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NEWS: Voters Register In Eastern DRC Under Uneasy Peace

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posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 07:13 PM
Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, delayed six months from the original date in June, are nearing again and voters are rushing to register even though sporadic fighting continues. The Second Congo War, involving six governments and several rebel factions, officially ended in 2002, but ethnic clashes and occupation by Rwandan rebels and others have persisted. The eastern area of the DRC, which suffered heavily during the conflict and has seen at least 50,000 deaths since the conflict's end, has not had a census in decades. As citizens brave the dangers of sporadic fighting to obtain their voter registration, which are valid identity documents as well, there is doubt as to whether the quasi-peace can survive the election.
Voters have begun registering in the Democratic Republic of Congo's war-torn east, home to more than half of the country's population.
Around 1,000 voter registration centres are due to open in the eastern Kivu region over the next few days.

Sporadic ethnic conflict is still taking place in the area, despite the presence of the world's largest UN peacekeeping force.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It is likely that few Americans were even aware of the war, nor are they aware of what is at stake now. This has been an on again, off again war, with several short-lived peace agreements and overturned withdrawl promises from the participants. The end of the First Congo War in 1997 lasted less than a year before the second war broke out. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the ballance now, and most Americans probably don't even know it. This is a shame, as in my opinion there will be little hope for peace if the US and allies can not force Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda to stay out of the DRC and let the UN deal with the Tutsi-Hutu conflict there.

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posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 07:17 PM

nor are they aware of what is at stake now

Does the DRC have Oil that was just discovered or something? Only reason why I think USA would care about that country.

posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 08:29 PM
Diamonds, Copper, and other metals. As far as I am aware, not much oil. On the other hand, even if the human toll is not enough to urge action on our part, Africa is important to America's strategic and economic future. If we want to warm up to India and keep resources in strong supply so that China can't manipulate prices from the demand side, we need to build stability and local economies in Central and East Africa. Uganda and DRC in particular will be valuable if America wants to move Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and others on the coast along towards being part of an economic alliance between African resource bearing nations, potential African industrial powers, and of course international economic powers and technological leaders India and the United States.
If Uganda and DRC are ruining themselves it's going to be a lot harder to feed Ethiopia and Kenya and get them off of subsistence farming and into industry.
Call me ambitious-America's economic interests are too decentralized and our politicians are too short sighted. If we were thinking though, we'd be taking a stronger interest in the DRC.
All of that is not even to mention the fact that saving lives in Africa will be a start on restoring our international credibility and gain us allies in the UN General Assembly.

posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 08:22 PM

Little bonus here on what the fighting is really all about. Apparently in the midst of all this "ethnic conflict" it also just happens that a lot of Congolese gold is finding its way into Uganda for export.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 12:35 AM
I reject the idea that the U.S. is only interested in oil and other natural resources, however I must note also that the Congo also has a lot of uranium.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 01:27 AM

I reject the idea that the U.S. is only interested in oil and other natural resources

Apparently so does the US. I think our interests in the long term would be better served by helping make sure that this election is the final end of the war. For all I know maybe we ARE leaning on DRC's neighbors, and hopefully we are, but consideirng the lack of new coverage I get the impression that we are not wanted to be paying attention, perhaps because we do not intend to take any action if the worst should happen.

Edit to add: this story has almost 50 views and only 1 vote against, yet it hasn't been upgraded. Would it kill you people to vote?

[edit on 25-8-2005 by The Vagabond]

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 06:22 PM
Lazy fingers or just slow browsers? How in the heck does a story get 64 views without being accepted or deleted, especially when it has virtually no votes against it?
This is just perplexing.

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