"The Angolans will meet stiff resistance as they follow the rebels east," Mutiso says. "The jungle that covers Congo's heart makes communication with the west nonexistent -- it's a natural obstacle to any offensive." Then there's the matter of what will happen to the rebels, ethnic Tutsi in a country dominated by Hutu, if they lose. "The rebels saw what happened to those caught in Kinshasa: They were slaughtered," says Mutiso. "Surrender would be signing their own death warrant. Their backs are to the wall but as long as they have bullets, they'll keep fighting."
KINSHASA, Congo: The western front is closed in the Congo's civil war. President Laurent Kabila declared Monday that government troops, backed by the Angolans, have turned the rebels away from the capital of Kinshasa and have vowed to follow them east toward Rwanda and Uganda until the fight is finished. But TIME reporter Clive Mutiso says the rebels have two things in their favor: terrain and their own desperation.