Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cease Fire Agreement Reached

The Kabila government and Bemba rebel forces have agreed to a cease fire. The cease fire was brokered by the United Nations. It was a strange cease fire due to the fact that it was achieved without the presence of Jean Pierre Bemba. The United Nations met with the Kabila government in order to establish a cease fire. According to the New York Times, "Mr. Bemba’s military commanders were invited to a meeting later to iron out cease-fire details."

Although the conflict has been presented as an exchange between two factions, the more one delves into the details, the more credence is given to Bemba's claim that it was an all-out attempt on his life. Almost all the fighting took place in Bemba's neighborhood. His house was set ablaze and his helicopter destroyed. In addition, both he and the foreign diplomats with whom he was meeting on Monday sustained heavy artillery fire. The causus belli offered by the government was that Bemba's security forces kidnapped government forces, for what purpose no one knows.

The conflict resulted in deaths of 15 people. The United Nations issued a statement saying “It is imperative that the confrontations cease immediately and that the two candidates for the presidential election meet urgently for the good of the democratic process.”


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