UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say a growing number of armed groups in Congo appear willing to surrender under the right conditions following January's inauguration of opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi as president.

The experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against Congo said in a report to the Security Council circulated Thursday that "the apparent willingness of armed groups to demobilize should be seen as an opportunity to reduce violence and restore peace and security" in the country.

Nonetheless, the expert panel said numerous local and foreign armed groups continue to pose "serious security threats" in Congo.

The panel said armed groups continue to finance their activities through illegal mining of gold and other minerals, citing specific instances where some Congolese government officials were involved in the diversion of minerals in violation of council resolutions.

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