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Vol 40 No 14

Published 9th July 1999


Kabila's last throw

A looming battle for the diamond capital of Mbuji-Mayi makes a ceasefire agreement more attractive to the Kinshasa regime

Congo-Kinshasa's combatants are fighting on two fronts. One is the looming battle for Mbuji-Mayi, the diamond capital in Kasaï Occidental, and the other is getting the best terms from the tortuous peace talks in Lusaka. The two are inextricably linked. Zimbabwean officials say that they have sent a further 3,000 troops to reinforce the Kinshasa government's defences and to stop the advance by Rwandan soldiers and the rebel Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) on the city. Everyone in Lusaka knows that the fall of Mbuji-Mayi would decisively change the balance of power and could scupper further peace talks for months.

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