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Vol 45 No 1

Published 9th January 2004

Not warring but warning

The route to peace in Central Africa is being paved by power-sharing governments and fundraising conferences. For Congo-Kinshasa, Western officials and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund met in Paris last month to pledge a further US$3.9 billion for post-war reconstruction (on top of existing pledges of $2.5 bn. (AC Vol 44 No 24). On 14-15 January, more Western officials will meet in Brussels, hoping for $1 bn. for post-war reconstruction in Burundi. Not all the money will arrive and, anyway, the sums look small beside those raised for post-war programmes in the Balkans, Afghanistan or Iraq - Congo-K has almost 60 million people. The main aim is to encourage the former warring parties to go on trying to share power and resources. The money also tempts Western companies to have a look around: 70 per cent of the funds pledged for Congo are for big infrastructure projects by foreign contractors.

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