In eastern Congo's South Kivu region, one of the most-conflict ridden areas of the country, pessimism is widespread, particularly when it comes to the candidates themselves.
Congolese President Kabila said his government has managed to gain control of eastern Congo's armed groups, but the emergence of new armed groups undermines his success.
A report from International Crisis Group found that voter registration numbers in eastern Congo included fake voters, children, foreigners, and voters registered multiple times. [Editor's note: Due to an editing error, the headline and subheadline named the wrong country. It has been corrected.]
The Congo election season is fully underway, but voter registration fraud, delays in the legislative elections, and vote buying are just a few of things disrupting the election.
Guest blogger Laura Seay writes that a US ban on conflict minerals amounts to a de facto boycott of the Congolese mining industry, hurting Congo's civilians by removing a key source of income.
Shuffling and regrouping among Congo's troops is creating a volatile environment that encourages violence and potentially mass rape, as shown in the rape of at least 120 women in early June.
Guest blogger Jason Stearns explains further his assertion last week that Congo mining industry reform deserves 'cautious optimism.'
Recent actions taken against Congo's 'conflict mineral' trade by companies and the international community signal that although progress is slow, it is happening.
There is widespread misunderstanding in Congo about US legislation targeting conflict minerals.