November 3, 2008

U.N Workers Seek to Aid Congo Refugees

Overstretched United Nations peacekeepers say they are taking advantage of a cease-fire in the Democratic Republic of Congo to aid starving refugees.

The U.N. aid workers' most pressing concern is getting help to residents trapped behind the lines of the advance of Tutsi rebel chief Gen. Laurent Nkunda on the eastern Congo regional capital of Goma, the Times of London reported Monday. Tens of thousands of refugees who had been encamped near Rutshuru disappeared into the forests after being chased from their havens.

The city of Goma is also swollen with hundreds of thousands refugees, and the situation there remains desperate, with many people having gone without food for days and some willing to brave the front lines to make their way back to their homes, the Times said.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in Marseilles, France, Monday after a mission to the DR Congo with French counterpart Bernard Kouchner, was set to present his findings to fellow European Union ministers. Miliband was considering what Britain might be able to offer to help protect U.N. aid workers.