DR Congo rebel chief in Uganda for talks

November 26, 2012 11:49 am
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DRC government soldiers ride on a truck, on November 25, 2012 in Minova, 70 kilometres south of Goma/AFP
NAIROBI, Nov 26- The military leader of the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo flew to Kampala Monday for talks, a spokesman for the group said, as regional powers push for a rebel pullout from the eastern city of Goma.

Sultani Makenga is in the Ugandan capital for “military talks” with regional army chiefs, spokesman Amani Kabasha told AFP.

However, Ugandan Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga told AFP he was “not aware” of any invitation extended to Makenga.

Asked whether Makenga, who has been targeted by UN and US sanctions, would meet Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Kabasha said: “I don’t see why he would meet him.”

M23 political chief Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero has just returned from the Ugandan capital after holding talks there.

Regional powers on Saturday gave M23 two days to withdraw from Goma, the capital of the resource-rich North Kivu region which they seized last Tuesday.

Runiga Lugerero argues that a withdrawal from Goma should not be a precondition for talks, but rather a development that comes as a result of talks.

The government in Kinshasa says an M23 withdrawal is a precondition for talks.

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