Omar Kavota says the M23 rebels seized the town of Rutshuru Sunday. Kavota says the army looted during their retreat.
"We appeal to the international community to do something to protect the civilians who fled the fighting and are living in fear," he said.
Panicked residents were fleeing Rutshuru on Friday night amid reports that the rebels had advanced within shelling distance, according to a statement from the North Kivu Civil Society. Fears were heightened by the evacuation of U.N. and independent aid agencies, followed in the late afternoon by the retreat of Congolese army soldiers, it said.
An Indian peacekeeper was killed overnight on Thursday as M23 fighters attempted to take the town of Bunagana, said Madnodje Mounoubai, the United Nations spokesman in Congo.
Congo's two-year-long peace was shattered in April when an army unit led by Gen. Bosco Ntaganda defected.
They fled into the bush, where they regrouped as the M23 rebels, named for the date in March 2009 when the former rebels signed a deal with the Congolese government, a deal brokered as the army was in full retreat and the dissidents threatened to take the eastern provincial capital of Goma. Under the accord, the rebels were integrated into the very army they have now deserted once more.