DR Congo

DRC: Final session of Dialogue to start 1 April

NAIROBI, 20 March (IRIN) - The final session of the inter-Congolese dialogue will be held in Sun City, South Africa, on 1 and 2 April, the facilitator of the talks and former Botswana president, Ketumile Masire, has announced.
"My team is busy preparing for the resumption of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City," he said in a statement from the Botswanan capital, Gaborone, on Wednesday. "With all the technical drawbacks cleared, I hope that the final session of the Dialogue would be hitch-free."

He made the announcement after visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he met all the parties to the dialogue. Masire said he was "encouraged" by the understanding and response he had received from the parties regarding the "slight" alteration on the original dates, which were 23 and 24 March.

Masire met President Joseph Kabila on Monday. He also held talks with opposition party leaders, civil society representatives, and the leaders of the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Mouvement de liberation and the Mayi-Mayi. He held talks on Tuesday with the leaders of the Mouvement de liberation du Congo and the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie, in Gbadolite and Goma respectively.

On 11 March, Masire received in Gaborone copies of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement for the Transition in the DRC and the Transitional Constitution from Moustapha Niasse, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to the DRC.

The first part of the mediation ended on 17 December 2002 when all the parties to the inter-Congolese Dialogue signed an agreement on power sharing. The second part of the negotiations, which ended on 6 March in Pretoria, South Africa, involved work on the transitional constitution, security measures for the transition period, and the integration of the national army.

The parties to the dialogue are expected to ratify the agreements during the final session in order to legalise all agreements, and pave the way for a transitional government to be installed in the DRC.


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