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December 19, 2005 | From Associated Press
The Democratic Republic of Congo's war-weary citizens voted in the first national ballot in more than three decades Sunday, deciding on a draft constitution meant to put the country on the path to democracy and lasting peace. About 24 million people in the central African nation were registered to vote on the charter, which would grant greater autonomy to mineral-laden regions but was viewed by many as another attempt by corrupt politicians to enrich themselves.
April 10, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
At least 90 women have been raped and 180 villagers killed in the last two months by rebels as well as government forces in volatile eastern Congo, according to Human Rights Watch. The group said it documented the rapes, killings and burning of dozens of villages by the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. The mainly Rwandan force fled into Congo after orchestrating the 1994 genocide of an estimated 800,000 people. Their presence has been a major problem and in January, Congo allowed Rwandan troops to enter the country in a joint effort to root out the rebels.
November 28, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
In the Democratic Republic of Congo's second stab at democracy since the end of a ruinous civil war, President Joseph Kabila is likely to cling to power. But Monday's election is already so flawed that the result will probably be contested, and the odds of violence or even a return to war are high, analysts and human rights activists warn. After the last poll in 2006, security forces killed hundreds of opposition protesters in the capital, Kinshasa. And that was when Kabila was still popular.
March 8, 2005 | From Associated Press
Militiamen and renegade soldiers have raped and beaten tens of thousands of women and girls in eastern Congo, and nearly all the crimes have gone unpunished, an international human rights group said Monday. Hundreds of rapes are reported every week, but only 10 soldiers and militants have been convicted of rape in relatively lawless eastern Congo since the end of the country's devastating war in 2002, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a 52-page report.
August 9, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, a former dictator stripped of all but ceremonial powers, has lost his bid for a new term, an official said. Six African presidents, including Sassou-Nguesso, have been unable to win reelection against newly legalized opposition parties in the past two years. Two other candidates, Pascal Lissouba and Bernard Kolelas, both got more votes than Sassou-Nguesso's 17% in the first round of presidential voting Aug. 2, Interior Minister Alphonse Nzoungo said.
December 23, 2005 | From Reuters
U.N. and Congolese forces launched a major operation against a militia Thursday to try to assert government control over the lawless east, days after a landmark vote on a postwar constitution, the world body said. A United Nations spokesman said a government soldier and seven militiamen were killed when hundreds of Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers and about 1,500 Congolese soldiers, backed by helicopter gunships, clashed with militiamen near Fataki in Ituri province. Maj.
June 7, 2003 | From Reuters
An advance party of French troops arrived here to cheers from residents Friday in the first deployment of a 1,400-strong rapid reaction force to stop bloodletting among rival militias. Residents were relieved. "It's what we have been waiting for," teacher Dieudonne Macheka said. "People are waiting for the forces to arrive so they can leave their hiding places."
December 18, 2004 | Maggie Farley, Times Staff Writer
One evening four months ago, a soft-spoken 18-year-old named Aziza was selling bananas in the market here when some U.N. peacekeepers summoned her to their car. Aziza went over thinking they wanted to buy fruit, but was persuaded to engage in a different kind of transaction. "They offered me love," she said, in the colloquial French spoken in this former Belgian colony. And they offered her money -- just $5, but more than she would make in a month at the market.
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