Airport to reopen after rebel pullout

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iol pic afr m23 rebel_drc REUTERS A girl holds a hand of a M23 rebel fighter as the rebels prepare for withdrawal from Karuba, about 62 km west of Goma.

Kinshasa - The airport serving the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo will reopen on Thursday following a rebel pullout from the key mining hub, regional authorities said Monday.

Air traffic will “begin on Thursday”, notably to allow “humanitarian workers to get aid to displaced people”, North Kivu authorities said in a statement.

De-mining teams will need to clear away explosives before reopening the airport, said the military spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo.

Regional authorities also said the central bank's local offices would reopen Thursday, after the local economy was hit by a cash shortage lasting several days.

“The central bank will open its doors ... with a view to allowing state pay agents and other economic actors to access their accounts,” they said in the statement.

Commercial banks will reopen Tuesday, it added.

Congolese troops on Monday entered Goma after the M23 rebels left the city in line with a regionally brokered agreement. - Sapa-AFP

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