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Congo and Rwanda to meet for talks amid tensions over rebels

Congo and Rwanda to meet for talks amid tensions over rebels
FILE - Rwanda President Paul Kagame attends a press conference...   -  
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Rwanda

Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi will meet his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame for talks in Angola this week, officials said on Monday, June 4.

It is not clear what the subject of the meeting is, but it is expected that this would be an opportunity to discuss current diplomatic issues between both countries.

There has been a surge of attacks in eastern Congo by the M23 rebel group - which Kinshasa accuses Kigali of backing.

Rwanda denies supporting the rebels and has, in turn, accused Congo of fighting alongside insurgents - a face-off that has raised fears of fresh conflict in the region.

The meeting is likely to take place on Tuesday or Wednesday in Angola's capital Luanda, Reuters reported sourcing officials from Rwanda and Congo.

Earlier on Monday, Kagame said he did not mind Rwanda being excluded from a regional military force set up in April to fight rebels in eastern Congo.

Congo had welcomed the plan but said it would not accept the involvement of Rwanda.

"I have no problem with that. We are not begging anyone that we participate in the force," Kagame told Rwanda's state broadcaster in a wide-ranging interview.

"If anybody's coming from anywhere, excluding Rwanda, but will provide the solution that we're all looking for, why would I have a problem," Kagame said.

At the end of March, the M23 started waging its most sustained offensive in Congo's eastern borderlands since capturing vast swathes of territory in 2012-2013.

Despite billions of dollars spent on one of the United Nations' largest peacekeeping forces, more than 120 rebel groups continue to operate across large swathes of east Congo almost two decades after the official end of the central African country's civil wars.

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