Friday, December 5, 2008

Government, Rebels to Meet

The DRC government has reversed course and agreed to direct talks with rebel leader Laurent Nkunda. The reversal is a major victory for Nkunda, who has been demanding direct talks with the government as a pre-condition for ending his revolt, and comes on the heels of the EU's decision not to send troops to eastern Congo.

From the Reuters account:

Congo's government will meet eastern Tutsi rebels in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday for their first direct talks to formalise a ceasefire and discuss a peace process, Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said on Friday.

Congo's government had been resisting the idea of direct talks with Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebels, insisting instead that they return to a wider peace pact signed in January with several armed groups.

"A meeting between representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo and from the CNDP, under the auspices of United Nations and African Union facilitators, will take place on December 8, 2008 at Nairobi, Kenya to formalise the ceasefire and discuss a peace plan for eastern Congo," Mwamba said.

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