View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Auburn, New York)
For Immediate Release                                  September 1, 1999


I welcome the signing of a cease-fire agreement by founding members of the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) yesterday in Lusaka. Their signature brings into force the Lusaka Accord, signed by six African Heads of State on July 10th and aimed at ending the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a region that has seen terrible violence, there is now a chance for a genuine and just peace. I urge all parties to implement and adhere to the agreement and to act in good faith to enable the citizens of the Congo and neighboring states to pursue their lives in peace, prosperity and democracy.

I especially congratulate the leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Rwanda and Uganda for working together to secure RCD signature of the Lusaka Accord. This agreement is the result of the vision, dedication, and courage of regional nations and their leaders. It is a crucial step in ending one of the continent's most dangerous wars. The same courage and commitment are now required to see the Accord fully implemented.

The continuing effort to build an enduring peace deserves America's support. We will work closely with all parties to realize the goals of the Lusaka Accord: to achieve a broad-based, democratic, and open political process in the Congo, and to address the security concerns of neighboring states. I hope the agreement will help end the cycle of violence in the region and promote stability and reconstruction across Central Africa.

# # #