Kinshasa - Rebels from the Democratic Republic of Congo's
M23 movement are "ready" to resume talks with Kinshasa in the Ugandan
capital of Kampala following months of deadlock, their leader Bertrand Bisimwa said
"Our delegates are already in Kampala. They are ready
to negotiate with Kinshasa immediately as soon as the request has been passed
on by the mediator," Bisimwa said by telephone after neighbouring Great
Lakes nations called for talks to resume "within three days" on
Bisimwa hopes that the new round of talks, which began in
December and has been suspended since May, will address the "deep-seated
causes of the conflict" and that Kinshasa will "really get
The Congolese government cautiously welcomed the M23
announcement. "We had the impression that some wanted to drag things
out," spokesperson Lambert Mende told AFP, adding that Kinshasa had
"never left the table".
Presidents from Africa's Great Lakes region on Thursday
demanded that Kinshasa restart the talks with the rebels immediately to end the
brutal conflict there.
"Dialogue should resume within three days... and
conclude within a maximum period of 14 days," the leaders said in a
statement, after talks in the Ugandan capital aimed at brokering a deal to end
The meeting of the 11-member International Conference on the
Great Lakes Region - the seventh such summit held to try to find a lasting
solution - comes amid a recent upsurge in violence.
According to the declaration signed by the states, "the
M23 will put an end to all military activity and stop the war and threats to
overthrow the legal government of the Democratic Republic of Congo".