AFRICA/DR CONGO - Negotiations with the M23 cannot alter the Constitution

Friday, 1 February 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - In the dialogue between the government delegation and the March 23 Movement (M23), being held in Kampala, new divergences appeared and the suspension of dialogue was feared.
In particular, the M23 asked for the annulment of the elections of 28 November 2011, the dissolution of the Senate and the provincial assemblies, the establishment of a National Transitional Council in charge of a) Reviewing the Constitution, b) Forming a government of transition, c) Establishing the other Institutions of the Republic, d) Restructuring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), e) organizing new elections starting with the local ones and ending with the presidential elections. On its behalf, the government delegation has strongly rejected claims of the M23.
According to a note sent to Fides Agency by the Peace Network for Congo to overcome the current impasse, one should refer to the rules of procedure adopted on 18 December 2012 that on the one hand states that "the government will listen to the M23, evaluate and resolve their legitimate demands," immediately after it states that "the dialogue takes place in order not to undermine the Constitution. "
"It is the constant reference to the Constitution that will determine which claims and proposals of the M23 are "legitimate" or not. Therefore, all proposals that comply with the principles and values of the Constitution will be upheld and any proposed solution that contradicts the Constitution must be rejected," says Peace Network for Congo.
"What the Congolese people expect - continues the statement - is simply justice: those who defected from the army, recruited child soldiers, committed crimes, murders, rapes, robberies, did not respect the State institutions must simply be arrested, brought to justice and tried according to the law." "Justice is the only way to peace and national reconciliation," the statement concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/02/2013)