Central and Eastern Africa : IRIN update from 97.11.17 to 15.01.98

Central and Eastern Africa : IRIN update from 97.11.17 to 15.01.98

U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) Central and Eastern Africa Sommaire / Contents CENTRAL AND EA...

922KB Sizes 0 Downloads 21 Views

Recommend Documents

CYBERSECURITY IN CENTRAL EASTERN EUROPE: FROM
Keywords: cybersecurity policy, civil-military approach, securitization, .... 2008, Estonia's defence forces have also h

Financial Literacy to Facilitate Access to Finance in Eastern Africa
Feb 5, 2016 - Financial Literacy (FL) is an important prerequisite for coffee farmers to manage their business efficient

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN
exposure and the ac vity of the likes of Abu Dhabi. Investment Authority or China Investment Corpora on). may par all

CENTRAL AFRICA (III) NYASALAND AND FEDERATION
Congress and Federation. It was in the last quarter of 1944 that Africans from all over. Nyasaland, conscious of the nee

Women and Development in Africa: From Marginalization to Gender
This article examines the role ofwomen in economic and political development, attempts made by women to overcome their s

Democratization and Security in Central and Eastern Europe and the
at the peak of the so-called “third wave of democratization. ... 3 According to Samuel P. Huntington the “third wave

Central & Eastern European Strategy - RCB
Mar 30, 2016 - Romanian leu. RSD. Serbian dinar. RUB. Russian rouble. TRY. Turkish lira. UAH. Ukrainian hryvnia. Economi

Central & West Africa - Allan & Associates
mispricing by international mining companies due to allegations concerning its highly lucrative Koidu diamond mine. Furt

Integration of Central and Eastern European and the Euro-Area
ultimately, to the widening government bond spreads in the euro area during the recent financial crisis (Monfort and Ren

economic transition in central and eastern europe and the - Opus
ECONOMIC TRANSITION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND. THE FORMER SOVIET UNION: WHICH POLICIES WORKED. *. COLIN LAWSON A

U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

Central and Eastern Africa Sommaire / Contents

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 293 97.11.17.......................................................6 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 296 97.11.20.....................................................10 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 31-97 14-20 NOV 1997....................14 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 297 97.11.21.....................................................20 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 298 97.11.24.....................................................25 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 299 97.11.25.....................................................30 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: BACKGROUND BRIEF ON FLOODS 97.11.25...........................34 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 300 97.11.26.....................................................37 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 301 97.11.27.....................................................41 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 32-97 21-27 NOV 1997....................45 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 302 97.11.28.....................................................51 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 303 97.12.1.......................................................55 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 304 97.12.2.......................................................59 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 305 97.12.3......................................................63 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 306 97.12.4......................................................67 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 33-97 28 NOV - 4 DEC....................71 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 307 97.12.5.......................................................77 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN BACKGROUND BRIEF ON LANDMINES 6 DEC...............81 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 308 97.12.8.......................................................84 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 309 97.12.9.......................................................88 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 310 97.12.10.....................................................91 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 311 97.12.11.....................................................94

1

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 34-97 5-11 DEC 1997......................97 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 312 97.12.12...................................................101 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 313 13-15 DEC 97.12.15...................................104 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 314 16 DEC 97.12.16.......................................108 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 315 16 DEC 97.12.17.......................................112 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN BRIEFING ON WATER HYACINTH 97.12.17...................115 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 316 18 DEC 97.12.18.......................................120 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 35-97 12-18 DEC 1997..................123 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 317 19 DEC 97.12.19.......................................128 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 318 22 DEC 97.12.22 (FWD).............................131 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 319 23 DEC 97.12.23.......................................135 AFRICA: UN SECRETARY-GENERAL'S REPRESENTATIVES 97.12.24..........................................138 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 321 97.12.29...................................................140 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 322 FOR 30 DEC 97.12.30...............................143 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 322 FOR 30 DEC 97.12.30...............................147 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: UPDATE 323 FOR 31 DECEMBER 97.12.31............................151 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 1-98 19 DEC 1997-1......................154 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: UPDATE 324 FOR 2 JANUARY 98.1.2...................................159 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 325 FOR 3-5 JAN 98.1.5..................................162 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 326 FOR 6 JAN 98.1.6.....................................166 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 327 FOR 7 JAN 98.1.7.....................................169 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 328 FOR 8 JAN 98.1.8.....................................173 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 329 FOR 9 JAN 98.1.9.....................................177 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 2-98 2 JAN-8 JAN.........................180 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 330 FOR 10-12 JAN 98.1.12.............................186 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 331 FOR 13 JAN 98.1.13..................................190 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 333 FOR 15 JAN 98.1.15..................................193 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 3-98............................................197 9-15 JAN 98.1.16.........................................................................................................................197

