EISA DRC (2004-2011): Citizen observation

2011 Citizen election observation support

From 2004, EISA was involved in all the electoral processes in the DRC through various activities and in cooperation with national and international stakeholders. Though EISA had carried out the same activities during the 2011 electoral process, the main achievements have been the support to the national election observers where EISA provided support to four CSO networks, namely:

  • RENOSEC (Réseau National pour l'Observation et la Surveillance des Elections);
  • ROC (Réseau des Organisations des Confessions Religieuses);
  • CAFCO (Cadre de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise); and
  • CNJ (Conseil National de la Jeunesse).

A total of 12,500 observers drawn from the four networks were trained and deployed throughout the country and observed each step of the electoral process including voting day and the counting. While most of the international observation missions left the DRC shortly after the count, citizen observers remained on the ground when riots started and violence erupted in protests against the alleged fraud and irregularities, and provided valuable information and assessment of the elections.

Citizen observers also suffered assault and many were injured. Intimidation prevented these networks from publishing their findings on the expected days. Despite this, observers remained on the ground and four full reports were published containing detailed information. The reports concluded that the elections did not comply with the international rules and standards, were marked by violence and fraud and therefore did not reflect the will of the Congolese people. This was a bold step for national observers to take, especially as they had borne the brunt of intimidation and assault.

The support provided to these networks by EISA bore fruit as the observation reports and statements were well-formulated and based on evidence gathered on the ground.