Congo's government says it has returned the body of a militia leader, whose death in August sparked months of fighting with the military that has left more than 400 people dead in the country's Kasai Central province.

The interior ministry in a statement late Sunday said the Kamwina Nsapu militia, named after its late chief, has appointed Jacques Kabeya Ntumba as its new leader.

Nsapu's family has been asking for the late leader's body since last year. The government said his body was returned and buried Saturday, and the family has now declared an end to fighting, saying further violence will not be carried out by its members.

The interior ministry has called on militia members to surrender, saying more than 50 have already done so.