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DR Congo premier visits Goma amid concern for displaced



The Democratic Republic of Congo's newly-appointed prime minister headed to rebel-threatened Goma on Tuesday, amid growing international concern for more than a million people displaced by fighting in the region.

Adolphe Muzito, tasked last week with leading a government of "combat and reconstruction" by President Joseph Kabila Joseph Kabila Kabange (born June 4, 1971), known commonly as Joseph Kabila, became president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ten days after the murder of his father, in January 2001. , was aiming to "comfort the population," an aide said.

Overstretched o·ver·stretch  
v. o·ver·stretched, o·ver·stretch·ing, o·ver·stretch·es

v.tr.
1. To stretch excessively; overstrain.

2. To stretch or extend over.

v.intr.
 UN forces are struggling to protect civilians in the Goma area after government forces were routed by advancing rebels who have stopped outside the town.

With the UN now putting the number of displaced people in eastern DR Congo at more than one million, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Ban Ki-Moon (bän kē-mn), 1944–, South Korean diplomat, secretary-general of the United Nations (2007–), b. Chungju, grad. Seoul National Univ. (B.S.  said he would also visit the region amid escalating diplomatic efforts to prevent a humanitarian crisis A humanitarian crisis (or "humanitarian disaster") is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area.  from worsening.

Ban said he would hold talks with Kabila and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, whose country has been accused by Kinshasa of supporting a rebel offensive which has seen government forces routed across eastern DR Congo.

Ban, who named Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo as his special envoy to the region, said the two presidents were willing to meet with him "possibly this week or early next week."

He said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (born October 7 1950) is a Tanzanian politician and current President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Kikwete was born in Msoga, Bagamoyo District, Tanzania or as it was then known, Tanganyika. , the current chair of the African Union, was set to convene a regional summit in Nairobi some time this month.

UNICEF UNICEF (y`nĭsĕf'), the United Nations Children's Fund, an affiliated agency of the United Nations.  reported Tuesday that children have been forcibly recruited into armed groups in rebel-held areas of eastern DR Congo.

The UN Children's organisation said it had received reports from aid workers that 37 children had been recruited into the Mai-Mai armed groups in the Rutshuru region north of regional capital Goma.

Aid agencies were Tuesday battling outbreaks of cholera among tens of thousands of displaced people scattered in four camps in the eastern Nord-Kivu province, more than 100 to date but with the number growing by up to 10 new cases a day.

"There have been 69 cases of cholera in the four displaced persons camps around Goma over the past week, and 20 in Kitchanga. In Buturande, near Rutshuru, there are five to 10 new cases per day," French medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF MSF Manufacturing, Science, and Finance (Union)  - Doctors Without Borders Doctors Without Borders, Fr. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), international organization that provides emergency medical assistance to people suffering from a natural or societal disaster, such as an earthquake or war. ) said.

UN workers distributed water and biscuits to refugees at the Kibati camp on the northern outskirts of Goma on Tuesday, an AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol.  photographer reported, amid concerns over the whereabouts of people who have fled other camps.

Aid workers delivering water and medical supplies to Rutshuru in the north found camps for displaced people emptied and razed raze also rase  
tr.v. razed also rased, raz·ing also ras·ing, raz·es also ras·es
1. To level to the ground; demolish. See Synonyms at ruin.

2. To scrape or shave off.

3.
 to the ground on Monday, following reports last week that rebels had looted and burned them out, causing 50,000 people to flee.

The UN said on Monday that "up to 100,000 people" including 60,000 children, had fled the fighting in the past week alone, adding that 250,000 had been displaced since the resumption of fighting at the end of August.

It said the total number of displaced by years of fighting in the region was over one million, or 20 percent of the entire Nord Kivu population.

While a tentative ceasefire declared by the rebels last Wednesday continued to hold, the rebels accused the government in Kinshasa of declaring "war on its people" by refusing their demands for peace talks.

Rebel spokesman Bertrand Bisimwa said the Kinshasa government "confirmed its militarist position" by refusing the parliament's recommendation of direct dialogue with Laurent Nkunda's National Council for the Defence of the People (CNDP CNDP Centre National de Documentation Pédagogique (French: National Centre for Educational Documentation)
CNDP Computer Network Defense Policy
), which has observed a unilateral ceasefire since Wednesday.

Nkunda, whose forces are at the gates of Goma, says he is protecting fellow Tutsis from Rwandan Hutu rebels who infiltrated eastern Congo following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Nkunda has threatened to overthrow the government in Kinshasa if they refuse to negotiate.

Analysts say there is little doubt that Kigali, frustrated by Kinshasa's failure to disarm a Rwandan Hutu rebel group harbouring key perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda, assists Nkunda.

Ban said Obasanjo "will work with the leaders of the region and the international community to bring about a lasting political solution (in eastern DRC DRC Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC Down (Stage) Right Center
DRC Director(ate) of Reserve Components
DRC Disability Rights Commission (United Kingdom) 
)."
Copyright 2008 AFP Global Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Nov 4, 2008
Words:678
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