The Inter-Congolese Dialogue

South Africa believes that the Lusaka Cease-fire Agreement (LCA) is the only framework within which stability and peace in the DRC can be achieved. South Africa, therefore, actively engages all parties involved in the DRC conflict as well as the regional leaders.

In the short term, South Africa will contribute to the successful completion of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue (ICD) that is due to resume at Sun City on 25 February 2002, where agreement must be reached on issues of a new political dispensation.

The ICD was officially opened in Addis Ababa on 15 October 2001, but was suspended shortly afterwards due to several considerations, including a shortage of funds.

During a briefing by the Office of the Facilitator to representatives of donor countries on 22 October 2001, it was indicated that agreement was reached by all participating groups, including the DRC government, that the ICD would officially resume and that it will be relocated from Addis Ababa to South Africa.

The Facilitator closed the ICD on 23 October 2001, indicating that he would consult with all Parties to resolve the problems that were experienced in Addis Ababa and would then determine a date to reconvene in South Africa following consultations.

The Inter Congolese Dialogue is scheduled to commence at Sun City on 25 February 2002. The Dialogue was originally scheduled to last for 45-50 days. On 31 January 2002, the contract between Sun City and the Office of the Facilitator was signed and the deposit paid.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for the afternoon of 25 February 2002, followed by a function to be hosted by President T M Mbeki and sponsored by Sun City. A total of 300 delegates from different parties, movements, groups and organisations from the DRC are expected to participate. The Task Team on the ICD is in the process of finalising the arrangements in conjunction with the Office of the Facilitator.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa