Leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring Rwanda
have agreed to meet, as thousands flee the latest fighting along the
European Union Development and Humanitarian Aid
Commissioner Louis Michel says the presidents of both countries will
attend an emergency summit sponsored by the United Nations and the
Rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda declared a
cease-fire Wednesday, but not before advancing to within 15 kilometers
of the eastern Congolese city of Goma.
The U.N. refugee agency
says almost 4,000 people have fled to Rwanda and Uganda in
recent days. Agency spokesman Ron Redmond says without more resources,
conditions could soon deteriorate.
Meanwhile, French Foreign
Minister Bernard Kouchner and his British counterpart, David Miliband,
moved ahead with crisis talks, meeting Saturday with Congolese
President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa. They also will travel to Rwanda
for talks with President Paul Kagame.
Officials from the U.N. and the AU have been calling for a regional summit in an effort to end the crisis.
Congolese troops and rebel forces began a series of clashes in late August after the collapse of a January peace deal.
rebels say they are defending ethnic Tutsis in the region against
Rwandan Hutu fighters, who crossed into Congo after Rwanda's 1994
Congolese authorities have accused the Rwandan
government of backing Nkunda, and the two countries have accused each
other's troops of crossing the border and firing at each other in the
Meanwhile, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi
Pillay has condemned Congolese government troops for a spree of
looting, raping and killing in Goma on Wednesday. The U.N. said Friday
that 21 people were killed, including eight government soldiers shot
while engaging in looting.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.