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Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 06:35 GMT

World: Africa

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

The President of Congo Brazzaville, Denis Sassou Nguesso, has defended his government's peace accord with rebels.

President Nguesso who was speaking ahead of today's Summit of Central African leaders in Gabon, said the peace initiative would continue and had a concrete response from the rebels.

In what appeared to be comments directed at the former opposition leader, Bernard Kolelas, President Nguesso said his hand remained held out to Congolese of different political persuasions.

Mr Kolelas has described the accord as a sham. The agreement, which was reached on Tuesday, calls for a nationwide halt to fighting and an amnesty for combatants who hand in their weapons.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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