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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Democratic Republic of the Congo



In November 2011, the DRC held its first elections completely organized by the Congolese government since the end of the Mobutu era, representing both a milestone and a challenge for the country.

U.S. Embassy Kinshasa and CSO developed and implemented an election observation mission and reporting plan. This included deploying 15 two-person teams to each of the DRC’s ten provinces. The teams were in place during the campaign period, on polling-day, and in most cases for the announcement of the provisional results. Another 17 teams fanned out throughout Kinshasa on election day.

The teams observed regional compilation centers and reported on the security situation throughout the country. In the days following the elections, it became evident that serious problems were developing in the centers that compiled the votes. The United States used information from observer teams to inform its understanding as to how the electoral process was unfolding and to formulate its post-election response.  

Photo Gallery: Observing Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 
March 22, 2012

On November 28, 2011, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country that has suffered tremendous instability and violence in the last two decades, held its first elections completely organized by the Congolese government since the end of the Mobutu era. This represented both a milestone and a challenge for the country...

2010 and Earlier

Civilian responders played a large role in implementing a stabilization initiative forged by Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit to the DRC in 2009. In 2010, the Office trained and deployed interagency assessment teams to examine five sectors: gender-based violence; security sector reform; food security; corruption; and minerals management. Civilian Response Corps members from six agencies made up more than a third of the 30 team members, and managed all logistics and security. Recommendations from this work now guide the U.S. and Congolese efforts to address these issues. Civilian responders supported one of the assessments’ key recommendations, the development of a mobile banking system to combat corruption, through the Congolese Central Bank and the Ministries of Finance and Telecommunications.

The Corps deployed a French-speaking security expert to the capital of Kinshasa to enhance UN efforts to coordinate international assistance to the DRC’s army and establish reliable security forces, a key to peace and stability. 

Civilian responders also oversaw ongoing projects in eastern DRC to counter illegal armed groups, establish justice and governance systems and train civilian police to respond to cases of sexual and gender-based violence. 

Deployment Stories: On the Ground in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 
August 31, 2010

My name is Susan Vogelsang. I'm a senior planner with the Civilian Response Corps Active Component. I deployed to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from January 4th of 2010 until the middle of April. I was there at the request of the U.S. Embassy to support five assessments based on Secretary Clinton's visit...

Deployment Stories: Assessing Conflict in Eastern Congo 
May 18, 2009

My name is Jason Lewis Berry. I’m with the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization in the Planning Division. I deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and that was in November of 2008. This was a scoping mission to see how S/CRS might be able to support Embassy Kinshasa’s efforts to bring stability in Eastern Congo...


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