The Congo Democratic Republic and the Congo People's republic ended two years of feuding on December 15 with a formal restoration of diplomatic relations.
The Congo Democratic Republic and the Congo People's republic ended two years of feuding on December 15 with a formal restoration of diplomatic relations. Following a unique diplomatic formula, the Foreign Minister os the two countries simultaneously presented their charges d'affaires to President Nogouabi in Brazzaville and to President Mobutu in Kinshasa.
The significance of the appointments is emphasised by a 1965 agreement. Each Foreign Minister automatically becomes ambassador to the other country when he enters office, but the day-to-day running of the embassies is carried out by their charges d'affaires.
Kinshasa Foreign Minister Mario Cardoso, recently appointed to the political bureau by President Mobutu presented his charge d'affaires, Lieutenant Yeli Npela. The Brazzaville charge d'affaires Lieutenant Gaston Evabo, was presented by Foreign Minister Ichorga.
President Ngouabi said the ceremony, the first of its kind, was evidence of the brotherhood between the two countries, which are separated only by a mile-long stretch of river. They share the same language and the rupture in relations meant long delays in river traffic and the splitting of many families, he said.
The break followed the execution in Kinshasa of rebel leader Pierre Mulele, who had returned from his sanctuary in Brazzaville apparently under the impression he had been amnestied.
The two presidents agreed to work towards restoring normal relations after a meeting last June in he middle of the river. They were brought together by President Bokassa of the Central African Republic and three other Central African Heads of State.