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DATE=8/30/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CONGO PEACE (L) NUMBER=2-253256 BYLINE=ALEX BELIDA DATELINE=LUSAKA CONTENT= VOICED AT: ///// ED'S: FRENCH ACTUALITY AVAILABLE; FED IN THE CLEAR. ///// INTRO: The rival leaders of the rebel "Congolese Rally for Democracy" have arrived in Lusaka, Zambia to sign a peace agreement aimed at ending the year-old civil war in Congo-Kinshasa. From Lusaka, V-O-A Southern Africa Correspondent Alex Belida reports. TEXT: Zambian Presidential Affairs Minister Eric Silwamba says everything is in readiness for Tuesday's planned signing ceremony. Rival rebel-leaders Emile Illunga and Ernest Wamba dia Wamba are both in Lusaka, along with most of the other founder-members of the now-divided Congolese Rally for Democracy, the R-C-D. Under a compromise worked out by Zambian and South African mediators, all 50 founder-members of Congo's main rebel group are to sign the peace agreement. It calls for a cease-fire, deployment of an international peacekeeping force and an eventual political dialogue in Congo-Kinshasa that will bring together the government of President Laurent Kabila, the rebels, and other political groups to discuss the country's future. Mr. Kabila signed the accord in July along with representatives of the three main African countries that have backed him militarily in the civil war: Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Rebel supporters Rwanda and Uganda have also signed the peace agreement. But implementation of the accord has been blocked by division within the rebel ranks over who should sign for the R-C-D. Vice President of the Illunga faction of the rebel R- C-D, Moise Nyarugabo, says he hopes there are no last- minute obstacles to block the long-awaited rebel signing. Speaking to V-O-A in Lusaka, Mr. Nyarugabo says he hopes the signing will bring an immediate halt to the fighting. But he questions whether President Kabila wants to end the war. // NYARUGABO ACTUALITY // The first point is to stop the war. For us, we can commit to do so. But is Kabila committed? That is the question. // END ACTUALITY // //OPT// The rebel Vice President concedes that having all 50 founder-members of the main rebel group sign the peace agreement could prove unwieldy and lead to new complications. He says these might include fresh disputes within the R-C-D over who should represent the group on the Joint Military Commission and the Political Committee that are to be established under the peace plan. //END OPT// The rebels have been fighting since August of last year to topple the Kabila government. Because of the involvement of neighboring countries on the rival sides, regional leaders have repeatedly voiced concern the conflict could spread and engulf all of Central Africa. (SIGNED) NEB/BEL/PCF/RAE 30-Aug-1999 09:23 AM LOC (30-Aug-1999 1323 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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