VILLAGE URUGWIRO - The UN Secretary General’s special envoy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Thursday reiterated his optimism that peace will ultimately come to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Stressing that the on-going peace talks have now “progressed into a substantive phase” the former Head of State, however, pointed out that peace in the DRC is not something that will be attained overnight. He made these remarks at Urugwiro Village, shortly after holding consultations with President Paul Kagame.
Obasanjo is facilitating the UN-backed talks between the DRC government and the main rebel group – the National Congress in Defence of the People (CNDP) that resumed in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, early Wednesday.
Obasanjo has been holding consultations, and has also met DRC’s President Joseph Kabila and is now scheduled to join the talks in Nairobi Friday. The talks, scheduled to last 10 days are reportedly aimed at making the current ceasefire in eastern DRC permanent.
The UN envoy, however, did not comment much on the current developments in the CNDP camp, where a top CNDP military commander openly challenged founder General Laurent Nkunda.
“I don’t want to comment on that because I don’t know enough about it. normally when I know about something in detail I talk about it,” Obasanjo said.
Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, representing the African Union (AU) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR), is also facilitating the dialogue.