Government-rebel talks, new accord between Kinshasa and Kigali
The Nairobi talks paved the way for direct negotiations for an end to hostilities
in the North Kivu province, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The announcement was made by the United Nations mediator in the Nairobi talks,
Olusegun Obasanjo, specifying that the DR-Congo government and rebels of
the CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) approved a series
of ground rules that will allow the sides to secure an agreement on the
joint cessation of hostilities.
Obasanjo will depart tomorrow for New York to brief the UN Security Council
on the latest progress in the talks,
which he is co-mediating with former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa,
who is representing the African Union (AU).
Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula also welcomed the progress
made in the talks,
announcing a summit for January 31 of nations of the Great Lakes region
to update leaders on the talks.
Meanwhile, Kinshasa and Kigali authorities confirmed the adoption of
a joint plan to disarm the Democratic Forces for the
Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR),
a group made up by elements deemed responsible for
the Rwandan 1994 genocide that took refuge in DR-Congo
after the current Head of State Paul Kagame took power in Kigali and
recently protagonist of an armed conflict with CNDP forces.
The Joint Military Operation Plan endorsed by the two governments
foresees the deployment of Rwandan officers in the eastern regions of
DR-Congo to participate in the disarmament operations in quality
a similar accord was already reached between Kinshasa and Kigali
but never implemented. Meanwhile, news continues arriving from
the front in regard to a division in the CNDP leadership,
with the second in command of the movement,
Bosco Ntaganda, who announced the creation of a
12-member political committee to re-establish the agenda and structure
of the group.
The committee was defined "illegitimate" by the leaders of the movement,
confirming the renegade general Laurent Nkunda as CNDP commander. [BO]
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