Nigeria's former president Olusegun
Obasanjo is expected to meet Democratic Republic of Congo renegade army general
Laurent Nkunda today to resolve rebel demands at ongoing peace talks in Kenya's
capital, Nairobi. Rebels loyal to Nkunda are demanding President Joseph
Kabila's government cancel all recently signed contracts with the Chinese
government. The rebels contend that Kinshasa is selling out to the Chinese to
the detriment of Congolese citizens. But the government dismisses the rebel
demand as bogus. Chief negotiator for the Congolese rebels Renee Abande tells
reporter Peter Clottey from Nairobi that the recently signed contracts run
against the interest of the people and only exist to benefit government
us it is necessary to let the parliament know what is being done in Nairobi
because for the implementation we would need some law, which would be adopted by
the parliament. Secondly, there are some members of parliament who came from
the eastern part of Congo who urged the president to go to war. So those people
also need to know the spirit of the agreement so that the agreement can be
implemented without problems," Abande pointed out.
said there is need for the Congolese public to know what are entailed in the
is necessary for the president of parliament and president of the senate to be
there so that the whole nation would be aware of what is being done. And it is
very necessary (may be not now but in the future) implementation of the
agreement, which we would be signing in Nairobi," he said.
said the ongoing peace negotiations are meant to resolve the country's problems.
we are going to do here is to solve some national political matters, some
economical national matters, and some security matters, and some humanitarian
matters. For that we think it is necessary for those who are leading the
country to sign contracts in which the nation's interest is paramount and not
to their own interest. That is the matter because they (government officials)
are making contracts in their own interest. So we are saying it is in the
interest of the whole nation so that the whole contract must be reviewed in the
interest of the people. Otherwise, we would have some people who are leading
the country just for their own interest and they would pocket the money and
then leave," Abande noted.
said the country's lawmakers have instituted an investigation into some of the
contracts signed by the government, which suggested that they were suspect.
evidence we have comes from a commission of parliament which had already done a
study, and this commission realized the problem and presented the results of
their investigation to the government. I think they conducted the
investigations on more than 150, which were found to have been signed in the
interest of foreigners and people who are leading the country. It is a not a
new demand that we are making because the country's parliament is very aware of
the level of corruption in the award of the contracts," he said.
Meanwhile, direct talks between President Kabila's
government and the rebels loyal to General Nkunda resumed Wednesday in Nairobi,
with UN mediation pushing for a fresh regional summit and urging both parties
to agree on a truce. The peace negotiations broke off last December after both
parties failed to come to an understanding on the cessation of hostilities