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DATE=5/16/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-249429 (CQ) TITLE= LIBYA/CONGO TALKS (L) BYLINE=SCOTT BOBB DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: SIX (SUB-SAHARAN) AFRICAN LEADERS HAVE AGREED TO A CEASEFIRE IN EASTERN CONGO -- WHICH HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR STABILITY IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION. THE AGREEMENT FOLLOWS A MINI-SUMMIT MEETING CHAIRED BY LIBYAN LEADER MUAMMAR GADHAFI, AS WE HEAR IN THIS REPORT FROM CORRESPONDENT SCOTT BOBB IN CAIRO. TEXT: THE AFRICAN LEADERS AGREED TO THE PEACE DEAL FOLLOWING A DAY-LONG MEETING IN THE CITY OF SIRTE, IN EASTERN LIBYA. A STATEMENT BROADCAST BY THE LIBYAN NEWS AGENCY, MONITORED IN CAIRO, SAID A NEARING OF POINTS OF VIEW WAS ACHIEVED AND THE BASE OF UNDERSTANDING WAS BROADENED. UNDER THE AGREEMENT, THERE IS TO BE A CEASEFIRE THROUGHOUT THE GREAT LAKES REGION, WHICH HAS BEEN THE SCENE OF ETHNIC VIOLENCE SINCE THE EARLY 1990S AND TWO MAJOR REBELLIONS (IN CONGO) IN THE PAST THREE YEARS. RWANDA AND UGANDA HAVE STATIONED TROOPS IN EASTERN CONGO, THEY SAY, TO PROTECT THEIR TERRITORIES FROM REBELS BASED IN EASTERN CONGO. THE CONGOLESE GOVERNMENT SAYS THEIR TROOPS ARE SUPPORTING THE CONGOLESE REBELS. THE REBELS HAVE SEIZED THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE COUNTRY SINCE THEY LAUNCHED AN OFFENSIVE LAST AUGUST AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT LAURENT KABILA. THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE MEETING IN LIBYA AGREED TO DIRECT TALKS BETWEEN THE REBELS AND THE KABILA GOVERNMENT, WHICH TO DATE HAS REFUSED TO MEET THE REBELS. THE REBELS DID NOT ATTEND THE MEETING IN LIBYA AND IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THEY WILL ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL. /// REST OPT/// THE PARTICIPANTS ALSO SAID THERE WILL BE A FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING IN ZAMBIA TO WHICH REBEL REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE INVITED. AND THEY SAID A FINAL RESOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT WILL BE FORGED AT A REGIONAL SUMMIT MEETING. THE DATES FOR THESE TWO MEETINGS WERE NOT ANNOUNCED. IN ADDITION TO COLONEL GADHAFI, THE MEETING WAS ATTENDED BY ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY CHAIRMAN BLAISE COMPAORE OF BURKINA FASO AND THE PRESIDENTS OF CHAD, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, ERITREA AND THE GAMBIA. PRESIDENT KABILA AND RWANDAN VICE-PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME ALSO ATTENDED THE MEETING, REPORTEDLY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THEY FELL OUT (SPLIT OVER DISAGREEMENTS) ONE YEAR AGO. RWANDA AND UGANDA ORIGINALLY BACKED THE REBELLION THAT BROUGHT MR. KABILA TO POWER TWO YEARS AGO AND DROVE LONGTIME PRESIDENT MOBUTU SESE SEKO INTO EXILE. HOWEVER, THEY SWITCHED ALLEGIANCE TO A GROUP OPPOSED TO MR. KABILA AFTER THE KABILA GOVERNMENT FAILED TO END INSTABILITY IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION. THESE REBELS REACHED THE OUTSKIRTS OF KINSHASA LAST SEPTEMBER BUT WERE DRIVEN BACK BY CONGOLESE FORCES BACKED BY TROOPS FROM ANGOLA, NAMIBIA AND ZIMBABWE. THE CONFLICT HAS CONTINUED SINCE THEN, WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS REPORTING WIDESPREAD ATROCITIES AGAINST CIVILIAN POPULATIONS IN THE REGION. OBSERVERS SAY THE VIOLENCE RISKS ESCALATING FURTHER, AFTER CONGOLESE PLANES BOMBED THE REBEL CAPITAL OF GOMA LAST WEEK, KILLING DOZENS OF CIVILIANS. (SIGNED) NEB/SB/DW/JO 16-May-99 9:36 AM EDT (1336 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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