Fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels has intensified in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after six months of relative calm.
The clashes have triggered a new wave of displacement in the territories of Rutshuru and Masisi.
Congolese government forces backed by a coalition of militiamen known as Wazalendo have been fighting the M23 rebels in North Kivu province since last month.
The fighting has escalated in the country’s east and led to the loss of many lives and property.
Local officials say both sides have been firing heavy weapons at each other’s positions.
Burundian soldiers deployed to oversee a ceasefire are reported to have withdrawn from their bases due to the escalating violence.
The United Nations says more than 200 000 people have fled their homes since October.
Leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recently held a meeting in Angola to discuss the deteriorating security situation in eastern DRC.
They gave their strategic guidance for the deployment of SADC troops in eastern DRC to restore peace and security.
Currently, troops from Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda are based in the troubled region under the East African Community Regional Force.
However, the Congolese government has expressed its disappointment at that force for failing to fight against the M23 rebels.
The clashes in eastern DRC have intensified as the country prepares to hold elections in December.