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The Plight of DRC’s Internally Displaced People Ahead of Presidential Vote

After heavily armed rebels surrounded her small village in eastern Democratic Republic Congo, Musa Bi walked for seven days with six young children until she reached a UN-run refugee camp. The 42-year-old is filled with worry, with no idea of the fate of her husband and two other children, as the family was separated in the chaos that followed the advance by the M23 rebels. She has little thought for the 20 December presidential election – and while the conflict taking place around her may be dominating the campaign, there will be no voting in several areas of the North Kivu province where she lives because of the unrest. The UN estimates that nearly seven million people are internally displaced in DR Congo, the highest number on record.