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Main DR Congo rebels, Kinshasa-linked group sign truce

The main rebel group in Democratic Republic of Congo and a splinter group backed by the Kinshasa government signed a truce to end weeks of fighting in the east of the vast central African country. “The signatories agree to observe an immediate and general ceasefire on all fronts in eastern and northeastern DRC as of June 19, 2003 at 1800 hours local time (1600 GMT),” according to the accord, a copy of which was sent to AFP. The Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), the biggest rebel group in the DRC in terms of manpower and military might, began talks Wednesday in Bujumbura with a breakaway rebel group, with which it has been fighting for weeks, to gain control of key towns in eastern DRC. Prior to the talks getting under way, the RCD declared a unilateral ceasefire in Nord-Kivu province, scene of the fighting between it and the rival Congolese Rally for Democracy – Liberation Movement (RCD-ML), which is backed by Kinshasa. Full Story

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