A Southern African summit on the conflict in Laurent Kabila's Congo ended on Tuesday without agreement on a cease-fire, and the country's Tutsi-led rebels vowed to fight on.
Seven presidents including three backing Kabila's 15-month-old administration and two opposing it gathered for a second round of talks in the Zimbabwean resort of Victoria Falls on Tuesday promising an immediate end to the fighting.Four hours later, however, the rebel delegation led by Arthur Z'Ahidi Ngoma, deputy president of the Congolese Democratic Coalition, left the summit venue without having met face to face with Kabila or his backers.
"We are going back home now to do one thing only, to intensify our campaign against Kabila," Ngoma told Reuters.
"There will be no cease-fire before Kabila negotiates with us directly," he said as he left the conference site.
Namibian Foreign Minister Theo Ben Gurirab, who earlier promised a ceasefire would be implemented across the Congo on Tuesday, told Reuters later he was not disappointed.
"What more did you expect? We've had the presidents sitting around a table and talking while their armies are fighting. This is an achievement," he said.
Organization of African Unity Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim read a statement after the summit calling for an early end to the fighting in the Congo and saying Kabila had promised to "broaden the political space" in his country.
"We believe there must be an end to war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We therefore call for an immediate end to hostilities," the leaders said in their statement.