bemba threatens congo war

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    Bemba Warns of Fresh War

    New Vision (Kampala)

    February 24, 2003
    Posted to the web February 24, 2003

    Emmy Allio & Tim Coats in Gbadolite

    Jean Pierre Bemba, the leader of the Congolese rebel faction Movement de Liberation du Congolese (MLC), has warned the UN of a fresh war if the signatories to the forthcoming round of Pretoria talks fail to implement what they agree on.

    In one of his most bellicose statements to date, Bemba made it clear that there would be no peaceful alternative to a fully implemented Pretoria accord.

    "The Pretoria accord, as signed by all parties involved, is Congo's last chance for a peaceful settlement. If this fails, how yet can another agreement have any credibility whatsoever?" he asked

    Bemba was speaking to journalists in a straw-roof shelter in Mobayi on the shores of river Oubangui at the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic border.

    He said he will fight to Kinshasa if the Pretoria meeting does not deliver as expected.

    "Partitioning Congo seems to be the plan of Kinshasa and MONUC. This is not MLC's agenda. The only solution in the failure of agreement is to pacify, liberate and unite the whole Congo."

    He said MONUC had failed to disarm militia groups and failed to condemn the Kinshasa government for arming the Mai Mai, Hutu and Lendu militias obstructing peace.

    "Kinshasa is making big plans for war, including ferrying arms to Beni. I think Kinshasa is buying time," Bemba said.

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