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Friday, 10 March, 2000, 15:03 GMT
UN and DR Congo agree troop deployment
Prisoners of war
Rebels control about half of the DR Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo President Laurent Kabila has pledged his full co-operation over the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in his war-torn country.

UN's peacekeeping head Bernard Miyet said after meeting Mr Kabila in Kinshasa that "was very, very relaxed and very friendly, and basically said he had a strong desire to co-operate fully with the UN".

Proposed UN force
500 military observers
5,000 UN troops
Infantry battalions
Two marine companies with boats
Medical units
Communications units
Aviation units
Mr Kabila's government has had a rather unstable relationship with the UN over past human rights investigations.

And Kinshasa has been, until now, less than enthusiastic about the UN's plans to establish bases in two cities under government control.

Mr Miyet is expected to go on to visit other countries with troops involved in the 18-month conflict.

Rebel forces, backed by Uganda and Rwanda, have been fighting government forces backed by Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia, in what has been described as Africa's first world war.

Commitment

The UN Security Council approved a 5,500 member force last month to monitor the shaky cease-fire, but is insisting that the warring parties provide guarantees that hostilities will end, before the force could be deployed.

The UN says all parties to the conflict must commit themselves to a cease-fire and come up with a viable plan for disengagement.

president kabila
President Kabila: Will "fully co-operate" with the UN
Although a peace deal was signed in Zambia in July last year, fighting has continued.

"There must be an effective ceasefire, not the ceasefire we have seen since last July which has practically never been respected," says UN envoy Kemal Morjane, who is head of a small team of military observers already in the DRCongo.

Rwanda has already said the proposed UN force, of 500 observers and 5,000 soldiers is too small to have an impact in a country the size of Western Europe.

Peacekeeping bases

The UN plans to set up operations at four bases: Kindu and Kisangani in rebel-held territory and Mbuji-Mayi and Mbandaka in government-held regions.

DR Congo peace deal
UN-OAU peace force
Foreign troops withdraw
Commitment to disarmament
Release of hostages
Access for Red Cross
Dialogue between government and rebels
Troops will be sent from Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Senegal to form a force that will provide protection and logistical support.

It could be the first batch of a larger peacekeeping operation involving as many as 20,000 troops.

But such a large undertaking will depend on significant progress being made towards ending the fighting.

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See also:

24 Feb 00 |  Africa
Congolese face the future
24 Feb 00 |  Africa
UN approves Congo force
18 Feb 00 |  Africa
Congo's war within a war
09 Feb 00 |  Africa
US backs UN force for Congo
23 Jun 99 |  Africa
DR Congo: What price peace?
14 Jul 99 |  Africa
Kabila grants rebel amnesty
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