16 January 2013

Uganda: DR Congo Foreign Minister Joins M23 Talks

Photo: Nicholas Long
Displaced (file photo).

Kampala — The Congolese government delegation at the ongoing peace talks in Kampala has been boosted with the arrival of the head of delegation Raymond Tshibanda, who is also the foreign affairs minister.

Tshibanda arrived in Kampala on Sunday from the Gabon capital Libreville where he took part in negotiations between the Central African Republic government of Francois Bozize and the Seleka rebels.

The delegations last week resumed the talks after agreeing on the four points of the agenda and rules of procedure for the dialogue, mediated by the minister of defence Dr. Crispus Kiyonga.

The M23 rebel delegation is led by Francois Rucogoza and deputized by Roger Lumbala from the opposition Congolese Rally for National Democracy (RCDN) political party.

The peace talks will review the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 23 March 2009, security issues, social issues, political and economic as well as mechanisms for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Kampala Accord.

The talks will also include discussing security, social, political and economic matters, as well as mechanisms for implementation of the agreement that will be signed.

However, the political opposition in the Congolese parliament wants the civil society and Congolese in the Diaspora to be actively involved in the ongoing dialogue. Presently, the opposition and civil society are observers at the talks.

The opposition also demanded that the Kampala talks should take into account insecurity in the whole of East DRC, as well as global issues related to governance, democracy and human rights.

They also requested the appointment of a neutral international mediator.

But the Congolese government spokesman, Lambert Mende Omalanga said that the demand by the political opposition is unacceptable.

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