In Pictures: Eastern DRC ready for elections

Many Congolese in the city of Goma are hoping that Monday’s poll will transform their life and their region.

The eastern DRC was flagged for violence during the election period due to the proximity of armed groups and incessant political instability, but the region has remained mostly calm throughout the pre-election build-up.

Poor road networks and wet weather in the remote corner of the DRC have posed a bigger challenge than the security threat.

Election officials say that it was a struggle, but all measures are now in place for the poll. Yet the jury is still out on whether this region of the country – blessed with immense mineral wealth under the shade of spectacular rain forests – will hold a free and fair election.

1) Preparations for the DRC’s elections have been anything but a swanky affair [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


2) Etienne Tshesekedi might enjoy support in his stronghold Kinshasa, but in the east, he is not considered a frontrunner [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


3) Over the past week, the UN has been in a race against time and bad weather to deliver materials across the country [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


4) Poor infrastructure make traveling through the vast expanse of this spectacular country extremely time consuming and difficult [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


5) The road to the Goma airport is a bustling sandy track of hawkers, lava and the heavy hums of cargo planes [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


6) Tell-tale signs of insecurity and destruction are sprinkled all across the towns and villages in North Kivu [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


7) Goma residents insist that the city remains a mess because of the inaction of the Kabila administration [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


8) Women make up only 12 per cent of the 19,000 candidates running for the national legislature [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


9) Vital Kamerhe, former ally of Joseph Kabila, enjoys emphatic support in the east [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


10) Minerals, rebel leaders and infinite mystery lie under a sheet of mist around Walikale [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


11) Like all developing countries, security at polling stations across the expanse of the country will be inconsistent [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


12) Goma’s colonial-era hotels are peppered with journalists and international observers covering the elections [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


13) Parts of Goma seem as if they have lacked an administration for years [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


14) Many residents are cynical, saying that the few recent improvements in Goma are election-related [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


15) Eastern Congolese are hoping that Monday’s poll will transform their life and city [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]


Find more coverage of the Congo Elections on our spotlight page DRC Decides

Follow Azad Essa on Twitter: @AzadEssa

Source: Al Jazeera

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