29 Nov 2012

Rebels to pull back in DR Congo

12:53 pm on 29 November 2012

Rebels in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have started withdrawing from towns they captured last week, including the city of Goma. However, 100 fighters are to remain at the airport there.

After days of conflicting reports, Brigadier General Sultani Makenga said on Wednesday that he has ordered his fighters to gradually withdraw, first from smaller towns around Goma captured in the last week.

He said they would move to nearby Kibati, about 20km north of Goma, in the coming days.

The BBC reports that the movement's political wing may also remain in the city.

The conflict began in April when M23 rebels deserted from the army. Their movement is named after an accord reached on 23 March, 2009, which they accuse the government of violating.

Some five million people died during a civil war from 1997-2003 in DR Congo.