Congo grants first batch of amnesties to ex-rebels

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KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo has announced the first batch of former rebels who will receive an amnesty adopted earlier this year.

The Justice Ministry announced over the weekend a list of around 50 people that includes members of the former M23 rebels, who were defeated by the government late last year.

The M23 launched its rebellion in in eastern Congo in 2012, the latest reincarnation of Tutsi rebels dissatisfied with Congo's government. Eastern Congo is rife with rebel groups vying for control of mineral resources. The army chased the M23 from the country last November and both sides signed a peace declaration.

Fifteen former members of M23 appeared on the list, but none was a major leader of the group. The government is considering granting amnesties on a case by case basis.

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