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UN demands a halt to Congo violence

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November 17, 2012 06:23 PM EST | AP

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council is demanding an immediate stop to the violence in eastern Congo and says it will increase sanctions against rebels who attacked the Congolese army.

The Security Council held an emergency meeting on Saturday, after M23 rebels, backed by Rwandan forces, clashed with the Congolese army following a months-long lull in the violence. U.N. attack helicopters responded by bombarding the rebels.

In its press statement, the council also asked that the rebels stop their advance toward the provincial capital of Goma.

The council also said that any attempts to "undermine" the U.N. forces' mandate, which includes protecting civilians, "will not be tolerated."

France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud says "We must stop the M23" because Goma's fall "would, inevitably, become a humanitarian crisis."