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Killing of Congolese civilians highlights urgency of UN summit

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Bloomberg reports that Human Rights Watch put the total number of civilian deaths in Kiwanja at 20, with another 33 wounded, and notes that reports of the violence come as African heads of state met with UN officials in Kenya to try and restore peace to the region.

The summit in the capital, Nairobi, is being attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, Congolese President Joseph Kabila, and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, among other African leaders. New York-based Human Rights Watch said while a diplomatic solution to the crisis is being sought, civilians in the area "need urgent protection and security now."

CNN reports that the talks are meant to restore the ceasefire between Kinshasa and Congolese rebels, which has been undermined by a string of attacks, including that on Kiwanja. Mr. Ban called for the ceasefire to be restored.

The secretary-general "calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of forces to positions held prior to the resumption of fighting on 28 August," the statement said, referring to when the latest wave of fighting broke out.
Ban "urges the armed groups involved in the ongoing fighting to support the current efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in the eastern DRC and to avoid activities that result in the further displacement and suffering of the civilian population."
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