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: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border