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DRC's M23 Rebels Announce Suspension of Fighting

The Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebels say they are suspending fighting with Congo's army and withdrawing from the area where clashes have been heavy in recent days.

M23 chief Bertrand Bisimwa told VOA his fighters are pulling back from their positions in the village of Kanyaruchinya, near Goma, which sits on the Congolese-Rwandan border.

He also said his group has sent a letter to the United Nations asking the body to establish a commission to investigate the shelling across the border into Rwanda.

On Thursday, Rwanda's government accused DRC forces of shelling Rwandan territory.

Rwanda said more than 30 bombs and rockets have been fired across the border in the last week by the DRC military. It said one bomb fired Thursday morning killed a woman and seriously injured her two-month-old baby in the town of Rubavu.

Rwanda also accused Congo of trying to draw Rwanda into the conflict between the DRC army and M23 rebels in Goma.



Congo and a group of U.N. experts have accused Rwanda of supporting M23, an allegation Rwanda denies.

The United Nations, which has a large peacekeeping operation in Congo, recently deployed a 3,000-member "Intervention Brigade" to fight rebel groups in the east and help stabilize the volatile region.

M23 briefly took control of Goma last year and still controls parts of North Kivu province.

The group is made up of former rebels who were integrated into the Congolese army in a 2009 peace agreement, but later deserted after complaining of discrimination and poor treatment.

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