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Wednesday, June 2, 1999 Published at 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK

World: Africa

Mandela calls Congo ceasefire summit

Rebels and the government have been locked in a 10-month civil war

There appears to be a growing momentum towards finding a peaceful settlement to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Presidents Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Sam Nujoma of Namibia have announced the convening of a heads of state summit on 26 June to discuss implementing a ceasefire following "progress" towards settling the conflict.

[ image:  ]
"We are moving in the right direction," President Mandela said after talks in Pretoria.

"There is a realisation now on the part of all the parties that nobody is going to win this war, neither President (Laurent) Kabila and his allies can win the war, nor the rebels and their allies," he said.

The leaders of Rwanda and Uganda who back the rebels, have also made positive noises after talks in Tanzania.

President Pasteur Bizimungu of Rwanda and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, said in a joint statement that an agreement between Uganda and Congo, together with a unilateral Rwandan ceasefire, represented positive moves towards peace.

BBC's Anna Borzello: Eyewitness report from rebel-held Kisangani
Rwanda's Foreign Minister, Amri Sued Ismail, says his country is prepared to negotiate directly with the government of President Kabila - but only if the talks are aimed at securing a lasting peace that guarantees Rwanda's security.

Both Uganda and Rwanda say they have legitimate security interests in protecting their common western borders with Congo where rebels attacking both countries have bases.

Team of experts

Diplomatic efforts at ending the war have also been continuing in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, where Ugandan and Congolese representatives have appointed a team of experts to discuss how to implement a peace plan brokered by Libya.

[ image: Congolese troops have appeared unable to prevent rebel advances]
Congolese troops have appeared unable to prevent rebel advances
In a joint statement they said the team would also work out ways of deploying an African peacekeeping force in DR Congo.

Ugandan officials were surprised last week when 62 Libyans arrived in the country as the vanguard of the proposed peacekeeping force.

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