LANCEMENT DIALOGUEIn a statement issued on 3 September 2016, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon “takes note of the launching on 1 September 2016 of the National Dialogue in the DRC”.

Stressing the importance of the involvement of the entire Congolese political class in the process Ban Ki-moon “remains convinced that only an inclusive political dialogue will help pave the way towards peaceful and credible elections, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2277”.

Alluding to dialogue process boycotters, the Secretary-General urged them “to play a constructive role which contributes to the holding of timely and credible elections”.

He encouraged the Congolese government “to continue confidence-building measures and to uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution with a view towards establishing an atmosphere conducive to credible dialogue”.

To ensure the country does not descend into chaos, the UN boss “urges all actors to refrain from any action that could increase tensions or lead to violence”.

The political dialogue opened on 1 September without the attendance of the Rassemblement, G7 and MLC amongst other opposition movements.

Meanwhile, the government released a number of political prisoners and lifted the ban on certain opposition-owned media.