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Congo rebels threaten main eastern city

August 4, 2013

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The M23 rebel group in eastern Congo has said it will not rule out retaking the city of Goma unless there is progress on negotiations with the government.

A statement signed Saturday by M23 president Bertrand Bisimwa said that if the government does not respect its vow to hold talks, which have repeatedly stalled, rebel fighters could be redeployed to the same positions they held last November when insurgents briefly captured Goma.

Fighting between rebels and Congo’s army resumed last month after a period of calm. Last week, the United Nations peacekeeping mission announced plans to disarm anyone outside the security forces in and around Goma, where it said M23 has attacked army positions since mid-May.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende on Sunday dismissed M23′s latest threat as “nonsense.”

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