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UN chief urges Congolese rebels to lay down arms

11-26-2012 08:40 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moonon Sunday called on the rebel group, known as M23, to lay down their arms and immediately pull their fighters out of Goma, a city in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which was seized by the rebels last week.

"The secretary-general calls on the M23 to immediately lay down their arms in accordance with the agreements reached in Kampala, and comply with the immediate withdrawal of their forces from Goma, " capital of North Kivu province, said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman.

"The secretary-general encourages the parties to build on the dialogue among the leaders of the Great Lakes region to address the fundamental causes of conflict," the statement said.

"The secretary-general reiterates his personal commitment to support these efforts," the statement said. "He is also determined to ensure that the United Nations presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo be adjusted to respond to the evolving challenges in line with relevant Security Council resolutions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

The M23 rebel group is composed of breakaway soldiers from the country's national army. It recently seized seven towns in North Kivu province and attacked schools, hospitals, homes and other civilian targets.

The provinces of North and South Kivu in eastern DRC have recently witnessed intensified fighting between government troops and the M23, which has displaced more than 100,000 people and forced many to fled to neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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