At least 37,000 people displaced amid resurgence of fighting in NE DR Congo

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KINSHASA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- At least 37,000 people have been displaced due to renewed clashes between the army and presumed fighters of the March 23 Movement (M23) since May 22 in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), said the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in a statement Friday.

Over the past few days, fighting has raged between the DRC army and presumed M23 rebels in DRC's northeastern North Kivu province, as violence has spread to the province's Nyiragongo Territory, forcing at least 37,000 people to flee their homes.

The IRC said that it is closely monitoring the situation on the ground. "The objective for now is to protect our teams who are providing humanitarian assistance in the areas affected by the clashes," said IRC's Country Director Adama Coulibaly. "The situation remains uncertain."

On the border with Uganda, at least 19,000 people remain deprived of vital assistance, as heavy fighting has disrupted aid delivery, according to the statement.

The M23 is a group of former rebels of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP). The name came from the March 23, 2009, agreement between the CNDP and the Congolese government. M23 leaders have accused the government of failing to respect that agreement. Enditem

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