Tragedy looms in DR Congo - Tens of thousands of people fleeing fighting (Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News)
" ... there is a new and urgent human emergency unfolding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.October 28, 2008 (Channel 4 News, UK) report by Lindsey Hilsum - Rwandan genocide haunts Congo:
The pictures of tens of thousands of people fleeing fighting are heart-rending. The core of what’s happening is the advance of Rwanda-backed rebels towards the main city of Goma. The UN is pulling out and retreating from its positions, and civilians are once again on the move.
So once again this deeply unstable country, largely ignored by the outside world, has been pushed to the brink of terrible tragedy. Our international editor Lindsey Hilsum will have the story. And we are inviting various international figures to appear on our programme tonight."
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The Democratic Republic of Congo slips back towards all-out war as the biggest UN peacekeeping force in the world fails to thwart rebel fighters.
A human emergency is unfolding in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Rwandan-backed rebels close in on the strategic city of Goma, despite attacks from peacekeepers in helicopter gunships.
Government troops are retreating in tanks, lorries and on foot, and tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing a rebel army with a reputation for brutality.
The rebels are advancing on the town of Rutshuru, 60 miles north of Goma. Their leader, General Laurent Nkunda, has vowed to seize Goma to protect the minority Tutsi population from Hutus who escaped from neighbouring Rwanda after the 1994 genocide.
The 17,000-strong UN force has been firing on them from helicopters, but there is no sign of it stopping their advance.
Tens of thousands of refugees are on the move. Aid agencies say many are malnourished and even dying of hunger.
Photo: Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo flee ahead of advancing Tutsi rebels on the road between Goma and Kibati. Click on Congo refugees for Channel 4 News' full-screen picture of the day.
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