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Talks between Congo government and rebels open

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December 9, 2012 01:23 PM EST | AP

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KAMPALA, Uganda — Talks started here between the Congo government and rebels who have seized strategic parts of eastern Congo.

Ugandan Minister of Defence Chrispus Kiyonga Sunday opened the dialogue between Congo President Joseph Kabila's government and the M23 rebels.

Congo was represented by Foreign Affairs Raymond Tshibanda while the rebel delegation of 26 was headed by Francois Ruchogoza, executive secretary of the M23.

Ruchogoza blamed Congo's security problems on the Congolese government's failure to integrate former rebels into the army, prompting them to defect and start the M23 earlier this year.

The Congolese minister protested that the M23 should not be making its specific complaints in front of the press.