Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Africa

Rebel demands stall Kivu peace talks

Latest update : 2008-12-10

UN mediator Olusegun Obasanjo said that negotiations between the Congolese government and Laurent NKunda's CNDP in Nairobi were not making any progress because rebel negotiators had to refer to their superiors constantly.

Reuters - Talks to end conflict in eastern Congo are being delayed because rebel negotiators lack authority to make decisions, the mediator said on Wednesday.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the U.N. special envoy for the conflict, said the talks in Kenya were also being hampered by the rebel side's attempts to broaden their scope to cover the whole of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The former Nigerian president said negotiations had not collapsed but he was sending a team to meet Tutsi rebel leader Laurent Nkunda in Congo to try to solve the problems.

Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) has seized large tracts of North Kivu province since September. It declared a ceasefire shortly before reaching the provincial capital Goma and called for direct talks.

President Joseph Kabila's government initially resisted fresh negotiations, saying that previous peace processes should be respected, but eventually agreed to sit down with the rebels.

"We cannot move because at every stage we are told by CNDP that they have to refer to their political core and we are held up for hours on end," Obasanjo told journalists on Wednesday.

The Nairobi meetings are the first face-to-face talks since Nkunda launched his rebellion in 2004, initially to protect fellow Tutsis in eastern Congo from attacks by Rwandan Hutu rebels who crossed into Congo after the 1994 genocide.

Broader rebellion


Having routed Kabila's weak and chaotic army across North Kivu in weeks of fighting, Nkunda now talks of a broader rebellion and has threatened to march on the distant capital, Kinshasa.

When asked if the talks had collapsed, Obasanjo said: "No, we remain engaged." But he complained that the rebels in Nairobi had tried to broaden the scope of the talks, beyond the east.

"CNDP want a global and blanket cover of the DRC. Our mandate does not cover that," he said, adding that he was dispatching a team to clarify issues with Nkunda on Thursday.

The rebels had previously complained at the government's moves to open the talks to other armed groups in Congo's east.

The Nairobi talks are the latest attempt to end violence that stems from Rwanda's genocide, has erupted into two full-scale wars and continues despite successful elections in 2006 and the world's biggest U.N. peacekeeping mission.

About 250,000 people have been displaced in fighting since the end of August alone. Over five million have died in the humanitarian disaster since the beginning of the 1998-2003 war, which sucked in six neighbouring countries.

The U.N. mission, already the world body's largest ever at 17,000-strong, is over-stretched and has repeatedly called for the EU to send a force to stabilise the situation while it waits for 3,000 reinforcements to arrive.

Belgium said on Wednesday it was confident that the EU would send a mission but countries are divided, with nations like Britain pushing instead for greater support for U.N. peacekeepers.

Date created : 2008-12-10

COMMENT(S)