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Pray for Peaceful Elections in Congo November 15th, 2011
On November 28, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will hold elections. A delegation of Catholic bishops from the Congo Catholic Conference was recently in Washington D.C, to urge the international community to increase the number of international observers monitoring the forthcoming elections and to ensure that minerals and resources of the DRC are not used for illicit purposes. The elections are being vigorously contested, with 11 candidates vying for the presidency, and nearly 19,000 for some 500 parliamentary seats. There are 32 million eligible voters in the country.
Forty-one faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations issued a press release in October expressing concern about the high level of political tension and the deteriorating security situation. They have called upon all Congolese and international actors involved to take urgent measures to prevent electoral violence, better protect civilians and ensure credible, free and fair elections. Amongst those who signed onto the press release is Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN) whose members are mostly Catholic Religious or Missionary Institutes working in Africa and Europe. Missionary Oblates maintains membership at the AEFJN. Also, the Missionary Oblates have significant present in the Democratic Republic of Congo where they work in parishes, education and operate development projects.