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Democratic Republic of Congo: Protecting Civic Space in times of elections


    ©Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images

    The issue of term limits is a recurring problem on the African continent. The intention of African leaders to hold on to power interferes with the rights of citizens to participate in political affairs and to hold their government to account. Lack of peaceful, fair and free elections in DRC, will seriously threaten stability in the country.

    Recurring violence and conflict in the DRC will likely have a knock-on effect in the region. The international community still has leverage with the DRC government and Amnesty International has a strong network in these countries and is able to undertake regional advocacy, following lessons learnt from Burundi. Amnesty also has extensive experience working with human rights defenders and has a regional election campaign running to reinforce this project.

    Working on this issue will allow Amnesty International to also build a strong solidarity movement and action network across the content to hold governments in the region to account. Amnesty will be able to reinforce the work of the national human rights organizations, since it is less vulnerable to threats and de-legitimization by government.

    Our research will document violations of freedom, of peaceful assembly, of association and express and demonstrate how similar trends in deteriorating human rights situations in other countries in the region have led to deeper crises. We will play an enabling role and provide a platform that facilitates the voice and action of human rights defenders and youth movement by supporting security training, by long term and urgent casework and solidarity, by facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges that enable cross fertilization of experience and by providing opportunities for advocacy.

    Project Activities;

    • Urgent actions where necessary
    • Mission to Lubumbashi
    • Briefing paper focused on Lubumbashi for Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Expression
    • Second mission to DRC on conflict dimensions of electoral process
    • Output conflict dimensions of the electoral process
    • Create an online forum on DRC youth and African youth involvement in democratic processes
    • Convene a regional youth meeting of their participation in political activities and electoral process

    For more information about our current projects, please contact: Janet Park at (416) 363-9933 ext. 335 or by email

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    REPORTS AND RESEARCH