INTRO: There is more trouble in the alliance backing
rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As
Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from Nairobi,
troops from Uganda and Rwanda are fighting each other
in the rebel-held city of Kisangani.
TEXT: Rwanda's army spokesman says Ugandan troops
have surrounded Rwandan positions at the airport in
Kisangani, launching two unsuccessful attacks
(Sunday). He says it is an Ugandan effort to drive
the Rwandan's out. Fighting between the long-time
allies began with sporadic gunfire late Saturday.
United at the start of this rebellion one-year ago,
Uganda now backs a Congolese rebel leader based in
Kisangani. Rwanda favors a rebel leader in the border
town of Goma. Both rebel groups are active in
Kisangani, having effectively divided the city since
fighting earlier this month.
Military observers say Uganda is trying to consolidate
control over Kisangani to strengthen the hand of its
rebel leader, Ernest Wamba dia Wamba. Mr. Wamba says
he is ready to sign a regional peace accord agreed to
last month with Congolese President Laurent Kabila.
Rival Emile Ilunga ousted Mr. Wamba as head of the
main rebel group in May. Mr. Ilunga, who enjoys the
support of Rwanda, says there can be no peace deal
until the power struggle within the rebellion is
All this is sure to come as good news for President
Kabila, who withstood a rebel advance on the capital
last year with help from Angolan troops. Since then
Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Chad have agreed to fight on
his side against Ugandan and Rwandan-backed rebels.
That offensive has become more fractured as Uganda and
Rwanda increasingly go their own ways. Uganda is
supporting a northern campaign by rebel leader Jean-
Pierre Bemba. Rwandan troops are pushing south toward
the town of Mbuji-Mayi. (SIGNED)
15-Aug-1999 10:10 AM EDT (15-Aug-1999 1410 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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