Tally of victories boosts Zaire rebels leader exults overvictories
Friday 07 February 1997
"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.
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...