DR Congo + 1 more

Zimbabwe-DRC: Mugabe wants greater action by West

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JOHANNESBURG, 10 January (IRIN) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said on Monday that Western governments have not done enough to resolve the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Addressing a news conference in Harare after talks with DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila, he called on Western powers to condemn the governments of Rwanda and Uganda backing DRC rebels. Mugabe said he would attend a 24 January meeting called by the UN Security Council to discuss international efforts to end the conflict.

Kabila, who arrived in Zimbabwe on Sunday, held talks with Mugabe on the DRC ceasefire signed in Lusaka last August, a presidential spokesman told IRIN on Monday. Kabila said he would decide later whether he would attend the Security Council meeting.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Observer Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) said the condition of allied forces trapped by DRC rebels in the northern town of Ikela was unknown, with conflicting reports that a rescue mission was about to breakthrough.

"The whole thing, whether a siege or an offensive to rescue them, means the ceasefire is being abused around Ikela," MONUC spokesman Guy Pickett told IRIN.

He also said MONUC could not confirm allegations by the Zimbabwean army that a family of seven were killed by rebels in the area of Eshimba, in the eastern province of Kabinda, on 1 January after being accused of informing for allied forces. The family was related to the district administrator of Kabinda.

"At least once a week we get claims of massacres in the local press but we just can't verify," Pickett said, pointing to the government's restrictions on MONUC's deployment.

He said, however, that despite "minor ceasefire violations, there is still an awful lot to play for and there is still every reason to be optimistic."

[ENDS]

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Item: irin-english-2248

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