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World - Africa

Congo government denies violating cease-fire

graphic
MESSAGE BOARDS:
Congo peace?
InteractiveINTERACTIVE:
Peace, or a cascading civil war?
 

September 8, 1999
Web posted at: 3:54 p.m. EDT (1954 GMT)

KINSHASA, Congo (CNN) -- The government of Congo has denied rebel charges that its troops violated a fragile cease-fire in the country's civil war.

The rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy said its troops repulsed attacks on two rebel-held towns over the weekend in a move which threatened the cease-fire that was signed by rebel leaders last month after months of negotiations.

"The situation is tense now and our commanders are on high alert," said Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the rebel group.

"We are becoming more and more skeptical about the peace process because we see that everybody who signed the accord is not committed to seeing it implemented," he added

Mende said the attacks by government forces and their allies were on the rebel held towns of Kole and Bokungu and both were beaten back.

He said three Congolese troops were killed in the assault on Kole on Saturday and seven in Sunday's fighting at Bokungu. The towns are about 500 miles north and northeast of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But a government military spokesman denies that any attacks took place.

"There was no attack on Bokungu or Kole. We have checked the report and it's pure lies," Brig. Gen. Francois Olengha told Reuters.

After months of tortuous negotiations, a peace deal was signed last week by rebel leaders and the six African nations, who have deployed troops on either side of the year-old war.

The rebels are backed by Rwanda and Uganda while Congo is supported by troops from Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Under the peace agreement signed in Lusaka, Zambia, a truce came into effect on September 1.

Reuters contributed to this report.


RELATED STORIES:
Congolese rebels sign peace accord
August 31, 1999
Tentative cease-fire quiets Kisangani streets
August 18, 1999
Rwanda, Uganda leaders agree to Congo cease-fire
August 17, 1999
Uganda, Rwanda battle it out on Congo streets
August 16, 1999


RELATED SITES:
Rwanda Page
Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) Website
CongoWeb
Guide to Congo
Congo Pages
Africa News Online
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
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