DR Congo rebels, govt prepare for peace talks | AFP
By Max Delany
GOMA, DR Congo — Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo were preparing for peace talks with government officials in Uganda, officials said Wednesday, as the pope urged the warring sides to reconcile.
Rebel group M23’s political leader Jean-Marie Runiga said his guerrillas were “ready” for talks, which are expected to include a raft of potential demands, including major political reform for the war-weary region.
The rebels’ lightning capture of the mining hub of Goma on November 20, eight months after the army mutineers launched an uprising against the government, had sparked fears of a wider war and a major humanitarian crisis.
The rebels, largely from the ethnic Tutsi community, pulled out of Goma at the weekend.
Uganda, despite being accused by UN experts of having provided logistical support to the M23, claims it strongly denies, will host and mediate the negotiations.
"We are hoping they will begin in the next few days", said James Mugume, a senior official in the Ugandan foreign ministry, adding no date had been set for them to begin.
Photo: Church Mission Society (CMS)/Flickr