DR Congo

Parliamentarians Urged To Help End War In Congo

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LUSAKA, Zambia (PANA) - The former president of Botswana, Ketumile Masire, Tuesday urged legislators in countries involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo conflict to urgently impress upon their governments to help end the war.
In a message at the on-going conference in Lusaka for parliamentarians on building support for peace in Congo, he said as intervening links between government and the people, legislators are key to the peace building process.

Masire, who is facilitator for Congo peace process, however, noted that without a genuine inter-Congolese dialogue, a stable solution to the conflict will not be found.

"The Parliamentarian Global Action and the international community need to find ways in which the inter-Congolese dialogue can be supported," Masire added.

He advised the Congolese people to unite and put the interest of peace above anything.

The three-day conference, drawing parliamentarians from 17 countries, is being held under the Parliamentarian Global Action Task Force on Africa (PGA).

Zambia's deputy minister for Central Province, Jeston Mulando, in a keynote address, complained that implementation of the Lusaka cease-fire agreement on Congo has been hampered by lack of resources.

He said only 1.3 million US dollars pledges have been redeemed out of the five million dollars budgeted by the Joint Military Commission.

He called on legislators to also persuade their governments so that all parties to the conflict fulfil their obligations under the cease-fire accord.

Parliamentarians attending the conference, under the theme: "Parliamentary Track Diplomacy: Peace Building in Central Africa", are from Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC and Ghana.

Others are from Kenya, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda and host Zambia.

The Western countries represented are Canada, the Netherlands, US and United Kingdom.

The PGA was established in 1978 by concerned legislators around the world to act jointly on global problems that any one government could not solve.

It has a membership of 1,300 legislators from 100 countries with 30 percent members from African countries.

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