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DRC peace agreement to be signed February 24: UN


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will sign a regional agreement in Addis Ababa February 24 aimed at pacifying the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, his spokesman said Sunday.

Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, told AFP that invitations to the signing ceremony went out on Friday.

"He intends to be at the event on 24 February in Addis Ababa. All the invited presidents have committed to either be there or delegate power to sign," he said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Congo, South Africa and Tanzania are expected to sign the framework agreement.

The peace plan was presented at the end of January at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, but the leaders of the eight African states have so far refused to sign it.

The DRC's mineral-rich east has long been caught up in strife among local and foreign armed groups.

Since May, the army has been fighting the "March 23 Movement", an insurgency that the United Nations says is backed by Rwanda and Uganda, which they deny.