Press Releases

     
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    Press Release No:  UNIS/SG/2590
    Release Date:   9 June 2000
    Secretary-General Says Fighting in Kisangani,
    DemocraticRepublic of the Congo, Must Cease Immediately

     NEW YORK, 8 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

     The Secretary-General this morning had contact with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, as well as with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, who headed the Security Council mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early May, with a view to ending the fighting between their forces in Kisangani.

     They discussed the persistent outbreaks of fighting between Rwandan and Ugandan forces in Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which a significant number of civilians were killed and at least five United Nations staff injured.  The Secretary-General stated that the fighting was lamentable and, regardless who had initiated it, it must cease immediately.

     In response, the two Presidents agreed to a ceasefire as of 4 p.m. local time today (10 a.m. New York time) and to withdraw their troops consistent with the agreement reached between the two sides on 21 May.

     Under Phase I of the agreement, the Rwandan troops will withdraw south across the Congo River toward Ubundu and Lubutu, and the Ugandan troops will pull back to positions north and east of Kisangani toward Banalia and Bafwasende.

     The United Nations Force Commander, Major General Mountaga Diallo, has been instructed to deal directly with the Rwandan and Ugandan Chiefs of Staff on moving toward the second phase of the ceasefire agreement, which would involve further pullbacks.

     The United Nations Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo has now 20 Military Observers on the ground in Kisangani.  It was agreed this morning to increase immediately that number, and to position them with both the Ugandan and Rwandan troops.

     The Secretary-General hopes that with the demilitarization of Kisangani, the Democratic Republic of the Congo will move closer to a comprehensive ceasefire and eventually a stable and durable peace under the Lusaka ceasefire agreement.

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