Annan sees hopeful signs in DR of Congo after change in leadership

24 April 2001

The change in leadership in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has brought with it a new willingness to cooperate with various Congolese factions towards a peaceful settlement of the country's long-standing conflict, according to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"I think there are hopeful signs coming out of the Congo," the Secretary-General said on his arrival in Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, yesterday evening. "We went through a gloomy patch, but since January with the change in leadership, President Joseph Kabila is determined to work with his compatriots to end the conflict [and] is working much more effectively than with former President Masire."

Mr. Annan, who stopped over in his native Ghana on his way to the African summit on HIV/AIDS in Abuja, Nigeria, noted that the new openness towards cooperation was a phenomenon that the DRC had not witnessed for some time.

"The protagonists themselves are cooperating with us in redeploying their troops in accordance with the agreements they have signed," he said, "so we are now beginning to make some progress but we still have a long way to go."


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