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Congo rebels show no signs of retreat

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Congo rebels show no signs of retreat


The Democratic Republic of Congo’s new army chief, General François Olenga, has been leading his troops against M23 rebels.

He took over on Thursday after his predecessor was suspended amid charges he had sold weapons to other eastern rebels.

On patrol with his troops Olenga talked tough:

“We are being attacked and we have to confront these attacks. Congo is not worried. It is the army that is troubled by these traitors,” he said

Congolese president, Joseph Kabila met M23 rebels for the first time at the weekend, after a summit in Uganda where regional leaders gave the rebels two days to leave the city of Goma, which they had captured a week earlier.

Later on Monday, at the invitation of the head of the Ugandan military, Rebel leader Colonel Sultani Makenga made his way to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, reportedly to discuss a rebel withdrawal from the area.

UN experts have accused Rwanda of backing the rebels, an allegation it denies.

During Makenga’s meeting the M23 fighters showed no sign of pulling back and were instead seen consolidating their positions in the surrounding hills around Goma.

The fighting raises fears for civilians and a worsening refugee crisis.

The last big war in DR Congo, a decade ago, pulled in six countries and now regional leaders are keen to halt a destabilising conflict in the country which is the size of western Europe.

This is even more true now that the region is attracting significant investment for its raw materials.

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