Congo government rejects demands from rebel group


Rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo said yesterday they would withdraw from the eastern city of Goma only if President Joseph Kabila agreed to their demands, which the Congolese government was quick to dismiss as a farce.

The M23 rebels, whom UN experts say are backed by Rwanda and who say they want to “liberate” all of Congo, captured Goma last week after Congolese soldiers withdrew and UN peacekeepers gave up defending the city.

The political chief of M23, Jean-Marie Runiga, said in Goma yesterday that his forces would withdraw only if Mr Kabila held national talks, released political prisoners and dissolved the electoral commission, a body accused by western powers of delivering Kabila a second term in flawed 2011 polls.

– (Reuters)