File photo: This photo taken on July 8, 2012, shows Colonel Sultani Makenga, head of the rebel M23 group, looking on from a hill in Bunagana, a town near the Ugandan border.

Kampala - The leader of the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colonel Sultani Makenga, has agreed to withdraw his forces from the eastern cities of Goma and Sake, the Ugandan military chief said on Tuesday.

“We met on Monday night and I communicated to him the decision of regional leaders reached on Saturday and he accepted to pull back his forces out of Goma and Sake and also stop any further advances southward,” Uganda's chief of defence forces, Aronda Nyakayirima, told Reuters.

“He didn't put up any conditions for pulling out because he agreed that all their grievances will be resolved in the ICGLR (Great Lakes) mechanism as stipulated in the declarations of the Saturday summit (in Kampala),” he said.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels.

African leaders called on the rebels on Saturday to abandon their aim of toppling the government and leave the city of Goma they captured last week. - Reuters