Monday August 8 2011

Kabila in Angola for bilateral talks

By Arnaldo Vieira in Luanda

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila Friday held talks with his Angolan counterpart Jose Eduardo dos Santos, although the meeting’s resolutions remained unclear as the leaders did not talk to the press.

President Kabila was accompanied by a delegation composed of his ministers for the interior, regional cooperation and the public sector and was expected to travel back after the meeting.

Luanda and Kinshasa have bilateral relations in various fields including defence, energy, mining and oil exploration.
Mr Kabila's four-hour visit followed that of his prime minister Adolphe Muzito on June 23 where the policing of the two countries vast border, oil exploration and the plight of Angolan refugees in the Congo were discussed.

More than 43,000 Angolan refugees are living in the Democratic Republic of Congo and their voluntary repatriation that was to start in July is yet to kick off.

According to Angolan authorities, the repatriation should however be complete by early next year.

It is thought that the DRC's upcoming November general election and the SADC leaders' summit in Luanda on August 17 and 18 were also discussed by the two Presidents during their one-hour meeting.

Elsewhere members of Angola's troubled main opposition party Unita have backed in their embattled leader.
Party boss leader Isaias Samakuva has been the subject of resignation calls by party factions over what they said was his autocratic leadership and a failure to hold a congress to choose new officials.

An emergency permanent committee meeting of the party Thursday issued a statement saying members retained confidence in Mr Samakuva.

Unita (Union for the Total Independence of Angola) managed only 12 per cent of the vote in 2008; an election the ruling MPLA won with 82 per cent of the ballot.