Congolese belligerents meet in Uganda

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Congolese officials held talks yesterday with representatives of M23, the rebel group that last week took control of the eastern Congo city of Goma, according to Ugandan officials.

Ugandan defence minister Crispus Kiyonga said that he is mediating discussions to help both sides reach a settlement that would end a violent rebellion that has sucked in Uganda and Rwanda, which both face charges of backing the rebels.

Jean-Marie Runiga is leading the M23 rebels in the talks,
according to M23 in Congo.

A regional summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region in Kampala, including Congo president Joseph Kabila and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, on Saturday called on the rebels to leave Goma and urged Mr Kabila to listen to the “legitimate grievances” of M23.

Mr Runiga said that withdrawal from Goma was “under consideration” and, while M23 did not oppose the idea “in principle,” no decision had been taken. No official response to the demands from the summit was expected before his return to Congo, said a spokesman.