AFRICA/DR CONGO - National dialogue begins, but without major opposition figures

Friday, 2 September 2016 politics   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "One can verify that dialogue is not inclusive enough". This sentence by Jean-Michel Dumond, the EU representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo, expresses skepticism with which the international partners of the DRC greeted the beginning of national dialogue to get the Country out of the political stalemate, without the participation of major opposition representatives.
"Evidently, if major opposition parties are not there, it affects the credibility of dialogue", stressed Dumond.
The acceleration of the start of dialogue by the mediator, the Togolese diplomat Edem Kodjo, also aroused the concerns of the Catholic Bishops, who are committed to trying to bring to the negotiating table the main opposition representatives, from Etienne Tshisekedi to groups gathered under the name "Le Rassemblement".
"More time had been asked, I cannot hide that we are a little angry", said His Exc. Mgr. Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio in the DRC, during a visit to Beni, expressing the disappointment of the local Bishops.
The DRC should go to the polls later this year to elect the new President, but the date of the elections has not yet been fixed and now it is almost impossible to adhere to the Constitution which provides for the holding of elections within the year. The negotiation stalemate between the majority and the opposition to resolve the issue is creating strong tensions in the Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/09/2016)