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DR Congo: M23 rebels threaten to march on Kinshasa

DR Congo: M23 rebels threaten to march on Kinshasa
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The M23 rebel group has rejected calls from African leaders to withdraw from the eastern Congolese city of Goma.

The rebel army said it would continue its advance to the capital Kinshasa, unless President Joseph Kabila agrees to direct peace talks.

The M23 took control of the provincial capital close to the border with Rwanda on Tuesday forcing government troops to retreat and UN peacekeepers to turn tail.

The people of Goma face an uncertain future:

“It is very sad that the government let this city fall into rebel hands, but we hope things will be back to normal soon. Even though we have to live with the rebels now, we are still hopeful. We will continue to lead our lives because we really have no choice, but we hope things will be alright,” said one concerned resident.

The UN has released a long-awaited report accusing both Rwanda and Uganda of backing the M23, saying the rebel chain of command leads to the Rwandan Defence Minister James Kabarebe.

The M23 group was formed in April following an army mutiny. Disaffected soldiers are unhappy after the government failed to keep promises agreed as part of a 2009 peace deal.

To date as many as 500,000 people have been displaced by the conflict.

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