Congo rebellion is stretching peacekeeping force; troops stood by as major city overtaken

The U.N.'s special representative for Congo says the 19,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force there is being stretched by multiple rebel militias in the eastern part of the country.

Roger Meece made the assessment in a live videoconference linkup to the Security Council on Wednesday.

The council is assessing the performance of the MONUSCO peacekeeping force after 1,500 of its troops stood by Tuesday and let M23 rebels take the city of Goma without resistance.

U.N. helicopters over the weekend fired hundreds of rockets at the rebels in a bid to slow their advance on the city of 1 million.

U.N. officials say the commander in Goma ordered the peacekeepers not to shoot in order to avoid provoking a major firefight in the city.