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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Media Sales - £36,000 OTE

£28000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: C# .NET Developer / Application Support - Junior

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business has an industry r...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Planner

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash