DRC, M23 downsize peace talks delegations

The DRC government and the M23 rebels yesterday reduced their delegations to 12 people to match with what officials called simpler tasks that remain pending at the dialogue in Kampala.

The DRC government and the M23 rebels yesterday reduced their delegations to 12 people to match with what officials called simpler tasks that remain pending at the dialogue in Kampala.

Both delegations, which previously consisted of over 30 members, have already adopted the report on the review of the March 23, 2009 peace agreement, marking conclusion of the first item of the agenda of the preliminary peace talks.

“The Congolese government cited budgetary constraints but we have also made submissions on the second and third clusters and the work remaining now doesn’t require huge numbers,” M23 legal advisor Jean Baptiste Gaseminari said.

The remaining clusters include security issues; social, economic and political matters; as well as the mechanism for implementation of various resolutions.

Fred Opolot, the executive director of the Uganda Media Centre, and one of the media advisors to the facilitator of the talks, yesterday, refuted media reports that downsizing the number mean talks are collapsing.

“By reducing the numbers, the talks are instead being strengthened,” Opolot said.

“It is still early to tell when the negotiations will be concluded because there are complex issues that are yet to be resolved and this may take a little bit of more time.”

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