Southern African countries say they are ready to sent a peacekeeping force to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The announcement by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) comes amid unconfirmed reports Angolan troops have already joined the Congolese army in fighting Tutsi rebels.
The rebels, who the DR Congo believes are backed by Rwanda, say the presence of foreign forces risks inflaming the whole region.
The SADC also called for more UN peacekeepers to be sent to the conflict in the eastern Congolese region of North Kivu.
The UN mission admits it needs more troops to stop the killing of civilians.
Fighting that continued on Sunday has prevented aid agencies from distributing aid to tens of thousands of refugees.
Since September a quarter of a million people have been forced to flee their homes.
Humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders have reported outbreaks of diseases including cholera in crowded refugee camps.