Congo rebels try to take Goma airport and weapons

Associated Press
FARDC Congolese government special forces gather in a stadium  near Minova, Congo, some 40 kms south-west of Goma, Thursday Nov. 29, 2012, for a moral building gathering and an address by their commander General Bahouma .M23 Rebels, who last week seized one of the most important cities in eastern Congo and advanced beyond, said Thursday that they had pulled back several miles (kilometers ) to the town of Sake and were on track to leave the key city of Goma by Friday, in accordance with a deadline imposed by the international community. Government troops were massing in Minova.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

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GOMA, Congo (AP) — The spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo says the rebels now controlling the city of Goma attempted to take the airport, which is under U.N. control, and to seize arms stored there.

Spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai said the M23 rebels were trying to steal weapons belonging to the Congolese army. He said the U.N. will "not allow or tolerate" the rebels to take the airport or the equipment there.

Rebel leader Gen. Sultani Makenga accused the U.N. of blocking the rebels' withdrawal from Goma. He warned that this "changes everything," meaning the rebels may no longer leave the city as promised.

The M23 was given an ultimatum to leave by Friday, and already they said they planned to extend by at least 48 hours for "logistical reasons."

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