Kabila gets backing of father's allies


The main allies of murdered Congolese president Mr Laurent Kabila pledged today to continue their military support for the new government until peace is restored in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The presidents of Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia called for broader talks to end the civil war in its third year raging in north and east of Africa's third largest nation.

"The heads of state...decided to maintain their respective troops in that country and reinforce the security of the population, the government, foreign citizens...until lasting peace and stability is achieved," they said in a joint statement.

Zimbabwe's Mr Robert Mugabe, Mr Sam Nujoma of Namibia and Mr Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, who backed President Kabila against Ugandan and Rwandan-supported rebels, condemned his assassination and called for an investigation.

Diplomatic sources said southern African leaders were considering a full summit in Mozambique on Wednesday.

Officials said the Luanda meeting discussed how to shore up the huge war-torn Congo after the death of Kabila, who was shot by a bodyguard in Kinshasa last week.

His funeral is due to take place on Tuesday, after which his 31-year-old son Joseph - the country's interim leader - is to be sworn in as president.