Nigeria to host another meeting of Congo's belligerents

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- Nigeria is to host another meeting of parties to the crisis in DR Congo as a follow-up to last week's botched conference aimed at restoring lasting peace to the central African country.
State House sources in Abuja told PANA Wednesday that President Olusegun Obasanjo has directed the appropriate agency to invite the various groups to Abuja as soon as possible.
Although no date has yet been fixed for the meeting, the sources said "it would have to hold before the commencement of the inter-Congolese dialogue [beginning 15 of October] in Addis Ababa.
" Only President Joseph Kabila and his delegation attended the first peace meeting in Abuja last Tuesday.
Obasanjo's Special Envoy on Conflict Resolution Ralph Uwechue explained the absence of other groups on "logistic problems encountered as a result of the short period within which we had to arrange the meeting," while maintaining that it was a "huge success.
" "At least we have now succeeded in getting all the interest groups in the crisis to agree to our role of catalyst in the peace process," he told PANA after the meeting.
Since assuming office 28 months ago, Obasanjo has been involved in efforts to bring the warring factions in Congo together to start the process of what promises to be a long negotiation aimed at restoring peace to the country.
As part of the efforts, Uwechue has paid a number of visits to Kinshasa, especially in the two weeks.
Last month, Nigeria successful hosted peace talks between Zimbabwe and former colonial power Britain, on the former's controversial land reform programme.

10 october 2001 11:53:00

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