Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday Sign of Hope October 29th 2006

Congo Votes, Peacefully

This day and age, any voting done peacefully is a cause to celebrate.


With the border closed, shops shuttered and markets emptied, millions of Congolese, with hopes as vast as their country, headed to polls Sunday to elect a president for the first time in more than 40 years.

Voting was largely peaceful, despite analysts' predictions that it would not be, as the largest U.N. peacekeeping force in the world patrolled dirt roads, and swarms of international and local observers looked on. In the west, where rain drenched the capital, Kinshasa, observers reported a slightly lower urnout than in the first round in July, but participation nonetheless appeared massive

In the east, for instance, where rural villages have been terrorized by war and militias and, lately, hungry soldiers with guns, some polling stations estimated that 70 percent to 80 percent of registered voters had cast ballots by Sunday afternoon. In the provincial capital of Goma, where electricity and pavement are scarce, people began lining up at 4 a.m.


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