- The former political neighbouring rivals, Congo and Rwanda, have agreed to continue legal discussions in April concerning the extradition of the former Congolese rebel leader, Laurent Nkunda.
General Nkunda, former president of the National Congress for People's Defense (CNDP), is being sought in Kinshasa following his arrest on the Rwandan territory in January.
A joint communiqué released by the two governments, marking the end on the two day meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa over the weekend, said the details about the transfer would be discussed at the next bilateral meeting of Ministers of Justice of both countries to finalise the procedures for extradition.
According to the statement, the two countries have also agreed to re-open embassies in their respective countries in three months time and to also further hold meetings to strengthen bilateral relations.
The Rwandan government has reportedly placed the former rebel leader under house arrest in the western town of Giseny.
Mr Nkunda was arrested on 22 January on the Rwandan territory after trying to resist an arrest by the joint Rwandan-Congolese operation in the eastern part of the country which began in DRC’s eastern Kivu province in January.
Mr Nkunda’s lawyers have resisted his extradition to DRC saying his rights would not be protected by the Congolese government. However, the Kinshasa government has argued that he will get a fair trial and treatment like all the rebels in DRC.
Last week, the Kinshasa government agreed to release members of the CNDP captured by government forces after the group signed a peace deal.
The agreement among others provides for the transformation of the CNDP, a group based in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo, into a political party and also agreed to pass an amnesty law for the former rebels and integrate them into various state security agencies.
Mr Nkunda, who was ousted as leader of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) in January had claimed to be fighting to protect the region's ethnic Tutsi minority from Hutu militias that took refuge there after participating in the 1994 genocide in the neighbouring Rwanda.
The CNDP launched a major offensive in August 2008, bringing the security situation in the region to a total war zone.
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