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M23 rebels surrender in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Uganda is waiting for a formal peace deal in neighboring DRC before it decides whether or not to hand over M23 rebel fighters, a spokesman said Thursday.

The rebel March 23 Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo announced this week it agreed to end its campaign against the government. The announcement followed multilateral talks in neighboring Uganda.

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M23 rebel commander Sultani Makenga and hundreds of rebel fighters surrendered in Uganda. The government in Kampala said it was waiting until the ink is dry on a peace deal planned for the weekend before it decides whether to hand the rebel fighters over to DRC officials, the BBC reported.

M23 leader Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the International Criminal Court to face war crimes charges earlier this year.

Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., appointed to serve as U.S. special envoy to the region, credited a so-called intervention brigade for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in DRC with helping ensure the peace.

"Most people believe this is an exceptional approach, some would say unprecedented, but in any event, it's a very strong approach that stands in great contrast to, frankly, often criticized role of the U.N. forces in this region in the past which did not have this capacity," he said in a statement Wednesday.

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