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

Kampala -

A delegation of Congolese rebels has arrived in Kampala for talks with the government aimed at ending a crisis that has led to widespread rights abuses and displacement and sparked fears of an all-out regional conflict.

The negotiating team from the M23 rebel group arrived in the Ugandan capital late Friday, their spokesman Amani Kabasha told AFP Saturday.

“The meeting could begin tomorrow or even now,” he said, adding that Jean-Marie Runiga, the rebel movement's political leader, was not part of the delegation.

Both sides are due to hold preliminary meetings to agree on a negotiating format before the talks can start in earnest.

The M23, former rebels who were integrated into the Democratic Republic of Congo's regular forces in 2009 and mutinied again this year, pulled out of the main eastern city of Goma last week when the government agreed to discuss some of their demands. - Sapa-AFP