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In brief: Mexican president, opposition sign pact

Mon., Dec. 3, 2012, midnight

MEXICO CITY – Newly inaugurated President Enrique Pena Nieto and top opposition leaders signed an agreement Sunday to increase Mexico’s economic growth, employment and competitiveness.

The leaders of the conservative National Action Party and the leftist Democratic Revolution Party joined Pena Nieto in signing the “Pact for Mexico.” It includes measures Pena Nieto announced during his inauguration, including education reform, pensions for people 65 and older, and concessions for two new national television stations.

The 46-year-old Pena Nieto, who took office on Saturday, called the pact “historic.”

Rebels demand talks, threaten re-invasion

GOMA, Congo – Rebels believed to be backed by Rwanda said Sunday they would take back Congo’s city of Goma if the government does not agree to negotiate with them by today.

The M23 rebels completed their withdrawal from the strategic eastern city on Saturday, in compliance with an agreement reached between the rebel group and a regional body.

“It pained us to withdraw from Goma after having lost men on the battlefield to conquer the city. But if it is the price for peace, we accept it,” said Bertrand Bisimwa, the spokesman for M23’s political branch. “There was no external pressure. Friends of Congo have advised us to give negotiations a chance.”

The M23 rebels took the capital of North Kivu on Nov. 20, after battling the Congolese army for nearly a day.

“If negotiations have not started by tomorrow at 2 p.m., 48 hours since our withdrawal, or if there are attacks on citizens in Goma, we will take back the city,” Bisimwa said. “We know that President Kabila is not trustworthy, but we want to give a chance for our friends to realize that too.”

Despite the rebels’ retreat from Goma, which was a prerequisite set by the Congolese government for negotiations, President Joseph Kabila has not yet made clear if the government will negotiate.


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