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Vol 43 No 4

Published 22nd February 2002


High stakes at Sun City

Slow-flowing funds and covert bargains put peace-talks at risk

Peacemaking in the Congo has been a gamble so it's fitting that the next venue for talks is South Africa's casino capital, Sun City. First, though, the man in charge has to get his stake-money in order, and the facilitator, ex-President Ketumile Masire of Botswana, insists on transparency. With the opening day set for 25 February, there is still much to do. Just five days before the opening, Jean-Pierre Bemba has pulled his Mouvement de Libération du Congo out of the talks because he claims many of the parties there will be mere fronts for President Joseph Kabila, and give him an unfair advantage in the negotiations. Bemba's main foreign ally, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, has advised Bemba to go to Sun City despite his misgivings.

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