DRC rebels, govt to hold peace talks

2012-12-05 07:50
M23 rebels in Goma (File, AFP)

M23 rebels in Goma (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Goma - Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo will hold peace talks with government officials in Uganda, officials said Tuesday in Goma, the key mining hub that the guerrillas seized before pulling out.

Negotiations will begin "in the next few days in Kampala," Interior Minister Richard Muyej Mangez said, a day after soldiers returned to the strategic eastern city, the capital of the mineral-rich province of North Kivu.

M23's political leader Jean-Marie Runiga said the rebels were "ready" for talks, which are expected to include a raft of potential rebel demands, including major political reform for the war-weary region.

The rebels' lightning capture of Goma on 20 November, eight months after the army mutineers launched an uprising against the government, had sparked fears of a wider war and major humanitarian crisis.

Their withdrawal was widely welcomed, although rebels still remain close to the city, and have not yet pulled back the full 20km agreed in a regionally brokered deal.

Mangez said the government would send a "full team" including leaders of key institutions, civil society leaders and members of the national assembly and senate.

However, it is not expected that President Joseph Kabila - who the rebels have demanded step down from power - will attend initial negotiations.

Dozens of government army trucks crammed with heavily armed soldiers entered Goma on Monday to secure the city of a million people and reassert their authority after 12 days of rebel rule.

New evidence

The regional capital was slowly returning to normal life, with commercial banks opening on Tuesday, and ferries on Lake Kivu, a major traffic route, due to resume on Wednesday, officials said.

At the same time, UN experts produced what they said was new evidence that "strongly upholds" previous accusations that Rwanda and Uganda had backed the M23, although both sides rejected the report.

"We have been, and are still involved in, the search for peace and stability in DRC," Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told reporters in Kigali.

"Political talks is the next step after M23 withdraw from Goma."

But the report, obtained by AFP on Monday, says that Rwanda and Uganda helped the M23 stage their offensive, with more than a thousand Rwandan troops joining the force that took Goma as Uganda provided "logistics" support.

"Sources estimated that, in total, well over 1 000 RDF (Rwandan) troops came from Rwanda to assist M23", the report read.

Both Kigali and Kampala have strongly denied involvement in the conflict.

Britain last week froze $33.7m in aid to Rwanda following what it said was "credible and compelling reports of Rwandan involvement with M23".

"Aid is not charity nor everlasting," Mushikiwabo added. "Rwanda and Africa are getting ready for the post-aid era and that era is coming."

Read more on:    un  |  m23  |  joseph kabila  |  drc  |  uganda  |  rwanda  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Constantia - 07:19 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and Canterbury Road until 1300
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.