In eastern DRC on Thursday, voters lined up, some of them for hours, to register to vote in advance of the presidential elections scheduled for December.
The start of the process has been delayed due to violence in the area.
Voter registration began in the western DRC in December of last year, and in the center and southeast in January.
Many people place a high priority on ending armed conflict.
“We have our cards here, but some of our fellow citizens won’t be able to use them. So that everyone can go vote and have their voter’s card, the war must end. I wonder if our fellow countrymen in rebel-held regions will have different cards than we do here. No! Stéphanie Nyota, a Goma resident and citizen, proclaimed, “The war must end so that we have identical voter cards.
“We ask the government of the Republic to make as much effort to drive out the enemy, to drive out the M23, so that every Congolese will be able to take his or her voter’s card,” continued Fiston Ketha, vice president of the National Youth Forum. Since they have already taken this portion, if things go on like this, we are legitimizing the rebels.
Lieutenant-General Constant Ndima, the military governor of North Kivu, declared that after being “liberated,” areas controlled by the M23, which rules a sizable portion of the region north and northwest of Goma, would be subject to voter registration.
In December 2018, the DRC held its most recent presidential election, which resulted in the country’s first peaceful transfer of power.
The results were hotly contested by Félix Tshisekedi’s opponents, but he ultimately prevailed.