Annan regrets US withdrawal from WCAR in Durban

Kigali- Rwanda (PANA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, currently touring Africa's troubled Great Lakes region, Monday described as "unfortunate and regrettable," the US withdrawal from the ongoing World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
"It is unfortunate and regrettable for the Americans to withdraw from the Conference," Annan told reporters in Kigali, Rwandan.
American and Israeli delegations walked out of the Conference because of alleged critical statements equating Zionism with racism.
Meanwhile, Annan, who was at the opening of the Durban Conference last Friday, met Monday with Rwandan President Paul Kagame on the peace process in the DR Congo, in what officials in Kigali called "frank and constructive" talks.
Annan flew in from Kinshasa, where he met with Congolese government officials, including President Joseph Kabila.
Aides said the UN chief also had a stop-over in Kisangani, Congo's third-largest town in the north-east of the country, where he met with the rebels of the Rally for the Congolese Democracy.
Annan said the disarmament of some 3,000 Hutu rebels at Kamina camp, in south-eastern Congo, was a good step towards the implementation of the Lusaka cease-fire accord.
"The UN observers will be given access to them," he added.
Kagame also described it as a good move towards ending Rwanda's security fears.
The Rwandan leader said his country would play its part in welcoming those who would be disarmed and reintegrate them into society.

03 september 2001 22:52:00




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