KIGALI, RWANDA, OCT. 8 -- The Rwandan government declared a state of emergency today despite relative calm in the besieged African state, and warned that a 10,000-strong rebel force that invaded from neighboring Uganda could double or triple in size if Kampala does not stop the rebels' recruiting from the Ugandan army. The emergency was backdated to Oct. 1, when the invasion began.

"Fighting continues in Mutara {northeast Rwanda} and at the moment the enemy seems to be losing its grip," Foreign Minister Casimir Bizimungu said in a briefing for foreign diplomats here in the capital.

The foreign minister told diplomats that the rebel force was estimated at 10,000 men, most of them deserters from the Ugandan army. "The figure could double or triple if recruitment from the Ugandan army continues," he warned.

Bizimungu called for energetic international condemnation of what he termed "an attack which was aimed only installing an {ethnic} minority government and a feudal regime under the veil of freedom-fighting and democratic slogans."

Some 500 Zairian troops flown in last Friday to support the government clashed with the rebels in a two-hour battle near the northeastern town of Gabiro, the official Zairian news agency AZAP reported.