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Congo Peace Talks to Last Longer than Expected


A new round of peace talks between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo will last longer than expected. The talks, which began Thursday in Pretoria, are being brokered by South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

The Congolese and Rwandan delegates met for about five hours at the presidential guest house in Pretoria. A South African spokeswoman Lakela Kaunda said the delegations are small, with between five and 10 representatives from each country, led by the ministers in the presidency.

The talks were originally scheduled to last only one day, but the spokeswoman has said they will continue on Friday.

Officials are tight-lipped about what is being discussed or what the two sides hope to achieve. The participants issued no statements after the meeting adjourned for the day.

The presidents of Rwanda and Congo met in person last week at the launch of the African Union in Durban. That meeting was brokered by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Officials said the Pretoria talks aim to build on the progress made there toward ending the four-year-old civil war in the DRC.

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