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Southern Africa to discuss DRCongo at Friday talks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Leaders from southern African countries will gather in the Mozambican capital on Friday for an extraordinary summit to discuss the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an official said.

The meeting under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) "will examine the latest political developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo," a statement from President Armando Guebuza's office said.

It did not explain the reasons behind the hastily organised meeting.

Mozambique holds the rotating presidency of the SADC bloc.

DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila has confirmed his attendance, as has Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete, who also chairs the SADC troika on politics, defence and security

Kabila's government and M23 rebels have been holding peace talks in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

The negotiations in Kampala are the latest in several bids to end a long-running conflict that has forced hundreds of thousands of people in eastern DR Congo from their homes.

Regional groupings have been trying since July to set up a neutral international force to break up the numerous militia groups that prey on civilians in eastern DR Congo.

The 15-nation SADC, at its last summit in December, said it would activate its regional standby force in order to deploy it in the framework of the neutral force.

Tanzania and South Africa have offered to contribute troops.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130207/southern-africa-discuss-drcongo-at-friday-talks