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Congo rebels begin withdrawal: UN

world Updated: Nov 19, 2008 20:51 IST
AFP
Congo rebels begin withdrawal: UN

The UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Wednesday that Laurent Nkunda's rebels had started withdrawing from conflict fronts around two towns in the east of the country.

UN peacekeepers on patrol had observed rebels in the process of pulling out of several locations in the region, Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Paul Dietrich, the spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping mission MONUC, told AFP.

The rebels are "currently in the process of withdrawing from their positions," Dietrich told AFP.

"It is a process that is still ongoing," said Dietrich, adding that peacekeepers on patrol in the region had observed the redeployments.

The withdrawals were centred around two battlefronts some 80 km northeast of the main eastern city of Goma.

Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) had announced their intention to withdraw from the zones in a statement on Tuesday, saying they wanted the UN peacekeepers to step in to the breach.