Congo M23 rebel group demands demilitarization of Goma, airport for fighting to cease

The M23 rebel movement that has been fighting the army in eastern Congo set forth a list of demands to the government, calling for the immediate demilitarization of the city and airport of North Kivu's provincial capital of Goma.

The group, believed to be backed by Rwanda, advanced to within two miles (three kilometers) of Goma, marking the first time that rebels have come this close since 2008.

In a statement late Sunday the group says their fighting is a result of the government's refusal to adhere to the terms of peace negotiations made with the former CNDP rebel group on March 23, 2009 that saw them integrated into the army.

The group has demanded that the government release a formal statement on public radio and national TV announcing new direct negotiations with the movement.