The UN has started to relocate people from camps near the front line in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. In recent weeks, camps in Kibati near Goma have become home to about 65,000 people who have fled fighting between rebels and pro-government forces.

drc-nowDespite a ceasefire, there have been more clashes this week forcing 13,000 people to cross over to Uganda. Rebels loyal to Gen Laurent Nkunda have taken the border town of Ishasha, about 120km (75 miles) from Goma. Neighbouring villages are reported to be deserted.

“Everybody fled. They went to Nyamilima, to Ishasha,” one villager near Ishasha told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme. “Some of them have already crossed the border, others are in the bush and we don’t know where they are.” The UN’s special envoy to the Great Lakes region, Olusegun Obasanjo, who negotiated last week’s ceasefire, is expected in the capital, Kinshasa, later on Friday.

Gen Nkunda says the ceasefire does not apply to operations against foreign militia. His Tutsi-dominated forces say they are attacking Rwanda Hutu fighters, some of whom are accused of taking part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered.

Some of those who crossed the border said their relatives had been killed by the rebels of General Nkunda. Diplomatic sources say Mr Obasanjo is to meet all the armed groups who have been taking part in the recent fighting over the weekend.

Gen Nkunda says he is expecting Mr Obasanjo to bring a response from the Congolese government to his request for direct talks.



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