Former Togo PM to facilitate dialogue with DRC

January 27, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Darell Maurice

The former Prime Minister of Togo, Edem Kodjo, was recently appointed by the African Union to follow the dialogue convened by Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Edem Kodjo met with the head of the Congolese state, representatives of civil society, political parties and institutions. For the former Togolese Prime Minister, this was evidence of the excitement around his mediation.

After meeting with President Kabila, Edem Kodjo was reassured on the determination of the Congolese Head of State to hold the dialogue as soon as possible. Asked about the opposition’s suspicions about a possible shift of the calendar in this respect, “President Kabila did not tell me his intentions,” said the former Togolese Prime Minister, however denouncing the intention of damaging this type of trial dialogue.

While some opponents criticized the AU for not having mentioned the respect for constitutional deadlines in its press release announcing the appointment of Edem Kodjo, the facilitator defended “respect (for) constitutional deadlines is imperative,” he said.

He called the dynamics of the opposition and the G7, two hostile formations to dialogue, to reconsider their decision, congratulating some parties from these platforms for agreeing to meet him. But “only to share the reasons for our refusal to participate in such a dialogue that could lead to a postponement of the elections,” explained Jean-Pierre Bemba of the MLC in a statement.

Among the personalities encountered, President of the National Assembly and Secretary General of the majority, “This is an international civil servant, discreet and neutral and has sufficient knowledge of Congo,” said Aubin Minaku. The former vice president and president of the DRC added: “I am impressed by his experience and passion for the Congo.” Azarias Ruberwa believes that the Togolese understood the issues and wants to avoid the worst. After meeting with CENI, Edem Kodjo stated that he was especially worried about the little progress in the preparations for the elections, hence the urgency of the dialogue, the facilitator insists.

Edem Kodjo must report his discussions to the presidency of the AU Commission, which – itself will inform the Summit of Heads of State scheduled for the end of the month. The former Prime Minister of Togo could therefore not return, at best, until the beginning of February to continue consultations until the holding of the dialogue, the date for which is still unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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