Troops allied with the government were pushing east toward a rebel-held town Wednesday, taking Congo's monthlong civil war away from the capital and into the heart of rebel territory.

In South Africa, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops - Angolan, Zimbabwean, Nambian, Rwandan and Ugandan - from Congo.In Kinshasa, the capital, Information Minister Didier Mumengi said the loyalist forces had closed in on Kalemie, 250 miles south of the key rebel stronghold of Bukavu on the eastern fringe of this sprawling African nation.

Rebel leaders in the eastern city of Goma, however, said they were reinforcing their positions in Kalemie and two other rebel-held towns - Moba and Manono - in the copper-rich Katanga province of southern Congo.

Chief rebel commander Jean-Pierre Ondekane said his forces continued to advance into Katanga province, but gave no details.

The rebels were pushed out of western Congo over the weekend, halting a monthlong advance on Kinshasa.