2

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 334 FOR 16 JAN 98.1.16..................................201 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 335 FOR 17-19 JAN 98.1.19.............................205 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 336 FOR 20 JAN 98.1.20..................................209 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 337 FOR 21 JAN 98.1.21..................................213 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 338 FOR 22 JAN 98.1.22..................................217 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 4-98 16-22 JAN 98.1.23.................219 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 339 FOR 23 JAN 98.1.23..................................224 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 340 FOR 24-26 JAN 98.1.26.............................227 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 341 FOR 27 JAN 98.1.27..................................231 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: DOCUMENTS DISTRIBUTED BY IRIN 98.1.28.......................235 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 342 FOR 28 JAN 98.1.28..................................237 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 343 FOR 29 JAN 98.1.29..................................241 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 5-98............................................244 23-29 JAN 98.1.30.......................................................................................................................244 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 344 FOR 30 JAN 98.1.30..................................250 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 345 FOR 31 JAN-2 FEB 98.2.2..........................253 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 346 FOR 3 FEB 98.2.3.....................................257 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 347 FOR 4 FEB 98.2.4.....................................261 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 348 FOR 5 FEB 98.2.5.....................................265 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 6-98 30 JAN-5 FEB.......................269 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 349 FOR 6 FEB 98 98.2.6.................................275 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 350 FOR 7-9 FEB 98.2.9..................................279 CENTRAL AFRICA: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH URGES ARMS COMMISSION 98.2.4......................283 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 351 FOR 10 FEB 98.2.10..................................285 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 352 FOR 11 FEB 98.2.11 (FWD).......................289 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 353 FOR 12 FEB 98.2.12..................................292 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 7-98............................................295 6-12 FEB 98.2.13.........................................................................................................................295 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 354 FOR 13 FEB 98.2.13..................................300

3

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 355 14-16 FEB 98.2.16 (FWD)...........................304 AFRICA: DEBT BURDEN 17.2.98.................................................................................................308 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 356 FOR 17 FEB 98.2.17..................................315 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 356 - CORRECTION........................................319 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 357 FOR 18 FEB 98.2.18..................................320 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 358 FOR 19 FEB 98.2.19..................................324 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 8-98............................................327 13-19 FEB 98.2.20.......................................................................................................................327 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 360 FOR 21-23 FEB 98.2.23.............................333 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 361 FOR 24 FEB 98.2.24..................................337 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 362 FOR 25 FEB 98.2.25..................................340 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 363 FOR 26 FEB 98.2.26..................................344 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 9-98............................................347 20-26 FEB 98.2.27.......................................................................................................................347 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 364 FOR 27 FEB 98.2.27..................................353 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 365 FOR 28 FEB-2 MAR 98.3.2........................356 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 366 FOR 3 MAR 98.3.3...................................361 CENTRAL AFRICA: UN LAUNCHES US $550 MILLION APPEAL 98.3.4........................................364 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 367 FOR 4 MAR 98.3.4...................................366 GREAT LAKES: UNHCR LAUNCHES US $159 MILLION APPEAL 98.3.4.......................................370 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 368 FOR 5 MAR 98.3.5...................................372 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 10-98 27 FEB-5 MAR....................375 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 369 FOR 6 MAR 98.3.6...................................380 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 370 FOR 7-9 MAR 98.3.9.................................383 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 371 FOR 10 MAR 98.3.10................................388 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 372 FOR 11 MAR 98.3.11................................392 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 373 FOR 12 MAR 98.3.12................................396 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN WEEKLY ROUND-UP 11-98 6-12 MAR 98.3.13................399 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 374 FOR 13 MAR 98.3.13................................405

