The UN is to send much-needed humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
A convoy of food and medical supplies will leave the regional capital Goma later today and head north to Rutshuru, taken by Tutsi-led fighters last week.
It comes after the rebel groups agreed with government forces to open a humanitarian corridor.
On an emergency visit to the region, the French and British Foreign Ministers urged that previous peace deals be fully implemented but stopped short of deploying EU troops:
“The Democratic Republic of Congo government should take proper command of its forces, honour its obligations under the Nairobi accords and establish channels of communication with all communities in the country and all its neighbours. The Nairobi agreement also requires active steps from the government of Rwanda and we look to the government there to fulfill its reponsibilities.”, said British Foreign Secretary David Milliband.
Since August, the upsurge in fighting between renegade general Laurent Nkunda’s Tutsi fighters and government forces has displaced around 220 thousand.
A unilateral rebel ceasefire appears to be holding – many locals are using the opportunity to try and return to their homes and find food.