DRC on edge after peace deal

Feb. 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM
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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A U.N. official said Thursday there were signs a peace deal signed recently for the Democratic Republic of Congo was being tested by renewed fighting.

At least 3,000 people have fled to a U.N. base near the eastern DRC border amid renewed fighting between Congolese troops and rebel forces.

DRC signed a regional peace agreement with fellow African nations in a deal heralded as an opportunity to put the country on the road to peace.

A U.N. official told Arab broadcaster al-Jazeera on condition of anonymity that he wouldn't be surprised if there was a "shootout" in the coming days in DRC. Al-Jazeera adds that internal feuds within the rebel March 23 Movement may be testing a tense situation in eastern DRC.

Around 800,000 civilians were displaced by fighting that began in May when M23 started a mutiny, accusing Kinshasa of reneging on a peace deal that saw former rebels integrated into the national military.

The U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC said it has close to 11,000 troops deployed to North Kivu and South Kivu provinces to monitor the situation.

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