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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 17:32 GMT
Congo peace talks hit snag
Child victims of the Congolese war
The Congo conflict has orphaned millions
Rebels from the Democratic Republic of Congo have said they doubt the government's sincerity, as the sides prepare to resume peace talks in South Africa.


We are in an impasse because of the government's lack of clarity and transparency

Olivier Kamitatu, MLC secretary general

An official of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) told the BBC that serious talks could only begin once the government had taken their concerns on board.

Meanwhile, a government official has said that Kinshasa will refuse the power-sharing model favoured by the rebels.

The two sides are expected to meet at the weekend to discuss a power-sharing agreement aiming to put an end to the country's four-year war.

'Misunderstandings'

The MLC, led by Jean-Pierre Bemba, says the rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) have shown more understanding towards their demands than the government has.

"We are in an impasse because of the government's lack of clarity and transparency," Olivier Kamitatu, the secretary general of the MLC told the BBC's French service.

"If we can come up with an entente, if the government takes our concerns on board - which the RCD has done - then we will be able to begin serious talks."

He said he hoped that the mediation of Senegal's Moustapha Niasse would make it possible to clear any misunderstandings and to lead to a dialogue.

"We have made some very precise demands to get a clearer vision of the agreement reached by the RCD and the Kinshasa Government."

"We realise that the two sides have a different understanding of that agreement," he said.

Consensus

Before the negotiations were adjourned on 1 November, the parties in Pretoria agreed to a formula under which four vice-presidents would be appointed to represent the RCD, the MLC, the political opposition and the government.

The MLC wants a consensus to be reached by the president and four vice-presidents for every decision.

MLC leader Jean-Pierre Bemba
The MLC wants to be consulted at all levels

The principle of power-sharing would also have to be applied at all levels of government, not just the presidency.

But the government is unlikely to agree to this.

Kinshasa will refuse any "vertical sharing of power", Vital Kamerhe, the government official in charge of the peace process, told the French news agency AFP.

He insisted, however, that the government delegation would show its "commitment to setting up a government where we'll share responsibility with groups making up Congolese society".

The political opposition will also take part in the Pretoria talks, together with representatives of various groups in civil society.


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26 Oct 02 | Africa
25 Oct 02 | Africa
24 Oct 02 | Africa
22 Oct 02 | Africa
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