Kabila bans rivals' rallies

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President Laurent Kabila's administration banned all activities of political parties and public demonstrations in the capital of Zaire, Kinshasa, until further notice, citing a need to ensure security.

The crackdown followed a weekend decision by the veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi to stage fresh protest marches in the city tomorrow and Friday.

US officials in Paris said that the Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is to send the UN ambassador Bill Richardson for the first senior-level US talks with Mr Kabila since the former rebel took power in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He will push for a broad-based government that would pursue economic and political reforms. Reuters - Kinshasa