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"No real progress" at talks in Cape Town

The spokesman for rebel group Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-Goma), Kin Kiey Mulumba, told IRIN on Monday that "no real progress" had been made during talks held among opposition groups and the RCD late last week in Cape Town, South Africa. The informal talks had been held, "to see what can be done to push forward the peace process", following the end of the inter-Congolese dialogue (ICD).

Mulumba said it had been decided in Cape Town that new inclusive talks were needed, and that the ICD must resume so that outstanding issues between the parties to the dialogue could be settled. "We need more pressure from the international community now, from [South African President Thabo] Mbeki, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, and other heads of state, so that we can move forward. We need much more pressure," he said.

Asked what the next step forward would be, he said: "Now we are waiting, waiting to see what the international community will tell us, and for more pressure to build up. Mbeki is doing his best, as is Mwanawasa." He added that he was hoping to resume the ICD within a couple of weeks, but still had had no confirmation from either the Mouvement de liberation du Congo (MLC) or the Kinshasa government of whether they would attend.

At the end of the ICD, which was held from 25 February until 19 April, the MLC and the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo forged an alliance whereby the current president, Joseph Kabila, would remain in office in a new government, and the MLC leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba, would become prime minister.

RCD-Goma, which was offered the position of the presidency of the National Assembly, rejected the offer and then formed an alliance - entitled the Alliance pour la sauvegarde du dialogue intercongolais - with five unarmed opposition parties. Both the government and the MLC boycotted the Cape Town talks.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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