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Congolese Rebel Leader Threatens War if No Talks


The main rebel leader in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo says there will be war unless Congo's government holds new talks with him.

Laurent Nkunda gave the warning after holding talks Saturday with the U.N. special envoy to the region, Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been in the country in a bid to end the violence in eastern Congo.

Nkunda said he was told by Mr. Obasanjo that Congo's government has accepted the principle of talks, but has not agreed on the details.

Video footage of the meeting, taken by the United Nations, shows Mr. Obasanjo criticizing the rebel leader for recent fighting. He said he is not happy by the events of the past two weeks and told Nkunda "you are making me a laughing stock."

Thursday, the rebels captured the eastern town of Ishasha, despite promises to maintain a cease-fire.

The rebel leader told Mr. Obasanjo that the cease-fire agreement only applied to government forces, and not to what he called "negative and foreign forces." The rebels have continued to fight Rwandan Hutu rebels who they accuse of targeting Tutis in the eastern DRC.

The talks in the rebel-held town of Jomba in North Kivu province took place as the United Nations reported more fighting between Nkunda's forces and armed groups near the town of Masisi.

Mr. Obasanjo met Friday with Congolese President Joseph Kabila in the capital, Kinshasa.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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