Positive developments in DRC, gives hope for peace

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- Zambian President Frederick Chiluba who is coordinator in the DR Congo peace process Saturday expressed hopes that recent positive developments would help speed up a resolution of the three-year-long conflict in that country.
In an exclusive interview with PANA in Lusaka, Chiluba said the upcoming inter-Congolese dialogue provides courage to believe that the conflict would be resolved "sooner than later".
"There has been very wonderful developments, it is just about there, because they are just about to start internal dialogue and it is this which gives us the courage to believe that it would be resolved sooner than later," Chiluba said.
Questioned whether he would want to continue the mediation role after leaving office later this year, Chiluba said that would be a great honour for him if he is asked to.
"If that happens, it will be a great honour, but if it is shifted elsewhere, it will be a development to realise the character in conflict mending.
Things are moving on extremely well," he noted.
In another development, Chiluba, who has also mediated in the Angolan war, regretted that the war has continued despite the peace agreement between the Angolan government and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi due to his intransigence.
Chiluba said the blame for the current war in Angola squarely "lies with Savimbi whose attitude has not been helpful".
"I am a very unhappy and disappointed person because it was here in 1994 or 1995 that Dr.
Savimbi came, President Dos Santos and I sat here and the three of us walked out (as) very happy brothers and I thought that was going to continue especially that a government of national unity was under formation," Chiluba recalled.
He appealed to Savimbi to reconsider and help restore peace in Angola saying that "it is never late in the day to again hold President Santos' hand and bring peace to Angola in order to stop the carnage that is taking place in Angola".
Zambia, in 1994 hosted the peace talks on Angola for a year leading to the signing of the peace protocol between the Angolan government and Savimbi's UNITA.
But Savimbi has since been accused of reneging on the Lusaka protocol.

07 july 2001 19:02:00

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