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U.S. Department of State

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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
January 19, 2001

Death of President Kabila, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The United States condemns the violent killing January 16 of Laurent Desire Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We send our condolences to the family of President Kabila and to the Congolese people during this difficult period. The United States urges all parties to work to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

We strongly urge the Congolese leadership and all other parties in the conflict, to seize this moment of crisis to revitalize the Lusaka process. It is the Lusaka Agreement that continues to offer the best hope for realizing the aspirations of the Congolese people for a more democratic, prosperous and secure future. We encourage the Congolese leadership to work vigorously to create the conditions necessary to permit the deployment of UN peacekeepers throughout the country, and to launch the long-delayed inter-Congolese dialogue.

We call upon all parties to the Congolese conflict to avoid all military action, and to exercise restraint. The United States opposes any attempt by any party to take military advantage of the current situation.

We urge all parties to redouble their efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the war in the Congo.

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