DR Congo

DRC: RCD-Goma and UPC-RP form alliance

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NAIROBI, 13 January (IRIN) - The Rwandan-backed Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-Goma) rebel movement has formed an alliance with the Bunia-based Union des patriotes congolais pour la reconciliation et la paix (UPC-RP) of Thomas Lubanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The agreement, signed on 6 January in the eastern DRC city of Goma, commits the two parties to "cooperate and support each other mutually in the domains of politics, military, and economy".

Furthermore, citing the exclusion of the UPC-RP from ongoing negotiations, the two parties called upon the UN- and South African-led mediation of the peace process, as well as the international community, the facilitator of the inter-Congolese dialogue (ICD), Ketumile Masire, and all parties to the ICD "to consider the urgency and necessity of including the UPC-RP in the process".

The accord cited a "convergence of points of view" between RCD-Goma and UPC-RP - including the demand for the total withdrawal of foreign military forces from the DRC and the cessation of military support allegedly being provided by Kinshasa to Mayi-Mayi and Interahamwe militias as well as "other negative forces" in eastern DRC - as the rationale for this alliance.

[The full agreement, available only in French, can be found at http://www.congo.co.za/]

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