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Zaire Rebels Moving On Third-Largest City

Compiled From Wire Services

Rebels advanced on three fronts Thursday toward Zaire’s third-largest city, gaining ground in their battle to oust the country’s ailing president.

But while rebel leader Laurent Desire Kabila said his forces could take the city of Kisangani quickly, he said he would prefer to negotiate for the resignation of President Sese Seko Mobutu.

“He knows that the people of this country don’t need him any more. He has plunged the country into misery,” Kabila said.

Kabila, who earlier had given Prime Minister Leon Kengo wa Dondo’s government until Feb. 21 to get rid of Mobutu, said the rebels would step up their attacks against Zairian forces if Mobutu did not step down. He also threatened to attack the largest remaining refugee camp in eastern Zaire, saying it may be necessary to drive out governmen-tallied Rwandan Hutus.

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