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Africa
Kenya to host DR Congo peace talks
Foreign minister says that talks on ceasefire and peace process to be held in Kenya.
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2008 15:51 GMT

Thousands of people have been displaced by
fighting in the east of the country [AFP]

The Demorcatic Republic of Congo's (DRC) government has said that it will meet eastern Tutsi rebels loyal to general Laurent Nkunda to "formalise" a ceasefire and discuss a peace process.

Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, the foreign minister, said on Friday that talks would be held in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, on Monday.

"A meeting will take place between representatives of the government of DR Congo and the CNDP [National Congress for the Defence of the People] under the auspices of the United Nations and the mediator on December 8 in Nairobi in Kenya."

The announcement was made after talks with Rosemary Museminali, his Rwandan counterpart, in Goma in the east of DR Congo.

President Joseph Kabila's government had not relented to Nkunda's demands for direct talks - a condition, he said, for ending his four-year-old revolt in the east.

Nkunda said that he wants to discuss security and the situation for ethnic minorities.

Kinshasa maintained that Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebels return to a wider peace pact signed in January with several armed groups.

Neighbourly relations

Fighting has escalated since August, with Nkunda claiming to have taken territory in North Kivu since then.

The ethnic Tutsi CNDP declared a unilateral ceasefire in October but both sides have broken it since.

About 250,000 people have been displaced by the fighting.

Kinshasa had accused Rwanda, its eastward neighbour, of supporting the CNDP in North Kivu, which Nairobi denied.

Nkunda has repeatedly accused the government fighting with Rwandan Hutu militias - some of whom - according to Rwanda - took part in the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in their country.

Kabila sought backing from Angola towards the end of last month, but received statements of support rather than military assistance.

The Angolan military backed the Congolese army in the DRC's 1998-2003 war.

Source:
Agencies
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