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 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 15:48 GMT
DR Congo rebel wants 1,000 guards
RCD rebels
Rebel forces get key posts in the new government
A rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo has said up to 1,000 of his men will be needed to guarantee the security of his group in a transitional government in the capital, Kinshasa.

Adolphe Onusumba, the chairman of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), which controls the east of the country, said that President Joseph Kabila was still intent on seizing territory.

RCD leader Adolphe Onusumba (photo: RCD website)
Onusumba: Worried about security
However, the head of the United Nations mission in DR Congo (Monuc) warned that large protection units for political leaders in the new government would create "chaos".

A complex deal was hammered out on Tuesday to end the four-year war, dubbed "Africa's first world war" after several neighbouring countries became involved.

Mr Kabila will stay in his post for two years, but rebel forces and the political opposition will be given government portfolios, including three of the four vice presidential posts.

Open in new window : War survivors
DR Congo's displaced generation

Question of trust

Mr Kabila has said he will guarantee security for all citizens of the DRC.

But Mr Onusumba said rebel representatives in the new government would need their own protection.

"I don't think our security is going to be guaranteed by the government of Kinshasa," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

DR CONGO'S WAR
Four years
Seven foreign armies
At least 2 million dead
Disease and abuses widespread

"I don't deny that security will come when a new national army is set up, but right now, we need the people we know and trust to guarantee our security."

He also said that in spite of the peace deal, the government could be expected to go on fighting.

"Kabila has not given up his intention of capturing territory by force," he said.

The head of Monuc, Amos Ngongi, confirmed that fighting was still going on in the east of the country, including between rebel groups, but he said it was on a scale that did not pose a threat to the peace accord.

Mr Ngongi told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that Monuc would continue to oversee the disarmament, demobilisation and repatriation of foreign armed groups, which, he said, would probably take a year.

But he said it was also prepared to take part in the training of a new police force set to include soldiers from all the factions.

Elections

Monuc has been training police officers in Kisangani and the scheme may be extended to the entire country if the UN Security Council gives its agreement, he said.

He said Monuc could also play a logistical part in the forthcoming electoral process.

Joseph Kabila
Kabila: Succeeded his father Laurent in 2001

But he said the UN body had not been set up to provide bodyguards for political leaders.

"The political leaders are allowed to have close protection units from their own movements - small numbers of people which have not been defined.

"But clearly... if there are large numbers of people, that could cause chaos in the city."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Amos Namanga Ngongi, Head of MONUC
"MONUC will not provide bodyguards"

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18 Dec 02 | Africa
17 Dec 02 | Africa
04 Dec 02 | Africa
01 Nov 02 | Africa
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