Thursday, September 19, 2013

DR Congo: The deluded

All Africa reports

Uganda: Congo Talks to Discuss Amnesty for M23


THE resumed peace talks between the DR Congo government and rebels of M23 have come up with an agenda to discuss the possibility of amnesty and transformation of M23, as well as setting up an independent commission of inquiry.
I would have thought that it would be fairly difficult to allow an amnesty for crimes against humanity.
The talks will also discuss integration, demobilisation, and reconciliation, governance and social economic reforms, possible release of prisoners, return and resettlement of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), as well as the return of expropriated properties.
Why ? Seriously what possible interest does the DR Congo have in discussing this with M23. They have M23 by the balls the Kinshasa delegation should be making it very clear that the only subject up for discussion is the formal instrument of M23's surender. Even that is fairly simple, the word they are looking for is unconditional.
Dr. Kiyonga this afternoon opened the plenary session for the peace talks between M23 and the DRC government at Speke Resort Munyonyo. The resumption of the talks comes after the emergency meeting of regional Heads of State and leaders following renewed fighting in eastern DR Congo.
Kiyonga told the two sides to aim to conclude discussions in line with the Heads of States' assigned deadline of two weeks.
Kiyonga said, "We have been in the dialogue since 9th December last year. We have been here for quite some time and as a consequence there is growing concern that it is time the dialogue concluded business."
That is hilarious. There has been virtually no dialogue M23 have put up their proposals here. Jason Stearns at Congo Siasa blogs 
" The real reason the talks are on hold is probably because of the imminent arrival of the Intervention Brigade. The Kinshasa government believes that this brigade will solve the M23 problem, and has been bolstered by the UN Security Council resolution calling for the rebels to disband. But while the advance Tanzanian party for the brigade has arrived in Goma, the South African and Malawian troops are still dragging their feet. While for Malawi the delay is logistical, the South Africans appear to be dragging their feet in part because they didn't receive the command of MONUSCO's troops, as they had wanted."
What has changed ? The M23 problem is now a problem for M23 and not the the Congolese government. There is very little to talk about.
Kiyonga said that since the closure of the Heads of State emergency summit, consultations have been ongoing behind closed doors involving him as facilitator and the two sides.
"My reading as the facilitator is that the government and M23 are still interested and committed to the talks," he added.
He is deluded. I suspect that suits the Congolese government though.
He said that despite the slow start, significant progress has been made with the two delegations having reviewed the status of implementation of the peace agreement that was signed on 23rd March 2009 between the Kinshasa government and the then CNDP rebel group.
He said the review of progress of the 2009 agreement led to a proposed draft agreement that has since been consolidated into a draft document containing the views of the two sides.
Great. No really I mean it.

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