Insurgents retake eastern Congo town

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December 9, 2007
1. Wide of UN peacekeeper troops from the Mission of Nations United of Congo (MONUC) on patrol
2. Three troops on the back of truck
3. Tracking shot of Goma
December 8, 2007
4. Various of troops from Force Army of the Republic du Congo (FARDC) loading ammunition onto UN helicopter with MONUC soldiers
December 9, 2007
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Lieutenant-General Babacar Gaye, First commander of MONUC forces in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
"First of all we need to remind you that the core of our mandate is to protect the population, but also supporting the political process in the country and supporting the FARDC is part of our mandate. This support is a military facilitated one. One, we are evacuating all the casualties of the FARDC. We are providing them with a very important boost to their morale. One, we are providing them with air mobility through moving their ammunitions, transporting their reinforcements. This is very important – this is a very important enabler that we are providing them with."
6. Wide of FARDC and MONUC troops on truck singing as they prepare to go to the front line
7. Mid of troops singing
8. Mid of truck and soldiers standing by
9. Truck carrying troops driving away
December 7, 2007
10. Wide of Buhimba IDP camp
11. Mid of woman and child working among tents
12. Woman washing dishes in camp
13. Close-up of woman's hands
14. Woman washing dishes in plastic bucket with children nearby
15. Woman chopping up firewood
16. Set up of refugees at a clinic in the Buhimba IDP camp
17. SOUNDBITE: (Kiswahili) Mafuko Mowongo, refugee at the Buhimba IDP camp
"I know the one chasing us is Laurent Nkunda and he is fighting with Kabila, the president. Nkunda is the one chasing us. While we are fleeing, his soldiers are raping the women. If they meet them on the roads, they rape them, if they meet them in the farms they rape them, and that's why we are fleeing."
18. Various of mothers and children recently arrived at camp
Fighters loyal to a rogue general in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have retaken a key eastern town from the army, UN officials said on Tuesday, dealing a severe blow to a government offensive launched last week.
UN peacekeepers are joining forces with troops loyal to the DRC's president, Joseph Kabila, to defeat the rogue General Laurent Nkunda, but are suffering setbacks in their attempt to crush his rebellion.
The army had claimed a major victory when it took Mushake – a small eastern town perched on a hillside just 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of the provincial capital of Goma – from defector Nkunda's troops about a week ago.
But between Monday and Tuesday, Nkunda's troops retook positions around Mushake and in Mushake itself, according to Major Prem Kumar Tiwari, a spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in central Africa.
Tiwari said fighting continued outside Mushake, near the town of Karuba.
Army officials were not immediately available for comment, but they were quoted on local radio as confirming that Mushake had been retaken by Nkunda's men.
Gun battles were also audible outside the town of Sake, west of Goma, prompting most of its inhabitants to flee.
A spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme said they could see thousands of people on the road from Goma to Sake carrying their belongings.
Nkunda defected from Congo's army several years ago and formed his own militia soon after Congo's civil war ended in 2002. He said he needed to protect his minority Tutsi ethnic group from Rwandan Hutu rebels who have occupied forests in east Congo since fleeing Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

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