STATEMENT ON OUTCOME OF THE SUMMIT OF REGIONAL LEADERS ON THE WAR IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Joachim Chissano of Mozambique concluded their discussions on the continued fighting in the DRC in Maputo, Mozambique on Tuesday night.
At a press conference after the meeting, President Mbeki reported that the meeting was characterised by a practical approach to speeding up the implementation of the Lusaka Peace Agreement, specifically with the intention of finding practical solutions to the withdrawal of foreign troops from the DRC.
Four key decisions were agreed to:
Firstly, it was agreed that all those involved in the war should return to original cease-fire positions in the Lusaka Agreement with an additional withdrawal of 15km.
Secondly, there would be further voluntary disengagement to ensure that no clashes take place, and in this regard President Kagame offered to withdraw his troops a further 200 km.
Thirdly, that this process would be monitored and verified by United Nation forces.
Fourthly, that the heads of State would act to ensure that the process agreed to actually takes place, and in this regard, it was agreed that these leaders would meet again in about two weeks to check on progress.
Both Presidents Chissano and Mbeki said that President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola's absence from the meeting did not indicate his lack of support for the meeting. He experienced logistical problems in getting to Maputo in time given the lateness of confirmation of the meeting.
President Mbeki also said that Monday's Heads of State meeting, and the agreements reached, did not replace the Lusaka process, which is being mediated by President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia. It was, instead an attempt to support that process.
Contact: Tasneem Carrim on 083 650 7119 / 012 319 1500
Issued by: The Presidency, 16 October 2000