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SLUG: 2-302001 SAF/Great Lakes (L-Update)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=04/09/03

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=SAF/GREAT LAKES (L-UPDATE)

NUMBER=2-302001

BYLINE=CHALLISS McDONOUGH

DATELINE=JOHANNESBURG

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

///This update CR#2-301975///

INTRO:. The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo has called for a U-N investigation into last week's massacre in eastern Congo. As V-O-A Correspondent Challiss McDonough reports from Johannesburg, the call came after talks between five African leaders in the latest bid to bring peace to the troubled country.

TEXT: After several hours of talks in Cape Town, Congolese President Joseph Kabila told reporters he supports the idea of a U-N-led investigation into the slaughter of hundreds of villagers in the Ituri region of eastern Congo.

Mr. Kabila met with his Rwandan and Ugandan rivals, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, as well as with the presidents of South Africa and Tanzania.

The Congolese leader also said he plans to meet in Kinshasa Monday with most of the other main factions in the war-torn country, to push forward on last week's peace agreement paving the way for a transitional unity government.

The massacre in Ituri happened just one day after the peace deal was signed in the South African resort of Sun City. It threw a huge shadow over the peace process, exacerbating already existing tensions between Rwanda and Uganda, which have backed separate rebel factions.

Regional diplomats hope the Cape Town talks will have succeeded in calming tensions between the two former allies. Ugandan President Museveni told reporters he plans to withdraw his troops from Congo in time to meet an April 24th deadline.

Uganda is the only foreign nation to have troops still remaining in Congo. The United Nations has allowed some Ugandan to remain in eastern Congo to stem ethnic violence.

But Rwanda has accused Uganda of planning to use the Ituri massacre as an excuse to leave its troops in Congo. And Uganda has accused Rwanda of planning to send its troops back into the country.

The two leaders have agreed that the allegations over their troop movements will be settled by a so-called "Third Party Verification Mission," which will consist of U-N and South African officials.

They have also agreed that U-N peacekeepers should take over the role currently filled by Ugandan troops once the Ugandans pull out later this month. (signed)

NEB/CEM/MEM



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