BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
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
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Saturday, 26 October, 2002, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Peace hopes for DR Congo
Child victims of the Congolese war
The conflict has made millions of orphans
Talks aimed at working out a final peace deal to end the four-year war in the Democratic Republic of Congo have begun in the South African capital, Pretoria.

The Congolese Government and two main rebel groups, which control vast parts of the country, are discussing a power-sharing plan.

The talks, which are sponsored by the United Nations and South Africa, are focusing on proposals for President Joseph Kabila to remain in office, with rebel and opposition leaders taking vice-presidential posts for an interim period ahead of elections.

Aides to South African President Thabo Mbeki - who drew up the proposals - said they hoped this round of talks would lead to a final settlement.

The negotiations are attended by a delegation from the Congolese Government and representatives from the Rwanda-backed Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) and the Uganda-supported Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC).

The proposed interim administration would be led by President Kabila, and include four vice-presidents - one each from the government, the RCD, the MLC and Congo's unarmed political opposition.

The plan also allows for a 31-member interim cabinet.

The current talks are a continuation of negotiations held in South Africa earlier this year, when the government and the MLC struck a deal with the RCD.

Power vacuum

The search for peace in DR Congo gained fresh momentum in recent weeks, as the foreign countries involved started to withdraw troops.

Rwandan troops
Foreign troops have been leaving the country
The war broke out in 1998 and sucked in neighbouring countries, as Rwanda and Uganda supported the rebels while Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia backed the Kinshasa government.

Rwanda says it has completely withdrawn, while Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia have pledged to pull out all troops by the end of next week.

However, the withdrawals have also prompted warnings of potential massacres in the east of the country, where militia groups are taking advantage of the power vacuum caused by the departure of foreign troops to intensify their activities.

About 1,000 Ugandan troops have remained at the request of the United Nations, which fears their departure would cause a huge security void.

It is estimated that more than two million people have died, most from starvation and hunger, during four years of war.


Key stories

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

25 Oct 02 | Africa
24 Oct 02 | Africa
22 Oct 02 | Africa
18 Oct 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 |
Programmes