Rebels seize DR Congo government town of Pweto: UN
A statement from the UN Mission to the DRC said the military offensive by the RDC came just two days after a visit to the town by UN officials and representatives of all warring parties united under a Mixed Military Commission set up by the Lusaka peace accords.
"All the parties agreed that Pweto was a demilitarised zone as it had been declared by the government," the UN statement said.
It called on all parties to recognise, "the necessity for the parties concerned to proceed rapidly with the transfer in Pweto to a government administration."
Pweto is the biggest town between Moliro, in southeastern DRC on the shore of Lake Tanganyika, and Lubumbashi, the capital of the mineral-rich Katanga province which remains in government hands but is considered the rebels' next stop if they return to full-scale war.
On June 21, child soldiers belonging to a pro-government militia called Mai Mai entered the town, causing RDC members of the demilitarised administration to flee.
At the time there were a number of clashes along the line separating RDC and government troops.
The RDC came under new international pressure on Thursday when the UN's expert on extrajudicial killings said that more than 150 people were killed by RDC rebels during a mutiny in Kisangani in the east of DRC on May 14 and the days that followed. The RDC disputes the finding.
Copyright (c) 2002 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 06/29/2002 16:04:50
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