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UN chief to attend Congo peace signing

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February 16, 2013 08:53 PM EST | AP


UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent out invitations to a signing ceremony later this month for the large-scale peace agreement aimed at ending the fighting in Congo.

Ban spokesman Martin Nesirky said Saturday the U.N. chief will attend the Feb. 24 event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The agreement was delayed late last month over what Ban called "procedural issues" and not over any fundamental differences in the agreement. It had been circulated to eight countries: Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Africa, Angola and Tanzania.

The peace deal is an effort at a large-scale political framework to end violence in Congo. Separate talks are taking place in Uganda between the rebel group known as M23 and Congolese officials.

Jean Baptiste Rudaseswa, a lawyer for M23, has said the plan could further destabilize Congo.