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African leaders call for end to DR Congo rebellion

African leaders call for end to DR Congo rebellion
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Leaders from Africa’s Great Lakes region have called for an end to the rebellion by M23 fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The heads of state met in the Ugandan capital Kampala, days after a vow by the rebels to “liberate” the resource-rich country.

They also called on the group to leave the eastern city of Goma which they seized last week despite the presence of UN peacekeepers.

Leaders have now agreed a joint force to guard the city’s airport.

In recent days, tens of thousands of civilians have fled the captured area, adding to what aid agencies say is a crisis of half a million displaced people.

M23 was formed eight months ago from soliders who defected from the DRC’s army.

The group takes its name from the March 23 2009 agreement which was supposed to see a former militia integrated into the national armed forces.

Rebels claim officials reneged on the deal.

M23 are believed to be backed by neighbouring Rwanda, which its government denies.