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25,000 displaced as DR of Congo fighters confront Rwandan rebels, UN says

25,000 displaced as DR of Congo fighters confront Rwandan rebels, UN says

Clashes between forces from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and long-time Rwandan rebels, known as the Interahamwe and accused of taking a major part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, have uprooted about 25,000 people in South Kivu in the eastern DRC, the United Nations said today.

One military confrontation took place from 19 to 23 April around Lemera and Lubarika, in Uvira province, and another on 27 April around Lemera, leading to the displacement of an estimated 4,948 households, or about 25,000 persons, from five towns, the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Not yet included in the count, carried out by the non-governmental organization (NGO) CARITAS/Uvira, were members of 867 households who had returned from Burundi. The internally displaced persons have been crowded into shelters provided by host families - up to 10 families in each house, OCHA said.

Two OCHA missions went to the area and reported that enough basic necessities have been provided to last a couple of weeks.

The UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Resident Coordinator, Herbert McLeod, has discussed the situation with the DRC Minister of Solidarity and Humanitarian Affairs, Nzuzi wa Mbombo, OCHA said.

Meanwhile, the peacekeeping UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said it has broadened the deployment of its Kivu Brigade and increased its patrols.