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Fighting in eastern DR of Congo that forced thousands to flee appears to have stopped, UN says

20 December 2004 ? Fighting last week that caused tens of thousands people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to flee their homes appears to have stopped, the United Nations peacekeeping mission there said today.

According to the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), fresh fighting that broke out Sunday in the Lubero area of North Kivu was due to efforts by one faction of the national armed forces' 8th Military Region to push back another one from its positions.

Thirty-thousand people already had been driven out of Kanyabayonga last week, prompting the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to issue a statement yesterday warning that unless the fighting stopped, the massive displacement could have disastrous consequences for civilians, as it was too dangerous for relief organizations to deliver food aid.

MONUC has sent teams to investigate the latest developments on the ground.

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