Angola and Zaire have agreed to re-open the Benguela railway line - one of Africa's most vital transport links.
Angola and Zaire have agreed to re-open the Benguela railway line - one of Africa's most vital transport links. This decision came at the end of a 48 hour visit to Angola by President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. President Mobutu also signed two sets of co-operation agreements with his host, Angola's President Agostinho Neto.
SYNOPSIS: President Mobutu stepped off the plane in Luanda to a warm welcome from Mr. Neto and Angolan officials. Relations between the two countries became increasingly tense when, last May, Zaire accused Angola of assisting the rebel invasion of the southern Shaba province. But the two leaders have now reconciled their differences.
The Benguela railway, an important link between Zambia, Zaire and the Angolan seaport of Lobito, has been closed since the height of the civil war in Angola in 1975. Although Zambia has opened its border with Rhodesia, the Benguela line is vital for the export of goods from Zaire. Observers believe the enthusiastic reception given to President Mobutu means that three years of tension between the two countries have finally ended.