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DR Congo President Joseph Kabila eyes end to war

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has told residents of a town held by rebels for more than a year that he wants an end to 20 years of conflict in the region.

He has spent the past week driving from Kisangani in a 70-car convoy, which got bogged down in the region’s bad roads.

He has ended his 930km- (575 mile) journey in Rutshuru, which was held by the M23 rebels for more than a year.

During his trip, he warned the region’s other militias to disarm.

He told a crowd of thousands of people that he wanted an end to conflict in the area, reports the AFP news agency.

“The war which has just finished, should be the last war,” he said.

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DR Congo officers in rape and war crimes trial

Thirty-nine government soldiers accused of war crimes have gone on trial in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Most of the charges relate to the mass rape and other acts of sexual violence against more than 130 women and girls in November 2012 by a retreating army.

Correspondents say the military trial comes after months of international pressure after some officers were suspended but no soldiers tried.

The UN then threatened to stop funding army units suspected of abuses.

Armed groups in eastern DR Congo often use rape as a weapon of war.

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DR Congo is Cursed by its natural wealth

The Democratic Republic of Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, but colonialism, slavery and corruption have turned it into one of the poorest, writes historian Dan Snow.

The world’s bloodiest conflict since World War II is still rumbling on today.

It is a war in which more than five million people have died, millions more have been driven to the brink by starvation and disease and several million women and girls have been raped.

The Great War of Africa, a conflagration that has sucked in soldiers and civilians from nine nations and countless armed rebel groups, has been fought almost entirely inside the borders of one unfortunate country – the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Rwanda condemns ‘bombing’ DR Congo

Rwanda has accused government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo of deliberately shelling its territory, killing a woman and wounding her baby.

Ten bombs fell on Rwandan territory on Thursday and the “provocation can no longer be tolerated”, said Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.

A Congolese army spokesman denied the allegations.

UN and Congolese forces have been pounding M23 rebels on the Congolese side of the border since last week.

DR Congo and the UN accuse Rwanda of backing the M23, a charge it denies.

BBC Great Lakes service editor Ally Yusuf Mugenzi says that even when Rwanda twice invaded Congolese territory during the 1990s, it never made such strong accusations against the Congolese army.

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M23 rebels declare truce for Ban Ki-moon visit

M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have declared a ceasefire for UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the conflict-hit area, a spokesman for the group says.

Mr Ban has arrived in the regional capital Goma, where one person was killed in a rocket attack on Wednesday.

He said he was deeply concerned by the renewed fighting there.

On Wednesday, the World Bank unveiled a $1bn (£660m) aid package to help DR Congo and its neighbours.

World Bank head Jim Yong Kim, who is also visiting DR Congo, said the money would be used for health, education, cross-border trade and hydroelectricity projects.

At least 20 people have been killed since Monday in heavy fighting between government and M23 forces.

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