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DRC Rebel Leader Calls for Ceasefire

Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have called for a ceasefire ahead of expected peace talks with the government.

Renegade General Laurent Nkunda Wednesday said a ceasefire between his rebels and the DRC army would help facilitate the upcoming peace conference.

The Congolese government had been expected to convene a meeting Thursday with all armed groups on peace, security and development in the eastern regional capital of Goma. But officials Wednesday postponed the talks until January 6.

The national army, renegade troops led by Nkunda, and various armed militias have been fighting in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu since August.

The fighting has displaced around 800,000 civilians. During this month alone, tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee fighting in or near their villages.

Displacement camps in the region are now overflowing, and many aid agencies have had to suspend delivery of aid because of the security risks.

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