The US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Thomas Perriello, met with opposition leader and head of the Rassemblement political platform, Etienne Tshisekedi.

The visit took place against a backdrop of rejection of the African Union appointed facilitator of the national dialogue by the platform.

Tshisekedi publicly called the facilitator a “Kabila loyalist” during his rally on 31 July 2016.

According to Tshisekedi’s Press Attaché, Augustin Kabuya, the veteran opposition leader reiterated to Perriello the same pre-conditions that he had already made in order to participate in the national dialogue inter alia the release of political detainees, charges against Moïse Katumbi being dropped as well as the conversion of the Dialogue Support Group into the facilitation group.

Kabuya said the US Special Envoy understood these conditions, stating that “Perriello was happy no note that we are still keen on the dialogue but under certain conditions”.

Last week, Etienne Tshisekedi was also visited by the UN Secretary General Special Representative to the DRC, Maman Sidikou.

Members of the Support Group have been consulting leading political parties, one by one, with a view to the dialogue. The Group is tasked with paving the way for the holding of peaceful elections in the DRC.

On the side of the ruling coalition, no confirmation was given whether they were consulted, at least for now. That notwithstanding, the state-owned television station aired videos of diplomats meeting with Henry Mova, the Secretary General of the ruling party, PPRD, at his office.