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"We thought we were going to die"- displaced woman in DRC

Sunday, Sep 01, 2013 - 01:33

Sept. 1 - Residents of eastern DR Congo, displaced by fighting between M23 rebels and the Congolese army, attend Sunday mass and recount their ordeal. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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A church house becomes a sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As fighting rages in the countryside they left behind they join a church service. A pastor offers blessings to those who cling to what they can after they became displaced by fighting. The Congolese army backed by a U.N. brigade forced M23 rebels to retreat from positions they have held for months overlooking the eastern city of Goma. (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) DISPLACED WOMAN, AGNES BIZIMUNGU, SAYING: "We heard gunfire outside our house and thought we were all going to die. We gathered all the children together and ran for our lives." Many now survive on what they can. (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) PASTOR HOSTING DISPLACED IN CHURCH, BENJAMIN MUNGUIKO, SAYING: "They ran away without anything and we are hosting them in our church because they have no place else to go. Parents and their kids are all spending the nights on the floor of the church without anything to cover themselves." Some shells fired during recent fighting landed in Rwanda, threatening to pull the country into the conflict. Both Congo's army and rebels accuse the other of firing the missiles, raising fears that Rwanda might openly intervene in a country where it has fought two wars in the last two decades.

"We thought we were going to die"- displaced woman in DRC

Sunday, Sep 01, 2013 - 01:33

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