Fighting by various factions, including foreign troops, is escalating in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country.
The Mission, known by its French acronym MONUC, today reported that armed groups and soldiers from Rwanda, Burundi and the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) are taking part in the intensified clashes, particularly around Fizi.
During a visit to Kinshasa earlier this month, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly appealed to Congolese President Joseph Kabila to exert all his influence to stop the fighting in the east.
During that visit, the Secretary-General had shared with the Government and the RCD rebel group his proposals for further MONUC deployments in the DRC in the context of the next phase of the peacekeeping operation.
Continued fighting would jeopardize the acceptance and implementation of those proposals, which have yet to be put to the Security Council, according to MONUC.