Friday, 31 October 2008

Friday pictures from Goma

These are Friday's pictures from the BBC Africa website. With virtually all the NGOs being withdrawn from Goma at the moment it's getting harder to find out what's going on.

Tens of thousands of people are fleeing Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo amid chaotic scenes after a rebel advance on the city and overnight looting by government forces.
UN troops are now patrolling the city, and Congolese police are trying to arrest retreating soldiers whom the UN says are out of control.

The atmosphere in the city is said to be calm but tense after a night of attacks on people's homes and shops by Congolese troops, who were driven back into Goma from the frontline by Tutsi rebels.

Shots were fired and UN radio said nine people were killed - these women are mourning two of the alleged victims.

As the exodus continues, the UN Security Council has urged rebel leader Laurent Nkunda, whose forces are just outside Goma, to ensure that his declared ceasefire is implemented immediately

The UN also condemned the fighting which has left thousands without access to shelter or clean water

Bruce's comments:

We appear to have some sort of cease fire operating around Goma at the moment. That's good news, of course, but it's a desperately fragile situation and the shooting could resume at any moment. At last it appears as if the U N are maintaining a high profile and curbing the excesses of both rebels and the regular Congolese army. The Americans are accusing Rwanda not of sending their army into DRC but of giving support to Nkunda. This has led to immediate forceful denials from Kigali, who in turn claim that a Rwanda helicopter was shot at while over Rwandan airspace when patrolling the border.

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