DR Congo rebels begin withdrawal
Rebel leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo says that their forces have began withdrawing from the territory they seized in the countries east, and is scheduled to leave the strategic city of Goma on Friday.

M23 rebel fighters captured the North Kivu provincial capital, Goma, last week, however negotiations and talks between rebel leaders, the government and regional brokers in the Ugandan capital, Kampala have managed to result in a withdrawal agreement.

According to witnesses in the eastern DR Congo, which boarders Rwanda and Uganda, rebel forces were seen packing up equipment into trucks, arranging to leave.

Rebel commander, Sultani Makenga, said in a statement, "We must respect what the presidents of the Great Lakes have asked us to do," indicating M23's intention of upholding their end of the agreement.

The agreement between the rebel forces and the government in Kinshasa was brokered at the 5th Summit of 5th Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), which was being held in Uganda.

The ICGLR includes Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

According to the agreement, the rebels would be allowed to continue to stay in their homes, in the region of Kivu, which is said to be rich in mineral wealth.

Fighting between the rebel forces and the government broke out after munity was staged within the DR Congo army.

The United Nations and international rights groups accused Rwanda and Uganda of both supporting and backing the rebel forces, however both countries have denied the accusations.

The conflict in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces in the eastern region of the DR Congo, bordering Rwanda and Uganda has resulted in the displacement of over 500 000 people.
Last Modified: 2012-11-30 12:00:01
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