Saturday, July 17, 1999 Published at 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
UN considers Congo peacekeepers
Peacekeeping in Congo would be risky and expensive
The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has recommended the immediate deployment of 90 military personnel in the Democratic Republic of Congo to assess the practicality of sending a larger peacekeeping force.
The initial contingent of 90 military personnel would be authorised to liaise with the main belligerents.
Depending on their success, Mr Annan says, he would be prepared to approve the deployment of another 500 observers.
The rebels refused to sign the Lusaka agreement last weekend because of disputes among themselves.
There are reports of continued fighting in some areas of the country, and one Ugandan-backed rebel group says it has taken another town, Gemena.
Ten days ago the group took control of Gbadolite, the home of the former Zairean dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko.
The assault on Gemena took place well after the ceasefire agreement signed by the countries which have intervened in the war.
BBC East Africa Correspondent Cathy Jenkins accompanied Mr Bemba to the settlement of Kotakoli, where he told the inhabitants that his troops were ready to oust President Kabila.
She says the well-orchestrated gathering at Kotakoli was enthusiastic about the new leader, but two years ago they felt the same about President Kabila, whose promises came to nothing.