Thousands displaced in DR Congo ‘urgently need food’

 Thousands displaced in DR Congo ‘urgently need food’

More than 80,000 people displaced by clashes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are in urgent need of food, the UN says.

Fighting between government soldiers and March 23 Movement (M23) rebels has intensified in recent weeks in North Kivu province.

The clashes spread south early this week to about 20km (12 miles) from Goma town, the provincial capital.

Those displaced have fled to improvised sites, churches and schools, the UN office for humanitarian affairs, Ocha, says.

Humanitarian agencies fear the worst for the refugees if the hostilities continue.

In a statement on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the province’s governor said they were “faced with this very worrying situation”.

“The military governor of North Kivu province calls on the population to remain calm and vigilant and to not cede to panic,” Gen Sylvain Ekenge added.

M23 rebels were reported to be in control of positions about 25km from Goma town, although Gen Ekenge said the rebels were being pushed back.