DR Congo

DRC: Date, venue for inter-Congolese dialogue undecided

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NAIROBI, 20 January (IRIN) - The facilitator of the inter-Congolese dialogue, Ketumile Masire, ended on Saturday a week-long series of consultations on the "way forward" for the next round of political negotiations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"There is no time to waste: delegates to the dialogue should be ready for the exercise at very short notice," he said in a communique issued on Saturday.

He said that the date, venue, agenda, format and duration of the talks had not yet been decided. Some of the remaining issues to be finalised before the talks could start, he said, concerned the transitional constitution, and national defence.

"It was my wish to restart the dialogue on 31 January but that is now not realistic," he said.

UN Special Envoy to the DRC Moustapha Niasse would, Masire said, "have to complete these tasks before any concrete date could be set".

Masire said that the number of delegates participating in the dialogue would remain the same as during the last round of talks, adjourned on 19 April 2002 in Sun City, South Africa.

"We shall be continuing the dialogue with the same number of components and entities in Sun City," he said.

Any changes should be made within the framework of the Rules of Procedures of the ICD and, Masire said, his office should be informed seven days before the start of the final session.

Masire's consultations in the DRC where with President Joseph Kabila, political parties, civil society, Mayi-Mayi representatives and the leadership of rebel groups Rasssemblement congolais pour la democratie-Goma, Mouvement de liberation du Congo, and RCD-Mouvement de liberation.

[ENDS]

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