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UN Calls for Cease-Fire in Congo - 2002-03-04

After a fresh outbreak of violence in Congo's eastern jungles, the UN Security Council is calling for a restoration of the cease-fire in the African republic.

UN Security Council President Ole Peter Colby says the Council is calling on all parties involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo to renew their commitment to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement signed in July 1999.

"The Council welcomes the commitment of the DRC to a unilateral cease-fire and withdrawal and calls for its immediate implementation. The Council called on the other parties to act in the same manner. The Council also reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and all states in the region," he said.

Mr. Colby also applauded the decision of the United Nation's mission to the Congo to deploy monitors in the area to oversee the withdrawal and retreat of all foreign troops.

War broke out in Congo in 1998 when rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda launched a campaign to oust Congolese President Laurent Kabila. Forces from Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia moved in to back the government. All sides have signed, and repeatedly violated, the 1999 cease-fire. But the peace process gained momentum after Kabila was assassinated in January 2001.