Following informal talks on an acceptable political arrangement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the senior United Nations envoy to the country has said that all the parties he consulted have agreed on the broad principles for a political transition.
"The Congolese parties will now work on preparing written submissions detailing their positions on power-sharing modalities based on the agreed-upon principles," the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Mustapha Niasse, told journalists at a joint press conference held in Pretoria on Saturday with the South African Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Sydney Mufamadi, who co-chaired the series of negotiations with DRC parties which began on 26 October.
The Joint UN/South African team has given the DRC parties until 8 November to submit their positions to be synthesized into a working paper and considered at the next round of negotiations, set to start in Pretoria on 15 November. Mr. Niasse predicted that in the absence of new difficulties, that round should conclude by 21 November.
He said the outcome of those negotiations would form the substance of an all-inclusive agreement for the transition period which would then be presented for adoption to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue under its Facilitator, Sir Ketumile Masire.
Mr. Niasse voiced hope that the transitional institutions could be established in the DRC sometime in January, with the transition period lasting between 24 and 30 months "leading to free, transparent and democratic elections in the DRC."
Answering a question on why the parties had not signed any formal agreement at the end of the talks, the envoy said this was no cause for concern, stressing that all the parties understood that the four-year war must now end. "The good faith and fair play of the parties will ensure that they will not go back on the principles agreed upon," he said.
All parties have accepted in principle a one-president-four-vice-presidents political arrangement for the transition period, according to Mr. Niasse.