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DRC president in Uganda for M23 talks

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December 2, 2013 (KAMPALA) - The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Joseph Kabila, is in Uganda for talks with his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, over failed peace talks with M23 rebels.

Kabila arrived in Uganda on Monday for a one-day working visit at the invitation of Museveni.

A communique released on Monday following the meeting between the two heads of state said they had agreed to bring to an end the Kampala peace talks between the DRC government and the defeated rebels.

“The two presidents agreed that the Kampala dialogue between the government of DRC and the M23 should be brought to a conclusion as soon as possible so as to facilitate the peaceful return of the M23 ex-combatants and the completion of the process of demobilisation”, the statement said.

The two leaders also agreed that the conclusion of dialogue would enable Congolese refugees living in neighbouring countries or in IDP camps inside the DRC to return to their homes.

The M23 was defeated on October by the Congolese army with the assistance of a United Nations intervention force. The M23 subsequently announced that it had abandoned its rebellion and expressed a willingness to enter peace talks with the DRC government.

However, an agreement that should have been signed between the DRC government and the M23 in Kampala failed after the government said it could not sign an agreement with a force that had dissolved itself.

Following their defeat, many M23 rebels fled to Uganda and Rwanda. The two countries have been accused of supporting the rebel group - an allegation both deny.

DRONES FOR CONGO

Meanwhile, the United Nations has said it is set to deploy drones to monitor the DCR-Rwanda border, AFP reported on Monday.

AFP quoted UN spokesman Martin Nesirky as saying UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous is currently in eastern DRC city Goma to “preside over the launch of unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles”.

Nesirky said the drones will be “an important tool to assist the mission in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians”.

(ST)

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