DC CONGO - The UN says it has credible reports that camps sheltering 50,000 displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been destroyed, reported BBC. Reports suggest the camps were forcibly emptied and looted before being burned, the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, said. Aid groups say they are struggling to reach an estimated 250,000 people in the region fleeing fierce fighting between government and rebel forces. Intense diplomatic efforts are under way to end the crisis. A ceasefire is holding in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, but aid agency chiefs say the situation remains highly volatile. Food and water are terribly scarce, and aid agencies have all but stopped work, says the BBC's Peter Greste in Goma. Rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda's forces are positioned some 15km from the city. The origin of the ongoing conflict in eastern DR Congo is the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda.  Gen Nkunda says he is fighting to protect his Tutsi community from attack by the rebels, some of whom are accused of taking part in the genocide. The Congolese government has often promised to stop Hutu forces from using its territory, but has not done so.   There have also been accusations of collusion between DR Congo's army and Hutu guerrillas.   The Congolese government, for its part, has accused Rwanda of backing Gen Nkunda.  Rwanda denies this, but it has twice invaded its much larger neighbour in recent years. The UNHCR said it was very concerned at reports that the camps in Rutshuru, 90km north of Goma, had been destroyed. Meanwhile, shortages of food and water in Goma are leading thousands of people who sought refuge there to leave, heading to the village of Kibati, about 12km to the north. Our correspondent in Goma says the road from the city is choked with human misery. For mile after mile, it is full of families bent forward with their lives on their backs: stoves, food, clothes, bedding and children. "The whole population in Goma, and around Goma are feeling extremely unsafe," Red Cross spokesman Marcal Izard told the BBC.   A Congolese aid worker based in Goma, Godefroid Marhenge, told the BBC that some displaced people were "in desperate need of humanitarian assistance". Gen Nkunda said on Thursday that he was opening a "humanitarian corridor" for people to return to their homes. Our correspondent said that instead of an open corridor, he found people hurrying back to Goma.  "Someone has been shooting at us," one breathless woman said. "We can't go any further." But those who did reach Kibati told the BBC that they had more chance of getting food in the forests and bushes around the village than inside Goma. Aid workers have begun to distribute water to the new arrivals.  Gen Nkunda has threatened to take Goma unless UN peacekeepers guarantee the ceasefire and security there. The UN has more than 17,000 peacekeeping troops in DR Congo - the largest UN force in the world - but correspondents say it is struggling to cope with the crisis. Looting, killings and rapes were reported in the city on Thursday, much of it blamed on retreating Congolese troops. Meanwhile, intense diplomatic efforts are going on in a bid to maintain the ceasefire: The parliament in DR Congo has called on the government to negotiate with Gen Nkunda, although President Joseph Kabila has previously refused to do so. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is "deeply concerned" about the situation. EU diplomats meeting in Brussels failed to agree on whether to send troops to back up UN peacekeepers. French FM Bernard Kouchner and his British counterpart, David Miliband, are preparing to travel to the country. An African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council is to hold crisis talks at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.