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Monday, 1 May, 2000, 02:10 GMT 03:10 UK
DR Congo peace force pledge
Congo War
Previous peace agreements have not been respected
South Africa and Nigeria have said they will contribute to the United Nations peace-keeping force planned for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Organisation of African Unity Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim said the two nations had made a "concrete commitment at the highest possible level."

He said the joint offer created a new momentum for the deployment of UN peace-keepers.


The two nations made a concrete commitment at the highest possible level

Salim Ahmed Salim, Organisation of African Unity
The decision came at a summit in Algiers attended by six African leaders, including the Nigerian and South African presidents, Congolese President Laurent Kabila and summit host, Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Warring nations not present

President Kabila was the only one representing the warring parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A peace deal was reached in Lusaka last year, but fighting has continued.

Uganda and Rwanda are supporting rebels who want to remove Mr Kabila. But he is supported by Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia.

Leaders at the summit urged the warring parties to accept the Lusaka peace deal and respect ceasefires.

South Africa and Nigeria have promised to send the bulk of troops needed for a peacekeeping force, but Mr Salim did not specify how many that would be.

Laurent Kabila
Mr Kabila has accused the UN of dragging its feet

"They pledged to contribute the necessary troops in accordance with UN requirements," he said.

The UN Security Council has approved a force of more than 5,000 troops for DR Congo as well as 500 military observers.

Security concerns

However, it has yet to deploy the force because it is not satisfied with the state of security inside the country.

This has prompted President Kabila to accuse the UN of dragging its feet.

Mr Salim said the warring parties were more or less observing the latest ceasefire, which took effect on 14 April.

This would allow a speedy deployment of the peace keeping force, he said.

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See also:

30 Apr 00 | Africa
Kabila: UN 'dragging its feet'
24 Feb 00 | Africa
UN approves Congo force
03 Dec 98 | Zimbabwe
Mugabe's unpopular war
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