African summit agrees to help end Zaire war


AN African summit in Nairobi has asked the presidents of Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe to find ways to help end the conflict in eastern Zaire and promote peace in the Great Lakes region.

A final statement issued yesterday after the talks said presidents Nelson Mandela of South Africa Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Paul Biya of Cameroon would "take the necessary initiatives and steps aimed at assisting in the ending of the conflict in eastern Zaire and promoting peace, stability and security in the country and in the Great Lakes region".

Mr Biya is the current chairman of the Organisation of African Unity. Zaire boycotted the Nairobi summit and its absence prevented any real breakthrough, delegates said.

Meanwhile, the Vatican announced yesterday that Catholic bishops from central Africa's embattled Great Lakes region would meet for a four-day seminar, starting today, on ways of restoring peace there.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray said the bishops of Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire would meet representatives from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in Nairobi.

It will be their first joint meeting in more than four years.