ICRC reacts to ongoing DRC violence

July 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 11 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross said it helped evacuate civilians injured by ongoing fighting in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ICRC said it joined forces with the DRC Red Cross to respond to the violence that threatens inhabitants of North Kivu province.

"Violence is also occurring in other territories in the province – for example, north of Ntoto, in the Masisi territory, where we evacuated two women in ill health and four war-wounded people by helicopter," said Frederic Boyer, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Goma.

Conflict erupted in the region in April when former rebels mutinied. The M23 militia, backed by rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, has fought against DRC forces since the revolt. He leads former rebels incorporated into the military under a 2006 peace deal.

Roger Meece, U.N. special envoy to DRC, said U.N. peacekeepers were on their way to Goma to help protect the city from advancing rebel forces. The BBC reports the DRC military took control over two towns in the region that were captured recently by M23.

Mutineers said they want to negotiate rather than take control over Goma, the British broadcaster adds.

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