Thursday, October 30, 2008

Congo rebel general says he wants talks

GOMA, Congo — The rebel general besieging this provincial capital said Thursday he wants direct talks with the Congo government about ending the fighting and his objections to a $9 billion deal that gives China access to vast mineral riches in exchange for a railway and highway.

Laurent Nkunda told The Associated Press in a telephone interview he also wants the urgent disarmament of a Rwandan Hutu militia that he accuses of preying on his minority Tutsi people.

Nkunda launched a low-level rebellion three years ago claiming Congo's transition to democracy had excluded the Tutsi, and despite agreeing in January to a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, resumed fighting in August. He alleges the Congolese government has not protected the Tutsi from the Rwandan Hutu militia that escaped to Congo after helping slaughter half a million Rwandan Tutsis in 1994. Nkunda says government troops are collaborating with the Rwandan Hutus, a claim Congo denies.

"It's not acceptable for government soldiers to be fighting alongside genociders," Nkunda said. "We want peace for people in the region."

Click here to "Read Full Article."

No comments: