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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
'Hundreds' disarmed in DR Congo
UN peacekeepers
The UN currently has 19,000 peacekeepers in DR Congo
Some 1,000 militiamen in the Democratic Republic of Congo have handed over their weapons, UN officials say.

The disarmament happened in the volatile eastern Ituri province.

UN military spokesman Major Hans-Jakob Reichen said the fighters belonged to a coalition known as the Congolese Revolutionary Movement.

He added though that an estimated 15,000 armed militiamen were still at large in eastern DR Congo.

Under a 2002 peace deal, most warring parties joined the government, after a five-year civil war in which some 3m people died.

Many of the fighters in the east fled into DR Congo from Rwanda to escape reprisals following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Militia groups in the east have sustained themselves through their control of gold mining operations in the region.

The surrenders come two weeks after the Congolese army stepped up its operations in the east.

National elections have been postponed until next year.

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