Congo, neighbors sign new peace plan; region agrees not to support armed groups in Congo

Eleven African countries have signed a United Nations-drafted peace deal to stabilize the troubled Central African country of Congo, where rebels allegedly backed by neighboring countries last year threatened to oust the government.

Opening the signing ceremony in Ethiopia on Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the peace, security and cooperation framework for Congo would bring stability to the region.

The U.N. says Congo suffers from persistent violence by both local and foreign armed groups that use rape as a weapon. The conflict has displaced nearly 2 million people.

Congo's neighbors collectively promised to not interfere in its internal affairs. They also agreed to not support armed groups. A U.N. report last year said that Rwanda and Uganda helped aid M23 rebels inside Congo. The two countries denied the allegations.