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UN to Move Displaced People in Eastern Congo


The United Nations refugee agency says it is ready to move at least 30,000 displaced people in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to safer locations.

In a statement Tuesday, the agency says the displaced civilians are in camps around Kibati, an area north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

The camps are near the frontlines where rebels have been battling government troops and pro-government militias. A spokesman says residents live in fear of attacks and looting by soldiers in the conflict.

The U.N. says the first transfers will take the sick, the elderly and the young to four other camps on Goma's western outskirts.

Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program says food has been delivered to about 400,000 displaced people in the eastern DRC.

The WFP says its workers and the International Red Cross have distributed food in camps around Goma, the Masisi region controlled by rebel leader Laurent Nkunda, and open areas from which the rebels pulled back last week.

Nkunda's men and government forces have clashed repeatedly since late August, after the collapse of a peace deal. The fighting has displaced an estimated 250,000 people.

Results of a survey released Monday found that the fighting has led to many people being separated from their families. Save the Children Emergency officer George Graham said that two-thirds of those surveyed out of nearly 300 people polled claimed they had lost contact with at least one family member.