UN moves to contain situation following clashes in eastern DR Congo

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Eduardo Del Buey

The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) is taking diplomatic steps to end clashes between rebels and government forces in the eastern part of the country.

Heavy fighting is reported to have broken out between government forces and M23 fighters for the first time since the rebels pulled out of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, last year.

UN Deputy Spokesperson says MONUSCO is concerned about this incident.

"The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo informs that early this Monday morning, fighting broke out in the localities of Kibati and Rusayo, some 12 kilometers from Goma, between combatants of the M23 armed groups and soldiers of the Congolese armed forces. The Mission reports that initial skirmishes escalated to the use of heavy calibre weapons, mortars and rocket launchers. MONUSCO also adds that, according to reports, the Congolese army used attack helicopters in one of their operations."

The clashes in the DR Congo have occurred on the eve of a joint visit to the region by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jin Yong Kim.

The aim of the visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda is to support the implementation of a peace agreement signed by African leaders in February to bring peace to the Great Lakes Region.

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration; 1'25"

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