Waging Peace: Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Carter Center observed the DRC's Nov. 28, 2011, presidential and parliamentary elections, deploying long-term observers in August 2011 and a 70-person delegation closer to election day.
Preliminary findings included that the Independent Electoral Commission's administration of the election was fraught with logistical and budgetary challenges. On multiple important election preparations, commission operations deviated from the electoral calendar. The Carter Center found the provisional presidential election results announced by the election commission lacked credibility. Read full text >
Advancing Human Rights and Democratic Participation
In 2007, The Carter Center began working on various programs to help consolidate progress toward democracy following the country's first democratic elections in 40 years. The task of building and sustaining democratic institutions has proven even more difficult than organizing the 2006 election, which was considered one of the world's most complex logistical challenges. In 2011, the DRC once again held a national election that presented similar challenges in a country that is the size of Western Europe.
Civil society organizations are critical partners and actors in the public policy sphere and as such, are essential in the protection of fundamental freedoms and the development of democratic governance. They act as independent watchdogs and advocates of human rights and are important service providers, often responding to the needs of communities at the grassroots level. In collaboration with these organizations and a wide range of other actors in the DRC, The Carter Center designed a series of initiatives to strengthen the justice sector, to create transparency and accountability in the mining sector, and to bolster the capacity of civil society organizations. Read full text >
Following the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the presidents of Uganda and Zaire (now the DRC) asked President Carter to facilitate a meeting between themselves and the presidents of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania — countries collectively known as the Great Lakes region of Africa — to negotiate a regional initiative to combat the climate of genocide, repatriate 1.7 million Rwandan refugees, and curb violence in the region.
President Carter was joined in this effort by former Tanzania President Julius Nyerere, former Mali President Amadou Touré, and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Read full text >