DR Congo + 1 more

Congo's CNDD ex-rebels say to get jobs "at all levels"

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KINSHASA, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Congo has agreed to give jobs to former eastern rebels at all levels of government in return for the Tutsi-led fighters dismantling roadblocks by the middle of January, the rebels said after talks ended on Thursday.

President Joseph Kabila's government secured a deal with the CNDD rebels, who had repeatedly routed his army, earlier this year when the insurgents ousted leader Laurent Nkunda in a secretive deal that had the support of neighbouring Rwanda.

The rebels and the army then joined forces in year-long operations against Rwandan Hutu rebels but there have been delays in fully implementing the March 23 agreement, sparking frustrations and rumours of renewed hostilities.

"We agreed on the political integration of CNDP leaders at all levels during the month of January," Kambasu Ngeve, executive secretary of CNDP, told Reuters after a signing ceremony.

"We have talked about the removal of barriers and parallel administration," he added. "We have until January 15, on the condition that the territorial administrator and assistant territorial administrator are redeployed."

President Joseph Kabila took part in the meetings earlier in the week but his government did not immediately comment on the posts for the former rebels.

Fr. Jean-Bosco Bahala, a member of the committee charged with the implementation of the peace deal confirmed the Jan. 15 deadline on lifting the barriers.

Under Nkunda, the CNDD rebels, which analysts say were backed by Rwanda, repeatedly defeated Kabila's army during a five-year uprising, mainly in North Kivu province.

The deal earlier this year turned regional dynamics upside down but critics argue that little has changed for many as the CNDD still controls much of the territory it seized and ran through a parallel administration.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians who fled fighting are still in the bush as abuses by armed men on all sides have continued.

Nkunda is currently under house arrest in Rwanda while the CNDD is now led by General Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on accusations of war crimes committed during a previous rebellion in Congo's northeast.

(Reporting by Thomas Hubert; Writing by David Lewis)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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