In a makeshift tent, 43-year-old Congolese psychologist Mamie Nouria Meniko analyses the drawings of children suffering from PTSD in the Lazaré displaced persons’ camp. Families from the region are squeezed together here, having fled the abuses of armed groups. For Meniko, this method helps bridge the gap between children and adults.
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There is no law or moral code for the youngsters of impoverished neighborhoods in the port city of Matadi. In their teenage years, they’ve already earned a reputation as ruthless outlaws who prowl streets, steal from locals, extort money from businesses and fight each other. They called, Kulunas – members of youth gangs infesting Congolese cities. RTD takes a risky trip to follow some of the young criminals to expose their world of violence and drugs.
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New Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi struggles during the speech of his swearing-in ceremony. State television interrupted its live broadcast of the historic event after Tshisekedi said, “I don’t feel well”, and sat down as family members came to his side. IMAGES of Felix Tshisekedi on stage feeling unwellCOMPLETES VID1294296_EN
Congolese opposition candidate Martin Fayulu casts his vote in a polling station in Kinshasa. One opinion poll has Fayulu as a clear favourite, garnering around 44 percent of voting intentions. Millions of Congolese citizens are choosing a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who is stepping down after nearly 18 years at the helm. IMAGES
Congolese citizens vote in a polling station in the capital, Kinshasa. Millions of electors are choosing a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who is stepping down after nearly 18 years at the helm. The vote gives DR Congo the chance of its first peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
Congolese citizens arrive to cast their vote as polling stations open in Kinshasa. Millions of electors are expected to turn out to choose a successor to President Joseph Kabila. The election’s credibility has already been strained by repeated delays, the risk of hitches on polling day and accusations that electronic voting machines will produced a rigged result.
The Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege returns in DR Congo for the first time after recieving his Nobel Peace Prize. IMAGES
According to population estimates, two-thirds of the roughly 80 million Congolese citizens are under 25 years of age. This Sunday’s election will be the first time that the 18-25 age group has the chance to vote, as there have been no general elections since December 2011. In their manifestos, the candidates frequently make promises over access to jobs for young people, but it remains to be seen whether these pledges will convince the youth to turn out on 23 December.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has 80 million hectares of arable land, of which only 10% is said to be cultivated. As a result, this vast country is a net importer of foodstuffs, and six to seven million Congolese do not get enough to eat. Leading politicians, including Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and Martin Fayulu, are incorporating promises around agricultural reform into their campaigning ahead of elections on December 23rd.
With less than two weeks to go until presidential elections are held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thousands of Congolese citizens will not be able to cast their vote. Many have fled the country’s conflict and war in the hope of finding refuge in neighbouring countries.