Mediator updates sub region on Congo peace process

Windhoek- Namibia (PANA) -- The Facilitator of the peace process in DR Congo, former Botswana President Ketumile Masire, has acknowledged what he said was positive progress in the implementation of the Lusaka Peace Protocol, affirming that all was going according to plan.
Masire, who spoke in Windhoek, Namibia, is currently touring the region to brief Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State on the situation in DR Congo.
His trip also involves briefing the presidents of Rwanda and Uganda, who were backing rebel soldiers to topple the government in Kinshasa.
The peacemaker said after the briefing and consultations, the Heads of State would then come up with principles contained in the Lusaka Protocol to assure and show the parties involved in the DR Congo conflict that they support the Protocol.
"On the 16th of July this year there will be a preparatory meeting for the dialogue between the heads of state," he said, adding that the date, place, agenda and the rules of procedure and anything else was still to be decided upon.
Masire said he was encouraged that "at long last, things have started moving in a positive direction," adding "what needs to be done is for the Heads of State to synchronise the pulling out of troops to allay suspicions, so that there is mutual assurance between all parties involved.
" On elections, Masire said they were still a long way away as dialogue would first take place, in the course of which decisions such as the election date would be decided upon.
Masire arrived in Windhoek from Maputo, Mozambique and is due in Luanda, Angola, to meet President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
From there he will go to South Africa and then to Zimbabwe.

19 june 2001 14:25:00

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