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World IN BRIEF : ZAIRE

Zaire Rebels Agree to Negotiate

March 09, 1997|From Times Wire Reports

The leader of Zaire's rebels agreed to enter negotiations to halt his offensive on the government, a mediator said. But it appeared unlikely that any such talks would come soon enough to stop an assault on the strategic city of Kisangani. Jan Pronk, Dutch minister of development cooperation, met rebel leader Laurent Kabila in the eastern city of Goma and said he had agreed for the first time to accept a United Nations plan for a cease-fire. Kabila's advisor on foreign affairs, Bizima Karha, announced after the meeting that the rebels also would allow aid and relief organizations access to more than 100,000 refugees caught in the fighting in eastern Zaire, Pronk said.

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