Congo rebels vow retreat after taking town

2012-07-09 17:16


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Kinshasa — The commander of Congo's newest rebel group told reporters after taking the important eastern town of Rutshuru that his fighters plan to retreat from Rutshuru and other population centres, as they wait for the Congolese government to negotiate with them.

Colonel Sultani Makenga, the head of the M23 rebels, told reporters on Sunday, after his men had taken Rutshuru without a fight, that they planned to leave all the towns except Bunagana, a strategic mineral trading post at the border with Uganda.

Until April, Makenga was an officer in the Congolese military. He and his men defected, accusing the government of not holding up its end of the 23 March 2009, peace deal that made it possible for his fighters to join the army.

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