DRC rebels called on to lay down arms

Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

KAMPALA, Uganda, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The government in Rwanda is committed to ensuring fighting stops in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the country's foreign minister said.

Regional leaders and representatives from the March 23 rebel movement in DRC met in Uganda to find a way to end fighting that has been raging since early this year.

Former rebels who integrated into the national army mutinied this year, forming M23 after saying the government in Kinshasa failed to implement a 2009 peace deal. Led by war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda, M23 forces last week seized control of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu province along the border with Rwanda.

The governments of Rwanda and Uganda are suspected of backing the rebel movement, though each denies the allegation. Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told the BBC that Rwanda would go "out of it (its) way to talk to all parties to make sure, first, that fighting stops."

A statement from the Uganda, Rwandan and DRC governments this weekend called on M23 to lay down their weapons and give up their claims to Goma.

BBC correspondents in Goma last week reported that it seemed residents there had rallied in support of M23.

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