Discord between MONUC, RCD rebels over Kisangani

Kinshasa- RD Congo (PANA) -- Officials of the United Nations Mission in Congo have raised serious concern over the refusal by rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma) to demilitarise the town of Kisangani, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to reports reaching Kinshasa, the issue was discussed last weekend in Goma, provincial capital of north-Kivu during a meeting involving RCD-Goma leaders and Kamel Morjane, the special envoy of the UN Secretary General,Koffi Annan.
Several news organisations quoted eyewitnesses as saying tensions was rising between the local populations and the rebels after the confiscation of huge sums of money from businessmen in the Kasai province.
These reported that there is a diference of opinion between the MONUC and the RCD-goma rebels.
While the UN speaks about "demilitarisation" rebel leaders are talking about "sovereignty".
RCD-Goma spokesman Kin Kiey Mulumba told a radio station that in the past, his armed group was being asked to demilitarise Kisangani because there was fighting.
The context has totally changed, he added.
Mulumba said that while RCD-Goma was not opposing UN Security Council decisions, it feared that government forces would re-occupy Kisangani after its forces withdrew.
The spokesman explained that his group was concerned about this eventuality because the MONUC had no mandate to protect or defend the city in case government forces occupy Kisangani.

17 july 2001 20:17:00

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