre de concertation de la Société civile pour l'observation des élections - a platform implemented by Congolese civil society organisations to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections.

These European observers will be deployed to the DRC's 11 provinces, notably in the 64 liaison offices of the DRC's Independent Electoral Commission. Each team will be composed of one European and one Congolese observer.

"It's our way to pay tribute to the Congolese civil society's work during all the war and the long electoral process," said Arnaud Gorgemans, the Eurac director.

These NGO observers have arrived in Congo and already received evaluation sheets. They will send their observations immediately after the vote to a call centre in the capital, Kinshasa.

[Countdown in Congo]

@Congoplanet |

Related articles

  1. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  2. Southern African Leaders to Meet in Zimbabwe (August 15, 2014)
  3. New DR Congo amnesty law welcomed by UN envoys (February 5, 2014)
  4. DR Congo, M23 Rebels Sign Declarations Marking End of Kampala Peace Talks (December 12, 2013)
  5. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  6. DR Congo Will Defend Itself Against an Attack by Rwanda, Government Says (August 31, 2013)
  7. UN Security Council debate focuses on peace efforts for Africa's Great Lakes region (July 25, 2013)
  8. Warlord Bosco Ntaganda Turns Himself In at US Embassy in Rwanda (March 18, 2013)
  9. Regional Leaders Sign DR Congo Peace Deal (February 24, 2013)
  10. Thousands of Women March Against M23 Rebels in Kinshasa (November 24, 2012)
  11. UN Security Council condemns 'any and all outside support' to M23 rebels (October 19, 2012)
  12. At high-level meeting, Ban urges political solution to crisis in eastern DR Congo (September 27, 2012)
  13. DR Congo, Rwanda Sign Pact to Fight Rebels in Eastern Congo (July 15, 2012)
  14. UN, AU vow to eradicate Ugandan rebel group LRA in 2012 (January 5, 2012)
  15. Tshisekedi Says He Won, Can He Prove It? (December 17, 2011)
  16. Observers Hail Successful DR Congo Elections (December 1, 2011)
  17. 32 Million Congolese Voters Set to Elect Their Leaders (November 27, 2011)
  18. European Union to observe presidential and legislative elections (October 19, 2011)
  19. 19,497 Candidates to Run for 500 Seats in Parliament (September 26, 2011)
  20. 31 Million Registered to Vote (July 20, 2011)
  21. Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in DR Congo (June 28, 2011)
  22. President Jacob Zuma ends working visit to the DRC (June 21, 2011)
  23. Rights Groups: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections (June 9, 2011)
  24. Parliament Approves Constitutional Amendments (January 16, 2011)
  25. Great Lakes Regional Summit to Focus on Congo Resource Exploitation (December 15, 2010)
  26. UN Sanctions FDLR Leaders, CNDP Rebel Commander Integrated into Army (December 2, 2010)
  27. UN launches patrols to head off rebel violence during holiday season (December 1, 2010)
  28. 2010 Human Development Report analyses long-term development trends (November 4, 2010)
  29. Congo Defense Minister Rejects UN Allegations against Army (October 17, 2010)
  30. Four African nations crack down on LRA (October 16, 2010)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.