Child Alert - Democratic Republic of Congo - Martin Bell Reports on Children Caught in War UNICEF

UNICEF photo: The waiting room of a health centre in south-eastern Katanga Province.

©UNICEF/HQ05-2153/Pirozzi

The waiting room of a health centre in south-eastern Katanga Province.

The election: Chance of a lifetime
Children in today's DRC know only a life of war and conflict. That is why the election scheduled to begin on 30 July 2006 is the chance of their lifetime. It is the country's first free vote in 40 years – and the Congolese people want to vote. Some 25.6 million, over 77 per cent of the estimated electorate, have already registered. But the election is only a beginning. It will not, by itself, bring the conflict to an end. Still, it can be the catalyst for the emergence of the new DRC. The Congolese people must see results to encourage further peace and stability.