The humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo is escalating.

The armed conflict in North Kivu province between the March 23 Movement (M23) and the Congolese army (FARDC) has intensified, with devastating consequences for civilians. The fighting, which had previously been confined to Rutshuru territory, has spread to Masisi territory, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee for the provincial capital of Goma.

“The conflict is nearing densely populated urban areas, which is extremely concerning,” says Pascal Hundt, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “The ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict that they must respect international humanitarian law, including by taking every feasible precaution to protect civilians and civilian objects from combat.”

Clashes between M23 combatants and the FARDC have erupted again on a large scale, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee.

ICRC is reporting.