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M23 rebels want Congo to agree to cease-fire during peace talks, but will talk without one

A top official with a rebel group in Congo says the group is demanding a cease-fire with the Congolese army, but says it will continue with peace talks without one.

Francois Rucogoza, the executive secretary of the rebel group M23, said Tuesday at a news conference in Uganda that the government of Congo won't sign a cease-fire.

M23 says it is currently honoring a unilateral cease-fire as evidenced by the rebels' withdrawal from the city of Goma in November. M23 is believed to be backed by Rwanda but Rwanda denies the allegation.

M23 is made up of hundreds of soldiers who deserted the Congolese army in April after accusing the Congolese government of failing to honor the terms of a 2009 peace deal that integrated them into the national army.