DR Congo

U.S. "Deeply Concerned" by Reports of Military Action in DROC

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Urges all parties to use Joint Military Commission
The United States is "deeply concerned" by reports of resumed offensive military operations by government troops and forces of the Congolese Liberation Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, says State Department Spokesman James P. Rubin.

In a prepared statement January 7, Rubin said that "there are no valid reasons for any force with troops" in the area to conduct active military operations.

The United States, he added, "urges all participants in the Lusaka process to use the Joint Military Commission or bilateral contacts to resolve disputes over military issues swiftly."

Following is the text of Rubin's statement:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
January 7, 2000

STATEMENT BY JAMES P. RUBIN, SPOKESMAN

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Renewed Military Operations

The United States is deeply concerned by reports of resumed offensive military operations by government troops and forces of the Congolese Liberation Movement in Equateur province in northwest Congo. These clashes threaten the peace process established under the Lusaka Accords signed by all parties in July and August last year. The United States condemns these and all violations of the cease-fire agreement and calls on all parties to cease attempted military advances immediately and abide by their commitments under the Lusaka Accords.

These repeated cease-fire violations erode the confidence of the international community and the people of central Africa who support the implementation of the Lusaka Accords.

There are no valid reasons for any force with troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to conduct active military operations. The United States urges all participants in the Lusaka process to use the Joint Military Commission or bilateral contacts to resolve disputes over military issues swiftly. We support the efforts of the JMC and the UN to resolve the situation of the government and allied forces surrounded at Ikela by rebel forces.

The United States reiterates that it will hold responsible any government or rebel organization that violates the Lusaka Accords. It is incumbent on all the signatories to fulfill their commitments and ensure full implementation of the Lusaka Accords.

The United States calls on regional leaders to use their influence with the Congolese government and rebel forces to assure full adherence by all signatories to the Lusaka Accords.

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(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.Department of State)