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Vol 39 No 4

Published 20th February 1998

The contras return

The rebels in Rwanda and their allies threaten the post-Mobutu balance of power

Just as Rwanda’s conflicts (AC Vol 37 No 9) led to the destabilisation and then the overthrow of the Mobutu regime last year, a new wave of rebel attacks is again destabilising Congo- Kinshasa’s eastern borders. Together with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Congo-K President Laurent-Désiré Kabila and the Rwandan Vice-President and Defence Minister, General Paul Kagame, are the key figures in Central Africa’s new balance of power. Both are under growing military pressure. For now, the rebels pose no coherent threat to the region’s governments, although there is some ad hoc coordination among contra groups and a sharing of arms routes and logistics. Often, the rebel groups are fighting local battles for local reasons but their leaders insist they have a common enemy: the Kagame-Museveni-Kabila alliance.

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