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Rwanda begins extraditing Congolese dissidents

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KINSHASA, 5 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - The Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) announced on Saturday that Rwanda had begun extraditing dissidents associated with a breakaway army general in eastern Congo, Laurent Nkunda.

"We see this as an evolution in our relations with Rwanda," Adolphe Onusumba, the Congolese defence minister, said at a news conference on Saturday in Kinshasa, the nation's capital. "Some of these dissidents were in the process of destabilising the DRC government."

The dissidents were transferred to the Congolese border where authorities there then took them to a prison in Goma, Obusumba said. He added that one of the dissidents who left Rwanda - for Belgium - was South Kivu Provincial Governor Patient Mwendanga.

In August, a communiqué attributed to Nkunda was distributed in Goma, North Kivu's provincial capital, which was a call to arms against the government. In June 2004, Nkunda breached the 2003 peace agreement signed by all of the country's armed groups by supporting an insurrection in South Kivu Province by an army colonel, Jules Mutebusi.

"Nkunda is no longer a general in the army and will be brought to trail," Onusumba said, although he conceded that it may take the army time to arrest Nkunda due to the harsh terrain in which the fugitive was hiding in eastern Congo.


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