4

CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 375 FOR 14-16 MAR 98.3.16............................408 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 376 FOR 17 MAR 98.3.17................................412 CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN UPDATE 377 FOR 18 MAR 98.3.18................................415

5

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 18:41:23 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 293 97.11.17 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 293 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 15-17 November 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Hutus expelled from east Humanitarian sources report that the Burundian and Rwandan armies, with the backing of the DRC authorities, have begun a sweep to expel Hutus settled around Uvira and Bukavu. More than 2,000 people have been rounded up in the past two weeks and taken across either the Burundian or Rwandan border. Among them are old-caseload refugees who have been in the country since 1959. Some Congolese have also been caught up in the purge. The sweep was described as "very systematic" with people picked up from their homes and taken to a holding centre before being deported with "little but their clothes on their back." Sources said that panicked refugees have taken to sleeping in the bush. One aid worker told IRIN: "the authorities continue to tell us they are infiltrators, thieves, who have been stealing cattle. But surely five-year-old children are not infiltrators, thieves or bandits." The Burundians have been transported to the troubled northern provinces of Cibitoke and Bubanza. "It is not exactly clear what's happening when they are sent back," one source said. A senior Burundian government official said he was not aware of the reports. UN mission fails to meet government The UN human rights mission to DRC failed to meet with the Kinshasa authorities on Monday as scheduled. The meeting with the government's liaison committee was postponed to a later date. "No date was given for this meeting", AFP quoted UN team spokesman Jose Diaz as saying.

6

DRC pulls out of Francophonie President Laurent-Desire Kabila announced at the weekend he will pull the DRC out of the Francophonie group of countries. "The Democratic Republic of Congo refuses to be part of any cultural bloc whatsoever, and does not want to belong to any French sphere of influence," he said on state television. Kabila described the Francophonie as an "extension of neocolonialism", news agencies reported. French President Jacques Chirac said at the Francophonie summit in Hanoi that the DRC's decision was a matter for the organisation's new secretary-general, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The DRC is the largest and most populated francophone country in Africa. BURUNDI: New rebel group kills nine At least nine people were killed and 10 wounded when an armed gang carried out an attack on Thursday night at Kinyami in Cibitoke, state radio reported. The radio identified the attackers as belonging to the "Benjamin" group. According to AFP, the group is named after its leader Benjamin, who fought in the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD). He is said to have stolen arms from the CNDD before starting his own group. The gang is believed responsible for the killing of 50 civilians in Cibitoke since last month. RWANDA: Government battling 15,000 rebels The Rwandan army is confronting over 15,000 rebels in the country's northwest, the region's army commander told AFP. Colonel Kayumba Nyamwase said that among the 1.3 million refugees who returned to Rwanda from the DRC and Tanzania were "over 5,000 ex-FAR" soldiers. Since the end of 1996, "only 10 to 15 percent of them are still at home," Kayumba said. "The others are fighting us." Over 30 reported massacred in northwest More than 30 people died on Thursday when gunmen in civilian clothes attacked a market in Giciye, in the northwestern Gisenyi region. Radio Rwanda reported on Saturday that the "bandits" also killed two children in a raid on a girls secondary school. They then fled into the Gishwati forest after clashing with the army. On Friday, two civilians were killed and five vehicles destroyed in a rebel ambush six km from Ruhengeri on the road to Gisenyi. Humanitarian sources told IRIN it was the closest an attack has come to Ruhengeri in several months. Meanwhile, at least 66 people, mostly civilians, have died since the beginning of October in the continuing insecurity in western Rwanda, AFP reported sources as saying on Friday. The stepped-up fighting in the region is related to the army's "growing military presence in the northwest, which is forcing the rebels to move southwards," one western analyst told the news agency. In recent weeks, tracts urging Hutu armed struggle and the massacre or expulsion of minority Tutsis have begun appearing in the northwest.

