12:00 AM, November 20, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 20, 2008

Congo rebels begin pullout, says UN

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Afp, Kinshasa

Congolese Army soldiers ride a tank yesterday in the centre of Kibumba. The town was the scene of an armed clash on Tuesday in a "friendly fire" incident with government forces. Government soldiers looted villages and attacked local people after the incident, according to the leader of the Mai-Mai militia, General Lafontaine. Photo: AFP

The UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo said Wednesday that Laurent Nkunda's rebels had started withdrawing from conflict fronts around two towns in the east of the country.
UN peacekeepers on patrol had observed rebels in the process of pulling out of several locations in the region, Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Paul Dietrich, the spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping mission MONUC, told AFP.
The rebels are "currently in the process of withdrawing from their positions," Dietrich told AFP.
"It is a process that is still ongoing," said Dietrich, adding that peacekeepers on patrol in the region had observed the redeployments.
The withdrawals were centred around two battlefronts some 80 km northeast of the main eastern city of Goma.

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