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Published 8th August 2003

Vol 44 No 16


Deals in the West, war in the East

Continuing slaughter in the east reveals the faultlines of the Kinshasa regime

Congo's civil war was five years old on 2 August and the country's politicians claim it is all over (AC Vol 44 No 14). Few believe them. Bloody chaos in the east threatens the fragile political deal signed in the west. In Kinshasa, politicians and generals congratulate each other (nervously glancing over their shoulders) on the power-sharing government formed on 17 July. Dignitaries such as, Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign affairs and security supremo, and the French and Belgian Defence ministers, Michèle Alliot-Marie and André Flahaut, praise the new order. Mandarins of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank say Kinshasa's economic management is `broadly satisfactory', enough to persuade them to write off some US$10 billion of debt. Yet fighting continues along the eastern axis, from Bukavu north to Ituri, where over 200 people were massacred in the past month.

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Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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