The UN has announced it is withdrawing support for Congolese forces in the east of the country, while in the west thousands have fled the country.
5 Nov 2009 - 12:07 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 2:09 PM

There are reports that around 7000 people fleeing ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo crossed into the Congo Republic yesterday.

On Friday, 47 policeman died after two tribes clashed over farming and fishing rights, newspapers reported.

The news comes after the announcment by the United Nations that it would be withdrawing some of its support for Congolese army units operating in the east of the DRC - the other side of the country - saying that some soldiers have deliberately killed civilians.

According to Alain Le Roy, the UN peacekeeping chief, "civilians have been clearly targeted in attacks by certain elements" of the Congolese army.

In partciular, Le Roy referred to the Nord-Kivu province, where the army is fighting Rwandan militias - human rights groups have complained about the numbers of civilians being killed, while Le Roy referred to at least 62 being killed between May and September.

The UN has been providing assistance to the army in the eastern DRC since March, following a joint Rwandan and Congolese military operation against the Rwandan militias.