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DRC Delegates Want Dialogue

Speaking at the on-going Inter-Congolese Dialogue at Burgers Park Hotel in Pretoria, Congolese delegates from political parties and civil society have emphasized the need to avoid pre- and post-electoral disputes and conflict of the kind recently witnessed in Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire. The consequences for the country, the region and Africa would be more dire than in the afore-mentioned countries because of the psychological and military legacy of war.

The meeting is attended by over 15 political parties, civil society formations and members of the Congolese diaspora based in South Africa. It is aimed at providing a platform for the Congolese parties and civil society to discuss the state of play in the run up to the elections, which in the course of 2011 will bring an end to the post-transition government elected in 2006. The discussion, therefore, reflects on the road travelled thus far and the prospects for consolidation of peace, prosperity and democracy in the DRC. It also offers an opportunity for Congolese stakeholders to find each other and develop a truly national consensus on how prosperity, peace and democracy will be consolidated in the coming years.

Delegates accept that there are many challenges that they face, principal among which are: The participation of all in constitutional reforms, the independence of the electoral commission, the finalization of the electoral lists, the development of a political framework for political consensus before elections and thus avoid post-electoral disputes, domestic resourcing of elections, human rights violations and on-going insecurity. While the parties are yet to reach consensus in detail on these matters, they generally agree that recent developments in Cote d'Ivoire and North Africa suggest that inclusive and credible dialogue among the Congolese is the way to finding lasting solutions to their problems. To this end, they think the role of regional and international actors is to help the Congolese dialogue robustly and in a structured fashion. It is not to force them into any particular route of development.

By SIPHAMANDLA Zondi, IGD. 10 March 2011. 14:50

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