DR Congo

DR Congo: MONUC base near Rutshuru caught in heavy cross fire

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A base used by UN peacekeepers at Kiwanja two kilometres from Rutshuru and 65 kilometres to the north of Goma was caught in heavy cross-fire between CNDP (Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple) and Mayi Mayi Pareco combatants on Tuesday afternoon.. Uruguyan and Indian peacekeepers managed to rescue 12 members from a humanitarian assessment mission in the area since Monday to identify the urgent needs of displaced populations and vulnerable people. The humanitarian team was evacuated to a base of peacekeepers outside the combat zone. The assessment team left Goma on Monday morning with a first batch of medicines and water purification facilities, both disrupted in the Rutshuru area for several days. The town of Rutshuru has been occupied by CNDP forces for a week. MONUC peacekeepers have stayed in the area to protect civilians and allow humanitarian agencies access to vulnerable people.