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Sunday, 30 September, 2001, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
DR Congo ceasefire under threat
Rwandan army in DR Congo
Rwanda's army is pulling back in eastern DR Congo
By Helen Vesperini in Kigali

The much vaunted ceasefire in the Democratic Republic of Congo is looking more precarious by the day.

In the past week there has been fighting in Fizi, on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika and in Kindu, another strategic town in the east.

The latest fighting is the most serious to break out in Congo since Rwandan troops started their partial withdrawal from the country in February.

This fighting has pitted Congolese rebels, with the backing of the Rwandan Government, against militias supported by the Kinshasa authorities.

Fizi

Fizi fell to a coalition of Burundian and Rwandan Hutu rebels on 7 September.


The Congolese Goma rebel faction, who are backed by the Rwandan Government, say they have pushed them back to a peninsula on the lake that they have used as a base since 1998.

"We've cleaned up the whole area around Fizi and the fighting is now going on to the east and the south," said a spokesman for the Goma rebels.

Kindu

In Kindu, a town further north on the strategically important Congo river, fighting has been going on since Saturday morning.

The Goma rebels say the town's airport was taken by a mixture of Congolese tribal militia known as Mai Mai and Kinshasa government forces.

"We dislodged them from the airport around 2200 last night and they are now scattered in town," the Goma rebels' spokesman told the BBC.

He said they had taken 10 prisoners, including soldiers identified as belonging to the Kinshasa government army.

See also:

25 Jul 01 | Africa
Interahamwe: A spent force?
27 Sep 01 | Africa
DR Congo peace talks end early
17 Jul 01 | Africa
UN praises Congo advances
24 Jul 01 | Africa
Congo rejects UN co-ordinator
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