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Wednesday, 4 April, 2001, 05:51 GMT 06:51 UK
Ugandan troops to leave DR Congo

Uganda says it's ready to withdraw all its troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The announcement was made by the Ugandan foreign minister, Eriya Kategaya, during the first visit of a high-level Ugandan official to Kinshasa since the start of the Congolese civil war three years ago.

Mr Kategaya said Ugandans were satisfied that the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo were secure and that they could all now go home.

The announcement followed the first withdrawal of Zimbabwean troops from the country who'd intervened on behalf of the Congolese government.

All parties agreed in January to withdraw from front lines, after Joseph Kabila succeeded his assassinated father.

The head of the Congolese army Brigadier General Francois Olenga has warned the rebels not to try to take advantage of the Zimbabwean withdrawal. Around two-hundred-thousand people are estimated to have been killed in the Congolese civil war, with many more dying as a result of the devastation of the country's infrastructure.

Correspondents say the war has been used as a cover for foreign governments to exploit Congo's rich mineral deposits.

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