United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon encouraged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring nations (namely, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and South Africa) to take “urgent measures to contain the present crisis created by the upsurge of fighting in eastern DRC” at a UN-backed summit hosted by the African Union on November 7. He expressed deep concern at fresh fighting in the province of North Kivu between Government forces (FARDC) and the National Congress in Defence of the People (CNDP) and stressed that the escalation of violence would be felt not only by the Congolese people but across the region. He called for efforts to broker a political solution, which would involve a ceasefire, disengagement of troops, and disarmament of armed groups. In addition, he requested that the Security Council add 3,000 troops to reinforce the 17,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in the DRC, known as MONUC. Currently, 5,000 peacekeepers are in North Kivu, trying to carry out MONUC’s mandate to protect civilians from the violence. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the total number of internally displaced people in North Kivu since September is now estimated at 252,000, in addition to the existing 800,000 displaced from earlier hostilities.
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