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Vol 43 No 1

Published 11th January 2002

New Year hopes

Two peace deals and a crowded reform agenda point to a way out of the chaos

Could 2002 be the year that Congo-Kinshasa ends the foreign-backed war engulfing it and starts rebuilding its economy? Optimistic officials in Belgium and France believe so; Congolese are more sceptical. Working with Central Bank Governor Jean Claude-Masangu, President Joseph Kabila has pushed economic reforms – cutting inflation and the budget deficit. Yet Kabila II has failed to convince on commitments to hand over Rwandan génocidaires or to allow political activity as required by the Lusaka accord. At a consultative meeting in December, donors said they would contribute to a US$400 million fund set up by the World Bank to finance disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration.

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