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As rebel soldiers have advanced on Goma in the past two days, they have sent before them a wave of refugees and fleeing government soldiers. Whole refugee camps have emptied out and begun the march into Goma. It is estimated that 45,000 people have been displaced in the area in the last couple days. Relief agencies are largely unable to operate because of the ongoing fighting, leaving tens of thousands exhausted and scared refugees to arrive at the outskirts of Goma with nothing in place to aid them.
Along with the refugees have come the fleeing government soldiers. Most of the soldiers passed through Goma and headed South. This caused wide scale panic in Goma. The UN forces remain in Goma and continue to hold positions and try to maintain some level of security. Rebel forces reached the edge of town and then pulled back and supposedly declared a unilateral ceasefire. Over the night there was wide spread looting and shooting. As we talk to people this morning, it appears that some government soldiers returned to Goma in the night and soldiers along with police tried to regain some measure of control, as rebel soldiers remained on the outskirts of town.