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UN-backed talks on DR of Congo power-sharing agreement resume

UN-backed talks on DR of Congo power-sharing agreement resume

After a nearly two-week layoff, United Nations-backed talks on an all-inclusive transitional power-sharing agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resumed over the weekend in South Africa.

The informal consultations, co-chaired by UN Special Envoy Moustapha Niasse and South Africa's Minister for Provincial and Local Government, Sydney Mufamadi, restarted on Friday after a 12-day suspension and focused on the distribution of State responsibilities among the parties.

Mr. Niasse reminded participants - comprising delegates from the DRC Government, the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma), Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), Maï- Maï, the RCD National, the RCD-Kisangani/Liberation Movement, the unarmed opposition and civil society - that the distribution of State responsibilities was not an end in itself but a means to facilitating smooth and efficient functioning of the transitional institutions.

At a plenary session on Saturday, the delegates were given copies of a working document prepared by the Special Envoy and the South African Minister summarizing the various power-sharing proposals submitted by the parties over the past few weeks.

The document includes proposals on principles, objectives and structures to be put in place for the transition period. The co-chairs then met in separate sessions with each of the Congolese groups to hear their comments and proposed amendments to the document.

The talks are expected to run through 23 November. Any agreement on transitional power-sharing arrangements would then be formally endorsed by the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, which is chaired by the Facilitator, Sir Ketumile Masire.