Tuesday, November 17, 1998 Published at 14:40 GMT
Congo rebels 'take' town
The rebels are claiming a major advance south
By East Africa Correspondent Cathy Jenkins in Nairobi
Rebels fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo claimed to have captured another town in the east of the country.
If confirmed, the capture of Moba would be the most southerly town yet taken by the rebels in their 15-week-old campaign.
Rebel political leaders say the town, which lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, fell to their forces on Sunday after a one-day battle.
As yet there has been no comment from the government in Kinshasa.
For the rebels, the taking of Moba is important if they are to mount a push towards Lubumbashi, the country's second city.
Lubumbashi is in the province of Katanga, home to important copper mines, and the city is seen as the southern stronghold of President Laurent Kabila.
Over the past weeks the rebels have claimed to have taken two other towns, most recently Kongolo.
Since the start of the rebellion in the east of the country in August, President Laurent Kabila has refused to talk with rebel leaders.
On Monday, the government rejected a call from South Africa to open direct negotiations, saying that the rebel movement was a front for aggression from Rwanda and Uganda.
In a report published this week, the United Nations agency for refugees, the UNHCR, said that the fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo had displaced an estimated 65,000 people.
Of these, it said 14,000 people had left towns on Lake Tanganyika, crossing the lake to Tanzania.