DRC refugees caught in the middle of war and cholera

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They have been 45 cholera cases reported in the refugee camp in Goma, in eastern DR Congo and the number could rise, aid agencies have warned.
According to reports, MSF doctor, Megan Hunter said people in the Kibati camp, close to Goma were living in very bad sanitary conditions where 45 people have been suspected of cholera since Friday.

‘All the risk factors are there for an explosion of a major epidemic,’ Ms Hunter said. There are also fears that the disease could be spread further if increased fighting causes infected people to run away from camps.

As news of the cholera outbreak that threatens thousands of people in the camps, news of fresh fighting’s have increased the tension amongst the civilians in Goma.

It is the first new fighting since African leaders called for a ceasefire during a summit in Nairobi on Friday. Reports claim that over 250,000 people have now fled the fighting between rebel forces of Gen Laurent Nkunda and pro-government militias.

Human rights groups have also criticized the UN for failing to prevent the killings even though there are 17,000 peacekeepers in DR Congo, that makes Monuc the UN’s largest mission in the world. However only a few hundred peacekeepers are in the areas affected by the latest violence.

The UN mission in the Congo, Monuc, have confirmed that a new front had opened up in the conflict while accusing both sides of war crimes, following the reported killing of several civilians in the eastern town of Kiwanja this week.

Fighting was reported near Ngungu, near Goma.

A UN spokesman said thousands of civilians had fled to a peacekeeping base to escape the fighting but that it was not clear how the clashes had started.

African leaders have however called for an immediate ceasefire and for UN peacekeepers to get greater powers.

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