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KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - APRIL 30: Esther Yandakwa, age 9, Francine Nyanda, age 14, and Gladys Lutadila, age 14, Clarisse Bongalo, age 14, have their nails done on April 30, 2006 in Matonge district in central Kinshasa, Congo, DRC. They are homeless and work as prostitutes together. They live outside, next to a polluted river. They have all run away from their parents. They have from time to time been living in a homeless shelter for children, but does not like the rules there. They smoke cigarettes, marijuana, drinks whiskey and sometimes take Valium. They charge the clients as little as US$ 1. About 15,000 children are estimated to live on the streets of Kinshasa. Congo is in ruins after forty years of mismanagement by the corrupt dictator and former president Mobuto Sese Seko. He fled the country in 1997 and a civil war started. The country is planning to hold general elections by July 2006, the first democratic elections in forty years.(Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson)
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