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M23 Rebels Unilaterally Declare Ceasefire

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Gunfire and bombardments have stopped in Eastern region of the DRC following an announcement of a unilateral ceasefire by the M23 rebel group.

The rebels said they were seeking dialogue with government and had withdrawn troops from the combat zone in order to avoid new confrontations with the Congolese army.

Heavy fighting broke out on Monday after the M23 attacked two Congolese army positions near the borders with Uganda and Rwanda and advanced on nearby towns, causing thousands of people to flee into Uganda.

M23 spokesman Willy Ngoma has previously said that his troops were acting defensively and accused the Congolese army of waging war against them.

There have been regional efforts in recent years to have the M23 demobilize, but its leaders have complained about the slow implementation of a peace accord.

“Well done M23. Let the regional leaders President Kaguta Museveni and President Paul Kagame and President Felix Tshisekedi handle your issues politically,” Lt.Gen. Muhoozi Keinerugaba said in a tweet.

Kinshasa had accused Rwandan soldiers of taking part in the recent M23 rebel attacks on positions of the Congolese army, Kigali vehemently rejected the accusations.