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MONUC's mediation with Kabila and Bemba continues as Kinshasa returns to business as usual

Monuc - August 24, 2006 4:20 PM


MONUC's mediation with presidential rivals Joseph Kabila and Jean Pierre Bemba continues today, as the situation remains calm in the capital and daily activities resume.

The atmosphere in Kinshasa remains calm but tense since normal daily activities resumed yesterday in the central business district of Gombe, which was the scene of violent hostilities earlier in the week.

MONUC and EUFOR forces continue to patrol the district, especially by night, as a tense political atmosphere hangs over the capital. Security also remains tight at the Bemba residence near the river, which was the scene of heavy fighting, particularly on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The international community firmly supports a resolution to the current conflict, and negotiations are ongoing with Mr. Kabila and Mr. Bemba. This is with a view to resolving the current political impasse and exploring the best way forward, so that the electoral process can be kept on track, following the historic elections of July 30.

Political mediators include William Swing, the Secretary General’s Special Representative in the DRC, the International Committee of the Wise and the CIAT -the Committee in Support of the Transition to democracy in the DRC- which is composed of many foreign ambassadors and diplomats.

Several meetings have taken place today involving these mediators, the two presidential candidates and Fr. Malu Malu, president of the Independent Electoral Commission.

Today Mr. Swing met with Mr. Bemba and Mr. Kabila separately, with a view to finding a common peaceful way forward through dialogue, as the second round of the presidential election approaches.

Despite the prevailing calm in Kinshasa, there was an isolated protest today outside Mr. Bemba’s political headquarters on Boulevard 30 Juin, involving pro Bemba supporters, but there were no major incidents reported.

Some were protesting the closure of CCTV and Canal Kin, both pro Bemba Gombe based television channels that have been shut down since Sunday night’s elections related violence. HAM -the High Authority of the Media- issued a press release today deploring the closure of these channels, which was done “in a manner of non conformity to the law.”

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