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November 03, 2013

M23 Rebels Call for Cease-Fire in DRC

by VOA News

The M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have called for a cease-fire, after being pushed from one of their last strongholds.

A statement from M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa said he was calling for the cease-fire to allow peace talks to go forward.

The military has not responded to the call, which comes as rebels are being attacked by government forces near the border with Uganda, which has been hosting peace talks that stalled last month.

Last week, the army recaptured the eastern town of Banagana, the last town held by rebels.

The rebel group seized several towns in Congo's North Kivu province when it launched a rebellion last year.

M23 consists of rebel fighters who joined the Congolese army in a 2009 peace deal but later defected after complaining of poor treatment.

Earlier this month, the U.N. said the peace talks in Uganda between the government and the rebels had stalled. Negotiators said the two sides remained apart over proposed amnesty for the rebels.