NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday called the peace deal between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the March 23 Movement "a positive step."
Representatives of the government and the M23 signed the agreement Friday in Nairobi, Kenya, after weeks of stalled talks.
The deal requires M23 to abandon the rebellion and form a political party, the New Times of Rwanda reported.
Ban said the agreement "constitutes a positive step toward ending cycles of deadly conflicts that have caused immense suffering to the Congolese people."
"The peace agreement signed is a good step that can be built on," said James Mugume, the permanent secretary in Uganda's Ministry of Foreign affairs.
A communique issued in conjunction with the agreement indicated refugees and internally displaced persons would be allowed to return to their homes in Kinshasa.
It also grants amnesty to M23 rebels for acts of war and insurgency, establishes transnational security arrangements leading to disarmament and calls for the release of rebels being detained for acts of war and rebellion.