The United Nations security council has agreed to send 3,000 additional peacekeepers to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to protect the civilian population from protracted fighting in the eastern North Kivu region. The UN already has 17,000 blue helmets in the country but only 6,000 are currently deployed in the conflict area. However, it is not clear where the additional troops will come from.

Over 250,000 people have been displaced by fighting in the region north of Goma as forces loyal to the rebel leader Laurent Nkunda battle the Congolese army and the pro-government Mai Mai militia. Nkunda claims he is protecting his ethnic Tutsi community from attack by Hutu extremists who fled to eastern DRC from neighbouring Rwanda following the 1994 genocide.

However at the heart of the conflict are the region