Indigenous people achieved a political milestone in DRC.
Jérôme Bokele Bondenge, a 44-year-old Pygmy, recently entered the the Equateur Provincial Assembly as a provincial deputy. In the 2006 elections, he was runner-up (suppléant) to José Bankita who passed away earlier this year, leaving his seat vacant. Entering the Assembly is an important breakthrough in an environment where indigenous people are often marginalized.
Bokele says he will pay particular attention to the needs of forest peoples whose livelihoods are threatened by both industrial logging and protected areas.