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Security Council urges 'open and free' dialogue towards peace in DR of Congo

Security Council urges 'open and free' dialogue towards peace in DR of Congo

Welcoming the success of recent preparations for an Inter-Congolese Dialogue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations Security Council has stressed the importance for the talks to be free from outside interference.

The call was made yesterday evening in a statement by Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France, which holds the Council's rotating presidency this month. The Council members referred to a preparatory meeting held in Gabarone, Botswana, from 20 to 24 August, in which political and civil society representatives met to plan the upcoming Dialogue, scheduled for 15 October in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In the statement, members urged that the Dialogue be "open, representative and inclusive," and emphasized the need to ensure adequate representation of Congolese women in the process.

Reiterating its strong support for the Dialogue and for the efforts of the Facilitator, Sir Ketumile Masire, and his team in the field, the Council called on all the Congolese parties to further cooperate with each other and the Facilitator in the constructive spirit of Gaborone to ensure the successful outcome of the negotiations.

The Council encouraged donors to provide further support to Mr. Masire and, in due course, to the process of implementing a new political dispensation in the DRC.

The Security Council also urged all the parties to the Lusaka ceasefire Agreement to press forward with the full and early implementation of that agreement, including disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement of the armed groups and the withdrawal of foreign forces.

The statement followed a briefing by Mr. Masire to the Council on the latest developments in the DRC.