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Reluctant to leave, some rebels begin withdrawing around Goma

Jerome Delay / AP

M23 rebels withdraw from the Masisi and Sake areas in the eastern Congo town of Sake, some 27 kms west of Goma, Nov. 30.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

M23 rebel fighters walk as they withdraw near the town of Sake, Nov. 30.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

A M23 rebel fighter walks past a resident as they withdraw from the town of Sake in the Congo.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

M23 rebel fighters withdraw near the town of Sake, some 42 km (26 miles) west of Goma, Nov. 30.

James Akena / Reuters

Congolese national police officers arrive at a port on Lake Kivu, Goma, Nov. 30, as Congolese Revolutionary Army (CRA) rebels prepare their final withdrawal from the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A reluctance of some rank and file fighters in Congo's M23 rebel movement to withdraw from the eastern border city of Goma is complicating a deal their commanders agreed with regional governments, a rebel spokesman said on Friday.

A rebel pullback from Goma, seized by M23 from fleeing United Nations-backed government forces on November 20, would signal some progress in international efforts to halt the eight-month-old insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Goma is an important hub in Congo's eastern borderlands which have suffered years of recurring conflict stoked by long-standing ethnic and political enmities and fighting over the region's rich resources of gold, tin, tungsten and coltan. The latter is a precious metal used to make mobile phones.

Rebel leaders, who have declared their intention to fight to topple President Joseph Kabila, said earlier this week they would vacate Goma and other captured positions west and south of the North Kivu provincial capital. Continue reading....

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