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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

DRC: Rebels declare Kabila's inauguration "invalid"

KINSHASA, 9 April 2003 (IRIN) - The rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-Goma)on Tuesday declared as "invalid" the swearing-in on Monday of Joseph Kabila as interim president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Kabila was sworn in before the supreme court of justice as head of state for a transitional period of two years, following the 2 April Sun City peace accord signed by all parties to the DRC conflict.

Azarias Ruberwa, secretary-general of RCD-Goma, told IRIN that the inauguration ceremony was conducted by the president of the supreme court of justice, who was appointed five years ago. "The context demands that the president takes his oath before new institutions and a new man," Ruberwa said.

Ruberwa said his group would challenge the legality of the inauguration at the first meeting of the national follow-up committee convened by Kabila to implement the Sun City accord.

However, Mulegwa Zihindula, Kabila's spokesman, dismissed the rebel claim, saying the president had been properly sworn in before the supreme court of justice, which remained as an institution.

Meanwhile, Kabila announced during his inaugural speech on Monday evening that an amnesty for war crimes would be decreed, while ensuring that "impunity does not triumph."

Themes: (IRIN) Conflict

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