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DRC: CODECO agrees to ceasefire

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Democratic Republic of Congo

An armed group in the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared a unilateral ceasefire.

The Co-operative for the Development of Congo, or CODECO, has been condemned by the UN for massacres akin to crimes against humanity.

The group, made up of Lendu people, has historically clashed with Hema people, in a conflict that has killed at least six hundred and thirty six people this year.

"As the Head of State says, we're stopping with the atrocities," said Basa Zukpa, the spokesman for the Codeco militia.

"We are ready to grasp this out-stretched hand, which is why we tell our people to first respect this process, to be calm while we move forward."

The agreement follows President Felix Tshisekedi’s appeal to suspend their attacks on their ethnic rivals.

The eastern province of Ituri has been the scene of violence since December 2017.

It escalated after the army launched a crackdown on armed groups last October.