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DRC Peace Deal Delayed at AU Summit

January 28, 2013

by VOA News

African leaders have failed to sign a U.N.-mediated peace deal aimed at ending the conflict in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The agreement was expected to be signed Monday on the sidelines of the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Under the deal, eight countries, including the DRC and Republic of Congo, would agree on the deployment of an “intervention brigade” to tackle armed militias operating in the region.

Various diplomatic sources say regional leaders had raised concerns over who would control and command the force.

Under the agreement, the DRC is to commit to reforming its army, improving transparency, democratization and institutional reform.

The latest cycle of unrest in the DRC began last year after a rebel group (M23) made up of mutinous soldiers seized territory in Congo’s North Kivu province.

The group was calling for the full implementation of a 2009 peace agreement that integrated the rebels into the Congolese army.

A U.N. group of experts accused Rwanda and Uganda of supporting the rebels -- an allegation both countries have denied.

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