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The BBC's Stephen Gibbs reports
"Senior officers from all the armies involved have amassed great fortunes"
 real 28k

The BBC's Helen Vesperini, in Goma
"The partial pullback should have been completed by midnight"
 real 28k

The BBC's Laurent N'Dayu Huramy
believes the number of UN troops does not match the size of the task facing them"
 real 28k

Friday, 30 March, 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
UN begins monitoring DRC ceasefire
UN troops in Goma
The first contingent of UN peacekeepers in the DRC
A United Nations peacekeeping force from Uruguay has been deployed at the UN base in Kalemie in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The 110-strong force is there to ensure UN observers can check whether the warring parties in the DRC's two-and-a-half year conflict are withdrawing 15 km back from the front line.

But the UN has admitted that there are problems with the implementation of the partial retreat, as agreed in the Lusaka peace accord.

UN officials say that the Kinshasa government and its allies and one of the rebel groups fighting them have been slow to comply with the disengagement plan.

Objections

Government troops backed by Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia have been battling to defeat rebel armies backed by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

Rwandan troops
Rwandan troops, supporting the rebels
The peace process stalled last year as none of the parties could agree on the implementation of the Lusaka peace accord.

There has been progress, however, since the death of DRC President Laurent Kabila earlier this year.

His son and successor, Joseph Kabila, has been more open in negotiations and the parties subsequently agreed on the implementation of the pullback.

Problems

But there were renewed concerns this week when Rwanda accused the government in Kinshasa and its foreign allies of not pulling back from the frontline in several areas.

It says the peace process could be derailed as a result.

The Uruguayan troops will be joined on Sunday by a contingent of soldiers from Senegal.

The warring parties have until the end of May to hand in plans for their complete withdrawal.

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See also:

16 Jan 01 | Africa
DR Congo's troubled history
26 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Democratic Republic of Congo
21 Feb 01 | Africa
UN finds Congo child soldiers
23 Feb 01 | Africa
Congo pull-back plan welcomed
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