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Congo's President Vows to Deal with Deadly Clashes

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VOA News - March 26, 2007

Joseph Kabila holds press conference in Kinshasa, 26 Mar. 2007
Joseph Kabila holds press conference in Kinshasa, 26 Mar 2007
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila says he will track down all people responsible for the two-day clashes in the capital, Kinshasa, that killed 120 people.

An official of the Catholic charity, Caritas, says at least 80 people were seriously injured in the fighting that broke out Thursday between government forces and soldiers loyal to former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

The fighting began after Bemba's soldiers refused a deadline to return to regular army service, saying their withdrawal would leave Bemba without sufficient protection.

During the fighting, Bemba took refuge in the South African embassy, where officials say he remains. DRC authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Bemba, accusing him of treason.

President Kabila Monday, accused Bemba of placing himself above the law. He says he has nothing to negotiate with the former vice president.

Many of Bemba's fighters fled the city and some turned themselves in to authorities.

Bemba was a rebel commander during the DRC's civil war, which left more than four million people dead, mostly from hunger and disease.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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