Abroad-based DRC citizens urged to join home groups

Gaborone- Botswana (PANA) -- Democratic Republic of Congo citizens based abroad have been urged to join or align themselves with political groupings at home so as to contribute To the success of the forthcoming inter-Congolese dialogue.
The call was made Tuesday in Gaborone by the facilitator of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, former Botswana president Ketumile Masire.
In a statement issued by his office in Gaborone, Masire stressed that it was impossible to secure special representation for all foreign-based DRC citizens in the forthcoming dialogue.
Masire explained that a recent meeting attended by Congolese signatories to the 1999 Lusaka Accord had also emphasised that the agreement did not provide for the representation of DRC citizens in the Diaspora as a specific grouping.
At that meeting, the DRC government, the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), had urged the Diaspora to seek representation in the dialogue through political groupings back home in the DRC.
"It is true the Lusaka Agreement does not provide for any particular representation of the Diaspora as a group.
I would thus also urge them to join hands with movements in the DRC and seek representation through them," Masire's statement said.
The former president encouraged political movements in the DRC to co-opt members of the Diaspora in their delegations to the dialogue, saying their contribution to the talks and reconstruction of the war-torn country would be crucial.
A meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Inter- Congolese Dialogue is scheduled for Gaborone from 20 to 24 August.
The committee, comprising representatives of the DRC government, armed and unarmed opposition, as well as civil society, will determine the date, venue, agenda and rules of procedure for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue proper.
Last Sunday the main DRC opposition parties reached an agreement on a list of 14 delegates to represent them at the preparatory committee meeting.
These are François Lumumba of the Mouvement National Congolais/Lumumba, Godefroy Mayobo (Parti Lumumbiste), Valentin Mubake (Union pour laDémocratie et le Progrès Social), André Boboliko (PDSC), Catherine Nzuzi wa Mbombo (Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution, Fait Privé), Joseph Olengankoy (Fonus), Justin Bomboko (Pionniers de l'Indépendance) and Diomi Ndongala (Front pour la Survie de la Démocratie).
Others are Raymond Tshibanda (Collectif de l'Opposition Démocratique Plurielle), Honorus Kisimba Ngoy (UNAFEC/CPF), Arthur Zaidi Ngoma (Regroupement de l'Opposition Congolaise), Venant Tshipasa (DCF), Patrice Aimé Sesanga (Regroupement de l'Opposition Modérée), Christophe Lutundula (MSDD).
Meanhwile, Masire has urged the Congolese Parties to ensure women's equal representation at the forthcoming preparatory meeting.
The submitted opposition parties' list contained only one woman.
The long running conflict in the DRC has taken a severe toll on women who have been raped, killed and tortured.
After the preparatory meeting Masire plans to meet with the UN secretary-general and the Security Council in New York.

14 august 2001 19:53:00

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