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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
DR Congo mediator locked out
troops in Kisangani
Rwandan and Ugandan troops have been pulling out of Kisangani
The authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have closed the offices of the mediator for the peace process, Sir Ketumile Masire.

State media reported that officials had sealed the offices in the capital, Kinshasa.

Some reports said two assistants who were there at the time were told to leave.

Sir Ketumile Masire
The DR Congo government accuses Dr Masire of bias
The government of President Laurent Kabila has accused Dr Masire - a former president of Botswana - of being biased towards the opposition.

Dr Masire was appointed under the peace accord agreed by all warring factions in Lusaka, Zambia, last year.

Talks boycotted

Talks organised by Dr Masire in Benin last month for all involved in the conflict were boycotted by President Kabila.

The authorities in Kinshasa also prevented opposition figures from leaving the capital to go to Benin and Mr Kabila's government has called on the Organisation of African Unity to appoint a new mediator.

President Kabila
President Kabila: Wants a new OAU mediator appointed
The OAU Secretary-General, Salim Ahmed Salim, has appealed to President Kabila to reconsider his decision and discuss his differences with Dr Masire.

A United Nations resolution last week called on all the warring parties to co-operate with Dr Masire.

UN on Kisangani

The resolution also called on Rwanda, Uganda and rebel forces to withdraw from Kisangani, where they have been involved in fierce fighting.

However, on Wednesday, the UN observer mission in Congo (Monuc) reported that Rwandan-backed rebels had failed to pull out.

Monuc has been trying to persuade the rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy to leave the diamond-rich city where more than 500 people are believed to have been killed during fighting earlier this month.

Monuc spokesman Hamadoun Toure told reporters that Rwandan army troops had "completed their withdrawal from Kisangani" and the Ugandans had "promised to finish by Tuesday evening".

Five foreign armies are involved in the civil war - Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe back President Kabila, while Rwanda and Uganda support rival rebel factions.

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See also:

19 Jun 00 | Africa
Congo fighting leaves 500 dead
08 May 00 | Africa
Congo town pull out agreed
05 May 00 | Africa
UN failing in Africa
25 May 00 | Africa
UN to monitor Congo pull-out
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