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Thursday, 25 May, 2000, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
UN to monitor Congo pull-out
troops in Kisangani
Rwandan and Ugandan troops first clashed in Kisangani last year
The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sent observers to oversee the withdrawal of foreign and rebel troops from Kisangani.

The planned withdrawal of Ugandan and Rwandan troops was agreed at a meeting in Tanzania earlier this month between Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame.

The rebel movement, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, said late on Monday that they would also redeploy their forces outside a 100 km (60 mile) radius of the diamond-rich city.

The withdrawal from Congo's third largest city was due to begin on Thursday and follows clashes between troops from the two countries, which support rival rebel factions.

Clashes in the area earlier this month left a reported 28 civilians dead, and in August last year about 300 people were reported to have been killed.

UN forces

UN special representative Kamel Morjane told Congolese television on Wednesday after meeting President Laurent Kabila that he was working towards the deployment in June of the long-awaited UN peacekeeping force in Kisangani.


Richard Holbrooke and President Kabila
Richard Holbrooke is seeking a speedy UN deployment

The UN Security Council agreed to send a 5,500 strong UN force in February to the DR Congo to monitor the ceasefire, but the deploment has been delayed by a failure to secure adequate guarantees of security and co-operation from the warring parties.

Last week, the American ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, told the UN Security Council after visiting DR Congo that it was vitally important to send troops to Kisangani within weeks to take control of the city.

The conflict, which has been described as Africa's first world war, has drawn in Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia on the Congolese Government side, while Rwanda and Uganda back splintered rebel factions.

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See also:

17 May 00 | Africa
Quick UN Congo force urged
10 May 00 | Africa
UN faces risks in DR Congo
08 May 00 | Africa
Congo town pull out agreed
24 Feb 00 | Africa
UN approves Congo force
05 May 00 | Africa
UN failing in Africa
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