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DATE=5/12/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-249261 TITLE=CONGO / RAIDS (L ONLY) BYLINE=RICHARD ENGEL DATELINE=NAIROBI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: REBEL OFFICIALS IN CONGO-KINSHASA SAY AT LEAST 28 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN GOVERNMENT BOMBING RAIDS AGAINST TWO REBEL-HELD CITIES IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. RICHARD ENGEL IN NAIROBI REPORTS THE REBELS SAY AT LEAST 15 PEOPLE WERE INJURED. TEXT: REBELS SAY GOVERNMENT PLANES (LATE TUESDAY) BOMBED THE TOWNS OF GOMA AND UVIRA, ABOUT 16-HUNDRED KILOMETERS EAST OF KINSHASA. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE REBELS TOLD REPORTERS THAT GOVERNMENT PLANES ATTACKED A RADIO STATION IN GOMA AND A COMMUNICATIONS RELAY ON A NEARBY MOUNTAIN NEAR THE BORDER WITH RWANDA. HE SAID RESIDENTIAL AREAS WERE ALSO BOMBED. ANOTHER OFFICIAL SAID A GOVERNMENT PLANE DROPPED THREE BOMBS ON UVIRA, WHICH IS SOUTH OF GOMA ALONG LAKE TANGANYIKA. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THE TWO TOWNS HAVE BEEN BOMBED SINCE THE REBELS STARTED THEIR WAR NINE MONTHS AGO. THE REBELS SAY THE ATTACKS APPEAR TO BE RETALIATION FOR REBEL ADVANCES EARLIER THIS WEEK. THE REBELS SAID MONDAY THEY HAVE CAPTURED THE TOWN OF MONOLO, THE BIRTHPLACE OF CONGO-KINSHASA'S PRESIDENT, LAURENT KABILA. THE REBELS ALSO SAY THEY HAVE CAPTURED A RIVER PORT ABOUT 240 KILOMETERS FROM THE DIAMOND CENTER OF MBUJI-MAY. AND THEY SAY THEY ARE ADVANCING TOWARD ANOTHER DIAMOND CENTER, LUBUMBASHI. THE AREAS ARE OF STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE BECAUSE PRESIDENT KABILA REPORTEDLY USES DIAMOND AND MINERAL CENTERS TO PAY TO FIGHT THE REBELS. THE FIGHTING BETWEEN THE REBELS AND GOVERNMENT TROOPS ERUPTED IN AUGUST. THE REBELS ARE A COALITION OF ETHNIC TUTSIS AND OTHER OPPOSITION CONGOLESE WHO ACCUSE PRESIDENT KABILA OF ABUSING POWER AND STIRRING ETHNIC TENSION. DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO BRING PEACE TO CONGO-KINSHASA HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL. FOUR NEARBY NATIONS -- ANGOLA, CHAD, NAMIBIA, AND ZIMBABWE -- ARE PROVIDING MILITARY SUPPORT FOR THE CONGO-KINSHASA GOVERNMENT. UGANDA AND RWANDA ARE HELPING THE REBELS. (SIGNED) NEB/RHE/JWH 12-May-99 6:40 AM EDT (1040 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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