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The BBC's Jane Standley in Lusaka
"Words of peace have been spoken here"
 real 56k

Editor of Africa Confidential, Patrick Smith
"They can ill afford to keep their armies in the Congo"
 real 56k

Patrick Mazimbaka, Rwandan envoy to the UK
"We have been having problems implimenting (the) Lukasa (accord)"
 real 28k

Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 17:46 GMT
Glimmer of hope after Congo summit
Nelson Mandela meets President Jospeh Kabila
Mandela is impressed with Kabila's commitment to peace.
African heads of state attending a summit in Lusaka on the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo have re-affirmed their commitment to reviving the stalled peace process.

The most significant step forward at the summit was the announcement by new DR Congo President Joseph Kabila that he will accept the former Botswanan leader, Ketumile Masire, as mediator.

A definite date of 26 February was also agreed for the deployment of more United Nations peace observers, ahead of UN talks on the peace process next week in New York.

And one of the Congolese rebel groups, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, has also agreed to disengage its forces from the front lines.

Overshadowed

But the meeting was overshadowed by the refusal of the presidents of Rwanda and Uganda - the main rebel backers - to turn up, as well as one of the main rebel leaders.

President Paul Kagame
Kagame is not attending saying Zambia is not impartial
Speaking at the summit, President Kabila said he would invite Mr Masire to Kinshasa in the next few days and he said that the dialogue would lead to avenues for peace in Congo.

Mr Masire had been rejected as a mediator by the late Congolese President, Laurent Kabila - Joseph Kabila's father.

Diplomats have described the move to invite him back as a significant step in kickstarting the failed 1999 Lusaka peace accords.

The chief Congo mediator and summit host, Zambia's President Frederick Chiluba, was upbeat as he brought the summit to an end, saying the commitment to finding peace had been re-affirmed.

Analysts say several of the agreements which have been announced are important but the key will be to see if they are implemented.

The DR Congo has been involved in a conflict since 1998 when Rwanda and Uganda backed a rebellion against Laurent Kabila.

The war has drawn five neighbouring nations into active combat and had a major impact on several more.

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See also:

02 Feb 01 | Africa
Kabila's whirlwind tour
26 Jan 01 | Africa
Kabila promises peace efforts
22 Jan 01 | Africa
Massacres in eastern Congo
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