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The BBC's Matt Cole
"This was a meeting on the future of the whole of the Congo"
 real 28k

Saturday, 17 June, 2000, 02:10 GMT 03:10 UK
UN tells armies to quit Congo
dead soldiers
There have been heavy casualties in Kisangani
The UN Security Council has ordered Rwanda, Uganda and other foreign armies to withdraw from the Democratic Republic of Congo.



Take three words home with you: peace, peace and peace

Security Council president Jean-David Levitte
But the resolution falls short of putting a time scale on the withdrawal and there is no more than a hint of sanctions for non-compliance.

The UN is also calling on Rwanda and Uganda to pay for the damage they have inflicted in the northern Congolese city of Kisangani.

The resolution comes at the end of a two-day meeting at the UN headquarters in New York which was attended by ministers from all the countries involved in the conflict.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan wants action
The meeting was intended to push forward the entire peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But correspondents say after hours of negotiations the final resolution is considerably more diluted than some of the participants had hoped for.

Before closing the final public session, the French ambassador to the UN and current council president, Jean-David Levitte, told the African participants to "take three words home with you: peace, peace and peace."

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock was more blunt.

"We are fed up to the back teeth with parties saying they will implement agreements and not doing so," he said.

Peace accord

Much of the discussion focused on the fighting between Uganda and Rwanda in the diamond-rich city of Kisangani, which has caused devastation and left at least 160 civilians dead.

The resolution also reprimands the Congolese Government for its lack of cooperation over the process of national dialogue.

It is almost a year since all the nations involved signed the Lusaka peace accord and this document makes plain the international pressure that is being exerted on them to work towards peace and security in Congo.

Correspondent Jane Hughes says that the nations involved having all put their names to the agreement is a positive sign, but the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has already said he is looking for actions, not words.

PoW swap

Meanwhile the authorities in Rwanda have released 46 foreigners they captured in fighting inside the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The move is part of the ceasefire agreement signed in Zambia last year.

The International Red Cross said the 35 Zimbabweans and 11 Namibians were to be flown to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, to be exchanged for some 40 Rwandan prisoners-of-war

The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo includes forces from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Uganda and Rwanda.

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See also:

15 Jun 00 | Africa
UN to set Congo deadline
14 Jun 00 | Africa
Rivals agree to quit Congo city
17 May 00 | Africa
Quick UN Congo force urged
10 May 00 | Africa
UN faces risks in DR Congo
24 Feb 00 | Africa
UN approves Congo force
05 May 00 | Africa
UN failing in Africa
25 May 00 | Africa
UN to monitor Congo pull-out
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