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DRC Government, Rebels to Hold Peace Talks in Nairobi


Democratic Republic of Congo officials say they will hold talks in Nairobi with rebels loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda to formalize a cease-fire agreement.

DRC Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba announced the talks Friday, saying government representatives will meet with members of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) rebels Monday under the auspices of the United Nations and African Union mediators.

Government troops and rebels have clashed repeatedly in Congo's North Kivu province since August, following the collapse of a January peace deal.

Mwamba also announced, along with Rwandan Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali, an agreement for a joint military plan to disband a Rwandan Hutu militia operating in eastern DRC.

Nkunda has said his rebels have been fighting to protect the area's Tutsi minority from the Hutu militias, which entered the region after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Aid agencies in the country say the months of fighting have displaced a total of 250,000 people, on top of nearly a million others displaced by clashes in earlier years.

The agencies are working to get food to the displaced and move them to safer locations.

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

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

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