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Saturday, August 8, 1998 Published at 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK

World: Africa

Congo talks fail to secure truce

President Kabila leaves the summit in Zimbabwe

Seven African leaders have failed in talks to find a ceasefire in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A meeting in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls resort ended without resolution on Saturday.

President Laurent Kabila of Congo, whose position is threatened by a rebel uprising, had met leaders of Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, said the Congolese and Rwandan leaders could not agree on who was responsible for the fighting.

President Kabila has blamed Rwanda for backing Tutsi-led rebels in the the uprising, which began last Sunday.

But Rwanda says it is a purely internal affair caused by the president's poor leadership.

[ image: President Mugabe: peace bid continues]
President Mugabe: peace bid continues
Mr Mugabe said a committee comprising representatives from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Tanzania would now be set up to examine the conflicting claims and to continue with efforts to secure a ceasefire.

President Kabila came to power in the former Zaire just over a year ago when he was backed by Rwanda in toppling veteran dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

Meanwhile the situation in the DRC remains unclear. On Friday rebels claimed control of the strategic southwestern port cities of Muanda and Banana and a military base at Kitona, in the region bordering Angola and Congo-Brazzaville.

But official Congolese television has denied the claims.

"The situation is calm in Muanda, Banana and Kitona. They are all under the control of Congolese army forces," the television reported on Friday.

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