"Attacked by All Sides"

Civilians and the War in Eastern Zaire

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Nearly 100,000 people, most of them Rwandans once resident in the camps of eastern Zaire, have fled to a site near Ubundu, where their further flight is blocked by the Zaire River. Among them are thousands of unarmed noncombatants as well as soldiers of the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR, Forces Armées Rwandaises) and militia responsible for the genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994. In addition several thousand refugees remain at Amisi and Shabunda with untold numbers of others scattered in the forest. The ruthless disregard of the rights of civilians, including the right to life, by all armed parties in this conflict raises fears that the noncombatants at Ubundu and elsewhere will once more be attacked, with large-scale loss of life. Many also risk death by hunger or disease unless they are provided with prompt humanitarian relief.