Congo's M23 Rebels Pull Out of 2 Towns

They're holding on to Goma
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2012 8:09 AM CST
Congolese M23 rebel fighters dismount as they look for FDLR returning from an incursion into Rwanda Near Kibumba, north of Goma Tuesday Nov. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

(Newser) – Just a day after saying they would fight the Democratic Republic of Congo's government to maintain control over three towns captured in a blitzkreig last week, Congo's M23 rebels announced today that they are pulling out of Sake and Masisi, reports Reuters. The pullout was brokered by Uganda, but rebels say that the withdrawal from Goma "will come later," and is dependent on their list of demands, one of which is to meet with Congo President Joseph Kabila. "If Kabila's troops harass the people, we're prepared to come back in, we're just around the corner," warns a rebel spokesman.

"We are ready, we respect diplomacy," an M23 leader tells the AP. "But we realize that Kabila is not seriously considering meeting our demands. If we see that there is a will to answer our demands, we can make concessions." Whatever happens, the AP notes the rebels claim to have gained 1,000 tons of weapons left behind by the fleeing Congolese army during their capture of the towns last week. (Read more Democratic Republic of Congo stories.)

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