MLC, RCD-Goma in power-sharing deal

The Mouvement de liberation du Congo (MLC) and the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-Goma), the two largest rebel factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have reached a power-sharing agreement for a future transitional national government. However, the DRC government opposes the deal.

Speaking from the South African administrative capital, Pretoria, where the inter-Congolese dialogue is on hiatus for discussions among technical committees, MLC Secretary-General Olivier Kamitatu said his movement and the RCD-Goma had harmonised their views on matters previously preventing progress in the ongoing peace talks.

Kamitatu said the MLC and RCD-Goma had agreed on the provision of security for their political representatives in a future transitional national government, which would include having one or two of their own brigades in the DRC capital, Kinshasa.

The government is opposed to this, and has demanded that each of the rebel movements bring only 15 to 30 soldiers to Kinshasa.

The two rebel factions have also agreed on "the vertical sharing and at all levels" of power - government, administration of territory, diplomacy, and public enterprise.

"These are inflammatory declarations,” Leonard She Okitundu, the DRC foreign minister, said. “There is the principle of continuity of the state. When we came to power, we did not expel the officials of [the former head of state] Mobutu [Sese Seko] that we found in place. Even if a new overall government is put in place, we should not meddle with other domains, such as the diplomatic corps."

Kamitatu said that the Kinshasa government is blocking progress in negotiations.

"Because the [Kinshasa] government does not accept a vertical sharing of power, we are therefore calling into question Joseph Kabila's role as president of the republic, we should also discuss his position," Joseph Mudumbi, head of the RCD-Goma foreign relations department, said.

All-party talks are scheduled to resume on Monday.