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East African regional leaders demand ceasefire in eastern Congo

5/2/2023 6:00
        East African regional leaders on Saturday renewed their call for an immediate ceasefire by all sides in the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that pits the country's military against a rebel group it has accused Rwanda of supporting.
        
        At a summit in Burundi's capital Bujumbura, the leaders of the regional East African Community (EAC) bloc called for an "immediate ceasefire by all parties," according to a communique issued at the end of the meeting.
        
        The M23 rebel group has seized large areas of eastern Congo's North Kivu province in a rapid onslaught since Oct. 20 that has threatened the provincial capital, Goma.
        
        The conflict has inflamed regional tensions with Congo accusing neighbour Rwanda of backing and sponsoring the Tutsi-led rebellion. United Nations experts and Western powers have also accused Rwanda of backing the M23, although Rwanda has denied any involvement.
        
        Saturday's meeting was the latest diplomatic effort to try to end the insurgency, which has displaced at least 520,000 people since March 2022 in North Kivu, a territory long plagued by conflict.
        
        



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