The UN is growing concerned about the well being of thousands of people in the east of the DR Congo as fighting continues between government forces and the M23 rebel group.
Since April as many as 260,000 people have fled the fighting and aid agencies say the violence is hampering humanitarian efforts.
Government forces backed by UN peacekeepers claim they are having some success against the M23.
Military spokesperson Olivier Amuli spoke of the army’s priorities:
‘‘The republican forces are doing a great job, especially as they take into account the security of the civilians, who are the most vulnerable at times like this.”
Reports suggest that neighbour Rwanda is backing the M23 prompting the US to cut some military aid to Kigali.
It is the civilians caught up in fighting that bear the brunt of the suffering:
“They attacked government forces and we took cover because there were too many M23 there was a lot of shooting and the M23 stole the army rations.”
The leaders of Africa’s Great Lakes Region plan to send a neutral force in an attempt to end the cycle of violence.