State Department Spokesman James Rubin on January 6 said the United States welcomes the recent (December 29) signing of a peace accord between the Republic of Congo government and a major rebel group, the Resistance Self-Defense Forces (FADR), as "a positive step toward the restoration of peace and national reconciliation" in the central
In a brief statement, Rubin urged other Congo parties to participate in the peace effort and congratulated President Omar Bongo of Gabon "for his mediation of this agreement."
Following is the text of Rubin's statement:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
January 6, 2000
STATEMENT BY JAMES P. RUBIN, SPOKESMAN
REPUBLIC OF CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE)
The United States welcomes the signing of a peace accord between the government of the Republic of Congo and a major rebel group, the Resistance Self-Defense Forces (FADR), on December 29. This agreement is a positive step toward the restoration of peace and national reconciliation in the Republic of Congo. We note that the agreement calls for further steps in this direction through an inclusive, broad-based national dialogue. In this regard, we urge all parties to the conflict in the Republic of Congo to participate in this effort to reestablish peace, and ultimately the restoration of democracy, in their country.
The U.S. congratulates President Omar Bongo of Gabon for his mediation of this agreement. We believe that it is only through political dialogue and negotiations that durable peace and stability can be achieved in the Republic of Congo. We are therefore encouraged that President Bongo has indicated that he intends to continue in his efforts to promote a peaceful resolution of the Congo conflict.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State)