Clashes force evacuation of MSF team in DRC town

Following armed clashes, a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) team has been forced to evacuate temporarily the town of Kilwa in the south-eastern Congolese province of Katanga.

The team was awoken by gunfire on the night of October 13-14 by assailants who disarmed the local armed forces before declaring the independence of the troubled province.

However much about the events remains unclear.

"For the moment it is difficult to even identify the group who carried out the attack," said Luc Nicolas, MSF co-ordinator for the Great Lakes. "And reports have indicated that anywhere between nine and 150 civilians have been killed and that many more have been displaced."

As such, a two-person MSF exploration team is returning to the area to investigate requirements for aid among the population in the aftermath of the incident.

"This area is situated on the old front line in the DRC and this is only the latest in a long line of incidents over the past months and years," Luc Nicolas, MSF co-ordinator for the Great Lakes. "Each clash results in yet another population displacement, meaning an increase in precarious situation of these already impoverished local people."

MSF supports a reference hospital and a health centre in the town of Kilwa