M23 rebels say peace deal close in Congo

Oct 19, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT
REUTERS/James Akena

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The eastern Congolese rebels of M23 say a peace deal with the Congolese government will be signed "in the coming hours."

The rebels said in a statement Saturday that "major breakthroughs are about to be obtained" in the peace talks mediated by Uganda.

The statement said M23 made "major concessions on its political grievances" in a meeting on Friday, the reason a peace deal is now possible. It was not immediately clear what those concessions were.

The talks, held under the banner of a regional bloc called the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, had repeatedly stalled amid fears of a return to war in Congo's volatile east.

Both sides were in a meeting Saturday with their Ugandan mediator.