Congo-Kinshasa: Inter-Congolese Talks Marred By Complaints About Allowances

Peace talks in Nairobi between the DR Congo government and multiple armed groups could not be concluded on time on Monday, December 5, after some delegates left the negotiation area citing unpaid allowances.

Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the facilitator of the Nairobi process, was expected to announce the outcome of the weeklong inter-Congolese dialogue on Monday evening.

But the final session was delayed by representatives of armed groups, who left the garden at Safari Park hotel where the talks had been taking place.

The closing of the Nairobi talks, meant to end the insecurity in eastern DR Congo, was put off until Tuesday morning.

Some of them were reportedly complaining that they had not received their per diem. According to media reports, the delegates are supposed to get a $50 daily allowance.

An annoyed Kenyatta later addressed the delegates promising to take the issue with organisers of the talks.

“I would like to postpone this meeting and ask that we meet here tomorrow,” Kenyatta said.

“I want to say to the friends in charge of organising this meeting: I know that we have sufficient funds, because I was one of those who sought these funds. This money is not theirs. It is money that must be used to bring peace to the Congo.”

He said he would make sure that the money is available by the time the talks resume on Tuesday, and if they are not, he would report the issue to leaders.

The talks began on Monday last week and were initially expected to conclude on Saturday, December 3.

On Friday, the delegation of Banyamulenge, who have a self-defence armed group called Twirwaneho, pulled out of the talks citing fresh attacks on their community in South Kivu by some of the militias represented in Nairobi.

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