DRC talks: Facilitator reports progress
Posted Thursday, January 17 2013 at 02:50
The facilitator at the ongoing peace talks between the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the main rebel group, M23, Dr Crispus Kiyonga has announced some progress at the talks after the two groups agreed to sign the agenda, a key step to moving to substantive negotiations.
In a statement issued at the talks’ venue yesterday, Dr Kiyonga said the talks would now move to discuss the March 23, 2009 agreement whose alleged breach by Kinshasa sparked off the latest round of fighting.
“The dialogue has so far approved two documents; the rules of procedure and the agenda,” Dr Kiyonga said in a statement.
“The parties henceforth begin negotiations of the substantive issues of the agenda,” the statement added.
Delegates told the Daily Monitor that the M23 had dropped their insistence on Kinshasa first signing a formal ceasefire as a precondition to the talks.
“Since we already declared a unilateral ceasefire, we thought it is not necessary to insist on the ceasefire,” an M23 delegate said. “We have also agreed (to ignore the ceasefire) because the ICGLR is the guarantor of the subsisting ceasefire and they are the ones who asked us to withdraw from the positions we had captured, if Kinshasa violets it then we shall see,” he added.