PRESIDENT Joseph Kabila said yesterday he planned an initiative aimed at uniting the central African nation, torn by rebellion and angry political opposition.

Kabila has been increasingly in the shadows since his re-election in 2011 in polls widely seen as fraudulent.

Mutinous soldiers launched the M23 rebellion in resource-rich eastern Congo in April. He gave no details of the initiative, but rebels have demanded Kabila open negotiations to address grievances. Kabila's remarks came as humanitarian organisations warned of a big rise in the number of refugees.

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■DR Congo