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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
DR Congo peace talks progress
DR Congo President Joseph Kabila during the country's independence celebrations
Joseph Kabila has led Congo since his father's death
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has held his first meeting with Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni as part of efforts to move forward the peace process.

The two presidents on opposite sides of the three-year battle for control of the former Zaire met in Tanzania's main city, Dar es Salaam in talks hosted by Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.


Kabila looked tense, Museveni bruised and Mkapa as if he had thoroughly enjoyed himself.

BBC correspondent Roger Dean
Uganda first sent troops into the east of DR Congo along with Rwanda three years ago, to back rebels who launched an insurgency against the Kinshasa regime, supported by Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

It began pulling out most of its troops from DR Congo in May, and according to Reuters news agency President Museveni said the rest would withdraw under the terms of the Lusaka accord, which was signed in the Zambian capital in 1999.

When he was asked by reporters after the talks if he was satisfied, President Kabila said: "Satisfied is such a strong word, but there will be more meetings like this. This is just a beginning."

"For the time being, we are trying to keep the Lusaka accord on track and ensure there are no delays," he said

Our Tanzania correspondent said that when the three presidents emerged from their two-hour closed door talks, Mr Kabila looked tense, Mr Museveni bruised and Mr Mkapa as if he had thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Mediation

Since his re-election in October, President Mkapa has increasingly been playing the mediator in efforts to bring peace to the Congo.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni
President Museveni sent troops into DR Congo three years ago
For President Kabila, this visit was very different to his last, only two months ago.

Mr Kabila, who grew up in Dar es Salaam, is usually given the star treatment by the local Congolese community and Tanzanians alike.

In May, he performed his duties as a visiting head of state, including meeting leaders of trade and industry and visiting the grave of former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.

This time, by contrast, the two visiting presidents were here very much on business.

Rwanda

Meanwhile, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has cautioned the international community not to expect a quick withdrawal of Rwandan troops from DR Congo.

Mr Kagame said his soldiers needed to remain in Congo for the time being because Kinshasa was continuing to support Hutu rebels entering north-west Rwanda.

He did say that he had agreed to meet Mr Museveni on their common border on Friday.

Mr Kagame said the talks will try to improve relations with Uganda which have deteriorated over the past few months.

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See also:

30 Jun 01 | Africa
Belgium resumes DR Congo aid
03 Feb 01 | Africa
Belgium backs Kabila
26 Jan 01 | Africa
Kabila promises peace efforts
19 Jan 01 | Africa
Profile: Joseph Kabila
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