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Vol 40 No 22

Published 5th November 1999


Congo-Kinshasa

Precious little peace

Divided rebels, stay-put foreign troops and carpet-bagging threaten the ceasefire

There is not much sign of peace. The Lusaka peace deal, signed in July and August, has survived, just. Implementation is moving painfully slowly, with only a handful of United Nations' observers in place (AC Vol 40 Nos 14 & 18). The rebels are increasingly divided and the foreign armies seem determined to stay put. Perhaps the most promising signs are the discreet contacts between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (the leading backer of the forces supporting Congo-Kinshasa President Laurent-Désiré Kabila) and Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (the leading backer of the rebel forces). These contacts appear to be designed to forestall a major new outbreak of fighting around the diamond capital of Mbuji-Mayi. Few details have emerged about the possible negotiating points in these discussions, although some suggest they may involve Ugandan access to Congolese natural resources.

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