UNITED NATIONS, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Recent fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has displaced more than 20,000 people, UN humanitarians said Wednesday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said recent clashes between the DRC army and the rebel M23 group in North Kivu province forced residents in the Kibirizi area, about 120 kilometers from Goma, capital of the province, to flee their homes in surrounding villages.
An African Union endorsed ceasefire was scheduled to start on Tuesday.
Regional authorities and OCHA's humanitarian partners reported that in the past year more than 800,000 people have been affected by renewed fighting between Congolese forces and the M23.
The OCHA called on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, protect the civilian population, and secure access to populations in need of humanitarian assistance. ■