Congo rebels declare unilateral ceasefire before peace talks

KAMPALA Tue Jan 8, 2013 9:18am EST

KAMPALA Jan 8 (Reuters) - Congolese rebels declared a unilateral ceasefire ahead of a second round of peace talks with the government, a rebel spokesman said on Tuesday.

The rebel March 23 Movement (M23) has questioned the commitment of President Joseph Kabila's government to the peace process. Efforts last month to end the nine-month rebellion in Democratic Republic of Congo's volatile east failed.

"We've been for peace... today we're declaring that we're in a ceasefire," Francois Rucogoza, the rebels' executive secretary told a news conference in the Ugandan capital through a translator. "Even if the government refuses to sign a ceasefire agreement we'll continue with the negotiations."