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Vol 50 No 1

Published 9th January 2009


Old wounds, new crises

Falling commodity prices and failing politicians will make a dangerous combination this year

CONGO-KINSHASA: Talking to Nkunda – and Kigali No ceasefire was arranged at the latest negotiations in December between the Kinshasa government and General Laurent Nkunda’s rebel Congrés National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP, AC Vol 49 No 25). A fresh attempt was due on 7 January in Nairobi, when it was hoped Nkunda’s people might be more cooperative. In the last round, the CNDP refused to cease firing, although the Kinshasa delegation, led by Minister of International Cooperation Raymond Tshibanda, signed a declaration intended to ‘promote dialogue’ and create confidence. The CNDP claims that hostile forces – the government’s Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), it says – have moved into the agreed separation zones between the armies. The mediation team, led by Nigerian ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, said there were no government troops there. In fact, the men who have moved in belong to a Mai-Mai group, the Hutu militia now known as the Patriotes Résistants Congolais (Pareco), and the Rwandan former soldiers of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). The CNDP also objected to the junior status of the government delegation.

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