BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Middle East
South Asia
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Warning for DR Congo peace deal
Vital Kamerhe, Congolese government representative (l) and Olivier Kamitatu from the MLC former rebels (r)
Previous deals have not ended the war
The main rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo has warned that they must be involved if the four-year war is to end.

On Monday, representatives of the two governments agreed that Rwanda would withdraw its 30,000 troops from the DR Congo, if ethnic Hutu militias operating there were disarmed.

Peace deal

  • 90 day timetable
  • Presidents still to sign
  • Rwanda to withdraw 30,000 troops from DR Congo
  • DR Congo to disarm 'Interahamwe' militias

Presidents Joseph Kabila of DR Congo and Paul Kagame of Rwanda have not yet signed the deal but it is hoped they will do so later this week.

Congolese Government spokesman, Kikaya bin Karubi, said that Mr Kabila had agreed to sign the deal on a date still to be arranged by South Africa, which hosted the closed-door talks.

Rwanda has always argued that it sent soldiers across the border in pursuit of the "Interahamwe" groups responsible for the 1994 genocide of ethnic Tutsis in Rwanda.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Kinshasa says that previous peace deals have failed to end the war.

Adolphe Onusumba, leader of the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), said that the Rwandans were briefing him about the deal and his group may then meet representatives of the DR Congo Government.

"The agreement between Congo and Rwanda is significant, but it addresses only the external dimensions of the Congolese crisis and does not resolve internal dimensions," he said.

"To sort out the internal dimensions, Kinshasa must pursue a political agreement with all Congolese belligerents, opposition parties and civil society."


Papers in Kinshasa are sceptical about this latest deal.

Le Palmares, which is generally supportive of the government said:

Adolphe Onusumba, RCD leader
Onusumba wants to be involved

"Kagame is not the person who keeps his word for the happiness of the Congolese people.

"What counts for him is to continue to lie so as to gain more time for the looting of the DR Congo's resources."

La Reference Plus, which is more critical of Mr Kabila's government says the question remaining is how to count the Rwandan Hutu militia in the DR Congo and to know where they are.

'Not a single soldier'

The talks, chaired by the South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, were aimed at finding a solution to the conflict between the countries.

"We reached an agreement that will solve the problems in the Congo and in Rwanda... We have done what can be done to satisfy the sovereignty of the DR Congo and the security of Rwanda," Mr Zuma told AFP.

President Joseph Kabila
DR Congo's president wanted the Rwandan troops out

The deal is supposed to be implemented within the next 90 days.

Rwanda's ambassador to South Africa, Joseph Karemera told the BBC's Network Africa that "if all parties comply to what they have agreed... we shall have no reason to be there, not a single soldier."

Mr Bin Karubi said that the Congolese government would work with the United Nations and South Africa to disarm the "Interahamwe" militias.

"This is a big step forward because a week ago Kagame was saying he would never leave Congo, but now in front of international witnesses he has said he will withdraw," he said.

In April, Mr Kabila's government reached a deal with the Ugandan-backed MLC group which excluded the RCD.

MLC leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba was supposed to become prime minister but he has not yet left his rebel headquarters to go to Kinshasa.

Joseph Karemera on BBC Network Africa
"What we have agreed is tentative"

Key stories


See also:

22 Jul 02 | Africa
17 Jul 02 | Africa
10 Jul 02 | Africa
04 Jul 02 | Africa
13 Jun 02 | Africa
23 Jul 02 | Africa
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |