Eastern DRC remains fragile, U.N. says

Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The United Nations remains concerned about the security and humanitarian situation despite a withdrawal of rebel forces from eastern DRC, a spokesman said.

March 23 movement rebels agreed to pull out of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in DRC, last weekend. The rebel group mutinied in early 2012, saying the government in Kinshasa had reneged on peace agreements.

Following the move, Moustapha Soumare, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for DRC, said at least 130,000 people were displaced by conflict in the region.

U.N. officials this week said there were reports of rape and widespread looting in areas where rebel fighting occurred. Martin Nesirky, a spokesman for the United Nations, said Congolese forces have returned to Goma. U.N. peacekeepers in South Kivu province are supporting DRC soldiers in their fight against rebel forces.

The Rwandan government is accused of supporting Congolese rebels. The government in Kigali denies the allegations, though the British government announced it was withholding financial aid in response to the concerns.

Nesirky said a U.N.-backed radio station was back on the air after its services were suspended by the DRC government. The airport in Goma reopened as well, he told reporters at the U.N. headquarters.

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