Esperance Zawadi, 18, lies by her 11-month-old son Steve Kwizera in a tent set outside the Kibati hospital in Kibati, north of Goma, eastern Congo, Monday Aug. 6, 2012. Steve is under observation for symptoms of cholera. Doctors Without Borders' Christian Masudi said the lack of hygiene and the overpopulation of the area created by the influx of internally displaced people were key factors in the potential explosion of diseases such as cholera.
GOMA:The British charity Oxfam says hundreds of people are being killed and raped and homes are being torched in eastern Congo as militias take advantage of a security vacuum while the army fights a new rebellion.
Country director Elodie Martel calls it a humanitarian catastrophe. He says, "We have reached a new depth of misery in Congo's conflict when massacres go virtually unnoticed."
Some quarter million people have fled their homes.
Mutinying soldiers launched the M23 rebellion in April and now control huge swathes of mineral-rich east Congo. As Congo's army redeployed, new militias have sprung up and old ones are reasserting themselves in battles often aimed at gaining control of mines.