Congo Faces Bloody War

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Laurent Kabila has returned to his capital now that Angolan and Zimbabwean forces have slowed the advance of rebel forces. Kabila may find, however, that the Angolans will eventually switch sides. "Angola's only motivation is to protect its border from incursions by UNITA rebels," says TIME reporter Clive Mutiso. "That's why they helped bring Kabila to power, and why they intervened when the rebels arrived, unannounced, in their backyard. But there's no reason why Angola can't reach an agreement with the rebels and their backers, Rwanda and Uganda."

The rebels are determined to take control of the entire Congo to stop the massacres of Tutsi both inside Congo and beyond its borders, but Zimbabwean and Angolan forces have shored up Kabila's shaky defenses. "Angola and Zimbabwe's involvement will definitely raise the body count," says Mutiso. "This may well turn into a bloodbath" -- all of which might be avoided if the rebels can assure Angola's security. Then again, with fierce battles already under way, that could be a big "if."