Despite cease-fire, battles rage in Republic of Congo
October 10, 1997
Web posted at: 2:34 p.m. EDT (1834 GMT)
BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (CNN) -- Hours after a mutinous general
signed a cease-fire in the Republic of Congo, his forces
captured the capital city's airport and pressed on with a
months-long offensive that has shattered the African nation.
"We have lost a battle, but that does not mean we have lost
the war," Congolese President Pascal Lissouba said in
Kinshasa after meeting with Laurent Kabila, president of
the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lissouba said "Cobra" troops loyal to his main rival, Gen.
Denis Sassou-Nguesso, captured the airport in Brazzaville,
even though Sassou-Nguesso agreed to a U.N.-brokered cease-
Cobra representatives, speaking from Brazzaville, said they
captured the airport Thursday night. By Friday, the sounds
of battle could be heard echoing through the city.
Lissouba made his comments as he left Kinshasa's
Intercontinental Hotel. Shortly after his departure, a shell
exploded just outside the building, injuring a gardener.
Hundreds of civilians have died in Brazzaville since forces
loyal to Lissouba and Sassou-Nguesso went to war on June 5, a
month before they were to have faced each other in
U.N. officials had hoped Thursday's cease-fire would ease
tensions in the region.