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Photographer's Note

This photo is from near the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo. It was taken on election day in 2006, when the Congolese took part in their first democratic elections. There was a certain optimism that now they would finally be granted peace and stability and a better life.

Looking at the woman in red I can almost imagine that she is telling her friend: "Look, there's the future, see how bright it looks".

Unfortunately she was very wrong. Since 2006 this part of Congo, the Kivu region, has experienced nothing but more fighting, more violence, more misery. Women and children have, as always, been the main victims. According to UN estimates, last year more than 8 000 women were raped by soldiers - from various militias and the rag-tag Congolese army alike.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3182 W: 284 N: 6421] (34669)
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