Congo's M23 rebels say they are taking a break from on-off peace talks with the government

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A spokesman for the Congolese rebel movement M23 says his group has taken a "break" from peace talks with the Congolese government.

Rene Abandi, who leads a delegation of M23 rebels negotiating for peace with the Congolese government in neighboring Uganda, said Wednesday that the peace process has been undermined by talk of the planned deployment in eastern Congo of a brigade of United Nations troops authorized to attack rebels.

Speaking by phone from Bunagana, an M23 stronghold in eastern Congo, Abandi said it's meaningless to negotiate a peace deal under the circumstances.

M23, the most prominent rebel group operating in eastern Congo, has issued threats to South Africa and Tanzania, both contributing troops to the U.N. intervention brigade. The brigade is expected to be deployed in a few months.