Africa Leaders Back U.N.'s Rwanda Plan

Associated Press

Southern African leaders have backed a U.N. proposal for an all-African force to keep peace in Rwanda and other regional trouble spots--if the United Nations foots the bill.

The statement issued from a "Front Line" summit in Zimbabwe left it to individual nations to decide if they would commit troops to the proposed 5,500-member force for Rwanda.

Seven nations formed the Front Line group to fight white rule in South Africa. But with Nelson Mandela newly sworn in as that country's first black president, the members--now including South Africa--also began debate on a "new mandate."

Mandela, on his first foreign trip as president, said his government will consider helping U.N. peacekeeping efforts with humanitarian aid. But he has repeatedly rejected sending South African troops for such a force, at least in the near future.

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