Congo peace talks on hold in wake of M23 division

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The Ugandan mediator of peace talks between M23 rebels and the Congolese government says the talks are on hold as both camps consult in the wake of a violent split in the ranks of the rebel movement.

Chrispus Kiyonga, the Ugandan minister of defense, said Monday that it was not clear when both parties would return to the talks, although he wants them back within a week. Representatives of the rebels and the Congolese government last met on Feb. 6, weeks before M23's political leader — a cleric named Jean-Marie Runiga — was ousted from his job in an apparent power struggle between two rival factions of M23.

Kiyonga said the split within M23 "presents a new challenge" for the talks, which Uganda has mediated since December.