Miliband and Kouchner continue Congo talks - UN food aid planned
British and French foreign ministers David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner continued their talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda Sunday amid reports of United Nations food aid planned for thousands of refugees in DR Congo's east, dpa reported.
Miliband and Kouchner had talks with DR Congo President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa, before meeting later with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in his capital, Kigali, in their efforts to restore peace agreements in the region and and bring about a local summit meeting.
Miliband said late Saturday it was up to the UN to ensure aid reached the tens of thousands of refugees forced to flee the fighting. The BBC later reported UN food and medical aid was planned for the estimated 250,000 displaced by the recent fighting.
"We are not at the moment looking at sending British troops to join the UN force," Miliband was quoted as telling reporters during a visit to a refugee camp in eastern Congo.
Earlier Saturday, reports said that the Congolese and Rwandan presidents had agreed to attend a regional summit aimed at resolving the conflict.
The European Union's Aid Commissioner Louis Michel, who held talks with both leaders, told the BBC that Kabila and Kagame had agreed to meet at a summit involving the African Union and other African leaders.
Michel flew into the DR Congo on Thursday in an attempt to defuse the conflict between Tutsi rebels and government forces, which blew up into four days of full-scale fighting earlier this week.
UN peacekeepers joined the battle, pounding Rebel Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) with helicopter gunships.
UN peacekeepers were, however, stretched to the limit by the fighting and the UN's top envoy in DR Congo, Alan Doss, has called for more troops to add to the 17,000 contingent already in the sprawling Central African nation.
Nkunda on Wednesday evening called a ceasefire as his troops were on the verge of taking the major city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday urged Nkunda to stick to the ceasefire and said the situation was "very threatening."
The ceasefire continued to hold Saturday, but fears were growing for the fate of the tens of thousands who fled the rebel advance.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR said the situation was "desperate." According to UNCHR, rebel forces forcibly emptied refugee camps and burned them to the ground during their advance on Goma.