Ceasefire Calms Congo

10 dead as fleeing refugees run into brutal government soldiers
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 6:54 AM CDT
Congolese soldiers flee on motorbikes as thousands of displaced people stream into Goma in eastern Congo, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)
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(Newser) – Fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has eased after rebels declared a cease-fire, reports the Los Angeles Times. As paramilitary forces moved through the countryside, refugees flooded into the eastern city of Goma—only to face assault, rape and murder at the hands of the Congolese army. UN officials said that 10 people were shot to death and seven were wounded.

Refugees are now returning to their camps on the outskirts of Goma, and forces led by rebel leader Laurent Nkunda have remained outside the city. Nkunda, who says he is fighting to protect the minority Tutsi population, has demanded direct negotiations with the Congolese government. A representative from the US State Department has met with the government and will travel to Goma today.