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    1 September 1999
    Secretary-General Welcomes RCD Signing of Lusaka Ceasefire
    Agreement on Democratic Republic of Congo


    NEW YORK, 31 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

     The Secretary-General welcomes the signing of the Lusaka ceasefire agreement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD), which took place in Lusaka today.

     The signing of the Agreement by the RCD, the Mouvement Liberation Congolais (MLC) and all governments concerned should clear the way for the timely implementation of the ceasefire agreement, enhance the peace and security of the region and facilitate the long-awaited international support towards national recovery.

     The Secretary-General underlines the importance of ensuring the provision of food aid and the reestablishment of essential services, such as health, safe water and education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He calls on all Government officials and rebel representatives to ensure safe and unhindered success for all United Nations and related personnel throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He also calls upon the donor community to respond generously to the humanitarian interagency appeal and resource mobilisation for the peacekeeping and related efforts.

     The Secretary-General commends the efforts of President Frederick Chiluba and all the other leaders concerned for the efforts they continue to make to peacefully resolve the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He reiterates his call on all belligerents to honour their commitment to implement the ceasefire and facilitate the early commencement of the national dialogue on the political future of the country.  He stresses the readiness of the United Nations to continue to work closely with the regional countries, and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in the common effort to bring a negotiated settlement to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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