The New Times (Kigali)

23 November 2012

Congo-Kinshasa: M23 Leader in Kampala for Peace Talks

The rebels now say they're ready to march into Bukavu, the other major city on the border with Rwanda. The M23 then plans to head to Kisangani, and ... ( Resource: DRC Rebels 'March to Take Capital'

The leader of the rebel group M23, Col. Sultan Makenga, has been invited to attend the peace negotiations in Kampala aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the eastern part of the DRC.

Makenga called off a scheduled news conference in Goma at the last moment when he reportedly flew to Uganda at the request of DRC President Joseph Kabila.

Amani Kabasha, from the Department of Communication and Media in M23, declined to respond to any questions from journalists as he made the announcement at a border post hotel yesterday.

"He has been called to attend the ongoing peace negotiations in Kampala. Hopefully, they yield positive results," he said

In a separate exclusive interview with The New Times, Kabasha said that his forces had stopped exchanging fire with the FARDC forces.

"We have temporarily halted the military struggle even though the government forces occasionally fire at our positions," he said.

Meanwhile, during a public meeting in Rubavu district yesterday, Local Government Minister James Musoni reaffirmed the government's commitment in participating in efforts designated to find a solution to the conflict in the neighbouring country.

"We are not in any way supporting the rebels and we shall do everything we can to support peace in the region," he said.

The meeting resolved that Rwanda would also reduce its border operating hours to march those recently set by the Congolese government.

"Since the people operating the other end of the border are not members of a recognized government, you are warned to be conscious and should only cross the border whenever it is necessary," he said.

Asked if Rwanda would emulate Uganda and close Gisenyi border if DRC requested so, Musoni said the issue would be discussed if it came up.

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