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DRC North Kivu Militia Leader Surrenders to UN


U.N. and Congolese officials say a local militia leader has surrendered to peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo's restive North Kivu province.

The officials say Mai Mai militia leader Kibamba Kasereka turned himself over to U.N. forces earlier Saturday after his fighters were surrounded by government troops.

The Mai Mai militia, along with Rwandan Hutu-led rebels had been battling troops loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda in North Kivu. The fighting has displaced hundreds of thousand of people.

General Nkunda says his forces are trying to protect ethnic Tutsis from Rwandan Hutu rebels who entered the region after Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Congo's government has tried for several years to subdue militias and rebel groups in the volatile region.

Earlier this week, Nkunda had said he would integrate 500 of his men into the Congolese army as part of an effort to bring peace to the region. A Nkunda spokesman said 200 soldiers reported to a military camp Wednesday, but U.N. officials could not confirm it.

Congolese President Joseph Kabila has repeatedly called on Nkunda's fighters to rejoin the army. Nkunda had previously said his fighters would not integrate into the army without negotiations with the president.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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