The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has agreed to talks with rebel leader Laurent Nkunda. Tutsi General Nkunda demanded direct negotiations with President Joseph Kabila after launching a renewed offensive in late August that forced 250,000 to flee the violence in the east of the country. The meeting is to take place in Kenya.
The announcement came after the DRC held talks with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali. Rwanda has been accused of backing Nkunda’s forces. Nkunda claims he is protecting his Congolese Tutsi community from attack from FDLR Interahamwe, some of whose leaders fled Rwanda to eastern DRC after the 1994 genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
The talks are looking to “firm up” a ceasefire declared last month, which has been broken by both sides. Nkunda wants Hutu forces disarmed in return for halting his advance. Meanwhile, those displaced by the fighting continue to suffer.