Tally of victories boosts Zaire rebels leader exults overvictories

Goma - Some 5,000 newly-trained Zairean rebel troops paraded through the streets of Goma singing battle songs as their leader, Laurent Kabila, said the advance of his forces into Zaire was continuing.

"We took Shabunda on Wednesday and it is now under our total control. Fighting is also taking place in Isiro where our forces have arrived," he said.

He said the rebels were moving on a large airfield near the town of Kindu, others had reached Isiro in the north-east, where heavy fighting was raging, and a third group was advancing on Moba in the south-east.

Mr Kabila said some of the 300 mercenaries hired by the government to crush the eastern revolt were based in Isiro.

Rebel officers said the 5,000 newly trained rebels would be dispatched to join their comrades advancing on four fronts against government forces.

Church sources and aid workers said earlier that the rebels had captured the eastern town of Shabunda and were advancing towards Kindu, which has an army base and an airport and was a springboard for a government army counter-offensive launched last month. The rebels, who frustrated the offensive by opening up new fronts, were moving in large numbers towards Kindu, 120 miles to the west, Church sources added.

"The fall of Isiro is a matter of hours," a senior rebel commander said. Isiro is about 300 miles north-west of Goma, which fell to the rebels last year.

Life came to a standstill in Goma as many of its 300,000 residents lined a six-mile route from the airport to the city centre to cheer the rebels, who were addressed by Mr Kabila. Dressed in new combat fatigues, the recruits sang battle songs praising Mr Kabila and denouncing Zaire's President, Mobutu Sese Seko.

An official of Zaire's state-run mineral mining company, Gecamines, said he saw no immediate danger from the rebel advance and hoped a deal would soon be signed with a South African company.

The rebels have advanced into the south-eastern region of Shaba to Kalemie, 500 miles north-east of Lubumbashi.

Mr Kabila's radio station in Goma broadcast an appeal to King Hassan of Morocco not to provide military aid to Mr Mobutu, who is visiting his long-time ally.

The Zairean leader is in Morocco on his way home from France where he has been convalescing from prostate cancer surgery. Moroccan troops in 1977 helped to put down a secessionist uprising in Shaba after Zairean forces failed to make headway.

nRuhinga, Burundi, (Reuter) - Disease has killed 150 Burundian Hutus grouped by government troops into a relocation camp at Ruhinga north of Bujumbura, occupants said yesterday. They said bacterial dysentery, diarrhoea and malaria were rampant in the camp.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?