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Ceasefire of the Congolese rebels

· Still a stalemate in negotiations with the Government of Kinshasa ·

The Congolese rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23) have declared a unilateral ceasefire in view of the second session of negotiations with the Government of Kinshasa which were organized in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, by the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL).  A spokesperson for the rebel movement lead by Sultani Makenga, while announcing this, added that President Joseph Kabila's government was asked to do likewise, but he guaranteed that M23 will continue to negotiate even if Kinshasa stands by the decision not to work towards a ceasefire.

In Kampala, however, there appears to be a stalemate. The peace talks between the two parties were supposed to recommence on 4 January, after a pause of two weeks for the end of the year holidays.  Last weekend the Ugandan Minister of Defense, Crispus Kiyonga, who is leading the mediation of CIRGL, met separately with those in charge of the two delegations. From that point on, however, there has been no news regarding when the meetings will begin again, the aim of which is to find a solution to the crisis which has again exploded in the North Kivu – the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo which has never truly seen peace.

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