congo peace deal signed, page-2

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    Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 17:48 GMT
    DR Congo deal: Reaction in quotes

    Many civilians were forced to flee by the fighting

    Most of those who have reacted to the peace deal in DR Congo, have given it a cautious welcome. Many say they fear that the agreement, which it is hoped will end the four-year war, may be difficult to implement.
    "I am very happy. I now await implementation. I hear it will take place soon."
    Kinshasa resident

    "Apart from the impact on the Congo itself, it has enormous regional implications in terms of peace and stability... You couldn't generally say we are moving forward regarding reconstruction of the continent if the problem of DR Congo remained."
    South African President Thabo Mbeki

    The whole of Africa should benefit - Thabo Mbeki

    "It's a good thing to sign accords, but will they be implemented? This is not the first agreement. I don't think it will be implemented because there are many traps in there.

    "There are pillagers amid the RCD and MLC [rebel groups]. The government has already dismissed pillagers among ministers, but will the RCD and the MLC do the same? I don't think so."
    Kinshasa resident

    "We have observed great political will, a spirit of compromise and lots of flexibility... But we exhort them to demonstrate the same political courage and flexibility in the implementation of the document."
    Hamadoun Toure, spokesman for the UN mission in DR Congo

    "Congolese politicians do not really care about people because when you look at the intentions of each politician, they want their share of the spoils... We have had enough, honestly."
    Kinshasa resident

    "These transitional institutions must work in a spirit of full cooperation, with respect for the general interest of the Congolese nation."
    Bernard Valero, French foreign ministry spokesman

    War has left DR Congo's people impoverished

    "The RCD, MLC and even [President] Kabila for that matter are still too dependent on other countries.

    "So, I would appeal to these and especially the international community to bring pressure to bear on these countries so that they stay clear of Congolese politics.

    "That way, Congolese themselves would be able to work out their own settlements."
    Resident of rebel-held Bukavu

    "A new government will not be able to function unless we have a reunified army."
    Kikaya Bin Karubi, DR Congo Information Minister

    "It is the most broad-based government that the Congolese can hope for."
    Sisa Ngombane, South African negotiator

    "We want peace and security to be restored here so that farmers can farm and businesspeople can go about their business.

    "We women, we have been victims of rape and we need security more than anything. We want that to stop so that no other woman is raped in future."
    Resident of rebel-held Bukavu

    "To all the innocent victims, we ask forgiveness."
    Olivier Kamitatu, MLC

    "Now nobody can go back to war. Ever."
    Azarias Ruberwa, RCD
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