Ugandan source says Congo rebel commander held in Uganda

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Uganda is holding the military commander of Congo’s defeated M23 rebel movement after he surrendered, a Ugandan officer said on Thursday, allaying fears that it could still take up arms again.

Sultani Makenga’s whereabouts had been unclear since Tuesday’s declaration by the M23 that it was ending its 20-month-old insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, worrying some that he could be hiding with plans to regroup.

His surrender will be seen as a major achievement for the Congolese army, with the backing of a U.N. force, as it strives to restore calm in a region wracked by war for two decades.
“I can confirm to you he is with us,” the senior Ugandan officer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters when asked about Makenga’s fate.
“He surrendered to us yesterday (Wednesday) and we’re holding him somewhere and some other commanders of his,” he said, adding the group of rebels would be held at an undisclosed location until a peace agreement was signed.

The M23 group declared an end to its military campaign and said it would seek political talks after Congolese troops routed them from their hide-outs with the support of a U.N. force of African troops with a mandate to intervene.

Analysts have warned against too much optimism for a sustained peace in the east of the vast nation, where the M23 was only of several armed groups in the mineral-rich region.