Congo talks on hold




obasanjo.jpgPeace talks between Congolese rebels and President Joseph Kabila’s government have failed to resume.

Both parties in the talks have been forced to rearrange their travel arrangements to Nairobi due to bad weather in DRC.

The talks are being facilitated by former Nigeria leader Olusegun Obasanjo and Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa.

In a communiqué sent to media houses, Mr Nasser Ega-Musa, the Officer in Charge of the UN Information Center revealed that both parties are expected to arrive later Wednesday to begin the talks on Thursday.

Read the statement in part: “Due to severe weather related problems, the Nairobi Dialogue on the Congo will not resume today at the UN headquarters as previously scheduled.”

“Both parties of the Government and the Congrès National pour la Défence du Peuple (CNDP), have had to rearrange their travel arrangements. We hope the weather will rapidly improve so that they could arrive and begin the talks on today (Thursday).”

Both mediators have registered their satisfaction with the pace of the talks saying they had achieved “tremendous progress”.

Last week, the mediators briefed President Kibaki at his Harambee House office in Nairobi on the progress made by parties to the conflict since the negotiations started.

Mr Obasanjo said the two groups of negotiators had shown serious commitment to resolve the conflict in Eastern Congo and pledged to carry on with the negotiations until a lasting solution is found.

President Kibaki, who is also the Chair of Great Lakes Conference and the Congo Peace Process, congratulated the mediators for the achievements made so far and urged them to remain on course.

He noted the attainment of peace in Congo was imperative because it would extend to the whole of the Great Lakes region and beyond.

The talks are seeking to have the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) led by Laurent Nkunda to negotiate directly with the Congolese government on the modalities of ending the months of fighting in the country's mineral-rich Eastern region.

Fighting has been going on since August 28 between CNDP and government troops.




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