Violence has broken out in Congo as forces loyal to former Congolese General Laurent Nkunda launch attacks on government troops. These rebel forces are believed to be preparing a strike on the city of Goma. Only ten months ago, rebel groups met in Goma to sign a peace agreement. As a result of the rising violence, almost 45,000 refugees have fled to a U.N. refugee camp outside of the city. The U.N. is attempting to prevent forthcoming raids by deploying attack helicopters to the region.
Spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Sean McCormack, has stressed the United States’ support of U.N. peacekeeping efforts, and McCormack has urged Mr. Nkunda to resume talks with the DRC government. In a statement made on October 28, McCormack said, “The U.S. calls on all parties to the Goma Agreements and the Nairobi Communiqué to respect their commitments and renounce the use of arms.”
The United States has been a long-time supporter of the U.N.’s peacekeeping mission in Congo. Since 1998, the U.S. has delivered over $220 million in emergency aid to victims of the conflict, and has also played a role in efforts to enhance stability in Congo and surrounding regions.
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