Families flee renewed fighting between troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo army and M23 rebels near the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 24, 2012.
Congolese rebels and government forces started trading heavy weapons fire around two eastern Congo villages on July 20, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes toward the provincial capital. According to UN experts, the neighboring country of Rwanda—site of the 1994 mass murder of more than 800,000 people—is supporting the rebels.
The escalation in ongoing conflicts between Congo’s government forces and the rebels, called the M23, occured just days ahead of a regional summit due to address solutions to the rebellion.
Click through the gallery to see photos and consider the possible consequences of this conflict.
Photo: James Akena/Reuters