Accessibility links

Congo Rebels Withdraw From Eastern Town


The United Nations said rebels have pulled out of a town in eastern Democratic of Congo, but still control much of the area along the Ugandan border.

A spokesman for the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission in the country confirmed Monday that forces loyal to Tutsi rebel leader Laurent Nkunda have withdrawn from Ishasha.

The rebels seized the town last week. Their withdrawal followed a meeting Saturday between Nkunda and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a U.N. special envoy.

Obasanjo is trying to set up direct talks between the rebel leader and Congolese President Joseph Kabila.

Also Monday, France called for an urgent European Union meeting to discuss whether to send security forces to the country.

Fighting between Congo's government soldiers and the rebels has displaced an estimated 250,000 people.

Meanwhile, in Geneva Monday, the U.N. Human Rights Council condemned rights abuses in the DRC.

Nkunda's fighters say their aggression is aimed at Rwandan Hutu rebels, not Congolese soldiers.

The U.N. Security Council recently voted to send an extra 3,000 peacekeepers to eastern Congo help protect civilians affected by the fighting.

The U.N. mission in Congo is already the world body's largest with 17,000 troops.

The EU says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants a European force to be temporarily deployed to eastern Congo until another U.N. contingent can be sent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG