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UN Reports New Fighting in DRC's North Kivu Province

The United Nations reports new fighting has broken out in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu region.

The U.N. Mission to Congo says the fighting broke out Saturday near the village of Bunagana north of the regional capital, Goma. They say local militias there are battling forces loyal to dissident General Laurent Nkunda.

Earlier this week Congolese President Joseph Kabila said the military has orders to use force if necessary to disarm the renegade general and his followers. The rebels responded by saying say they will not surrender or integrate into the Congolese army without negotiations with the president.

General Nkunda says his forces are trying to protect ethnic Tutsis from Rwandan Hutu rebels who entered the region after Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Congo's government has tried for several years to subdue militias and rebel groups in the country's volatile eastern regions.

Nkunda and his soldiers have fought against government troops since 2004. Despite a United Nations-mediated cease-fire, fighting flared again in August, displacing tens of thousands of people.

The army says it has killed about 100 rebels in recent confrontations.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.