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DRC rebels declare ceasefire

The leader of the M23 rebel group says they are declaring a ceasefire.

M23 rebel's Brigadier-General Sultani Makenga. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - The leader of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s M23 rebel group Bertrand Bisimwa says they're declaring a unilateral ceasefire and pulling out of the area that has seen the DRC'S heaviest fighting in recent days.

He says they want to give peace a chance and allow an investigation into the shelling of civilian neighbourhoods.

Bisimwa said his troops are withdrawing from Kanyaruchinya, a village just north of the provincial capital of Goma.

After breaking with the army last year, M23 rebels succeeded in seizing and briefly holding Goma.

That prompted the United Nations to empower a special intervention brigade to engage in peace enforcement operations.

The force comprising of South African, Tanzanian and Malawian troops pounded rebel positions for the past week.

The announcement is the first indication that the week long offensive against the rebels might have turned a corner.