European and African officials held crisis talks last night to avert a complete meltdown in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the civil war risks degenerating into genocide. The diplomatic push came as Laurent Nkunda, the Tutsi general, led 10,000 rebels into battle in a province bordering Rwanda, which supports him. Thousands of refugees have been displaced once again, and the UN called the humanitarian situation "catastrophic."
Refugees have been roaming the bush in eastern Congo, fleeing both Nkunda's rebels and the Congolese army, which has been raping and killing displaced citizens. The EU and African Union want to broker a peace deal between the presidents of Congo and Rwanda, which may help calm rebel activity in the border zone. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband this morning called a troop deployment "possible."