7

ANGOLA: UN halts demobilisation in Jamba The UN said on Friday it was halting the demobilisation of troops from the former rebel movement UNITA in the southern town of Jamba following an assault on two UN staff. A Zambian soldier and a UN employee handling the reintegration of civilians were wounded on Wednesday by UNITA supporters, AFP said. The UN announced it had lodged a strong protest with UNITA. Meanwhile, the government on Friday accused UNITA of shelling several villages in the southern province of Huila forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes. UNITA for its part claimed Luanda was preparing to attack the northern districts of Kimbele and Makele do Zombo "to impose state rule there by force," AFP reported. KENYA: Flooding threatens thousands with hunger The privately-owned 'Sunday Nation' said that "thousands of people" in the northeastern Tana River District are "facing starvation" following flooding which has submerged villages and fields. The paper said an estimated 60,000 people need assistance. Government attempts to supply food to the district have been hampered by the damage to roads and bridges. A two kg packet of maize flour currently sells for more than triple its normal price. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Cobra militiamen demand army jobs Militiamen loyal to President Denis Sassou Nguesso demonstrated on Sunday to demand their inclusion in the national army, government radio reported. Radio-Liberte said the militiamen fired into the air during the protest. "We are shooting to make the military authorities understand that we want to get into barracks, like some of our comrades," an unidentified militiaman told the radio station. The day after Sassou Nguesso seized power in October part of his Cobra militia was assigned to barracks as a prelude to entry into the army and gendarmerie, AFP said. Other soldiers were dismissed and ordered to return to their families. BURUNDI/TANZANIA: UN plans border mission as tension rises The UN is planning the despatch of a special mission to the Burundi/Tanzania border in response to the tension between the two countries. The fact-finding mission will involve the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNHCR and DHA. TANZANIA: Mkapa re-elected party chairman Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa has been re-elected chairman of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). State radio said he polled 99.9 percent of the votes cast on Thursday night by some 1,500 delegates attending the party conference.

UNITED NATIONS: De Mello new Emergency Relief Coordinator

8

Sergio Vieira De Mello has been appointed as the new UN Emergency Relief Coordinator. His appointment takes effect on 1 January 1998. "I hope to contribute modestly my field experience in humanitarian and peace-keeping operations to strengthening the Office of the Emergency Relief Coordinator", De Mello said after his posting was announced in New York on Friday. "It is essential that the new Office be an effective support mechanism to those operational agencies that actually do the work on the ground." De Mello, a Brazilian national, is presently serving as the UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General. He is the UNHCR- designated regional humanitarian coordinator for the Great Lakes region. De Mello will succeed Yasushi Akashi as Emergency Relief Coordinator. Nairobi, 17 November 1997, 15:00 gmt [ENDS] [The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

9

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 16:57:43 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 296 97.11.20 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 296 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 20 November 1997)

RWANDA: 300 killed in jail battle About 300 people died earlier this week in a battle that ensued after Hutu rebels tried to free inmates from a prison in northwest Gisenyi prefecture, BBC radio reported today (Thursday). The jail, in Giciye, was holding prisoners awaiting trial in connection with the 1994 genocide. The BBC quoted the Rwandan authorities as saying some 1,200 militiamen took part in the attack. Eighty-eight prisoners died and the army says it killed around 200 rebels. Ninety-three inmates reportedly escaped. Speaking to IRIN, Emmanuel Gasana, an adviser to Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame, described the clash as a "very major battle" which lasted several hours. He said many people were involved in "this kind of terrorist activity" in the area. "There has to be a military solution and it will be very soon," he added. According to Rwandan media sources, the prison was badly damaged by artillery fire although it was unclear whether this came from the rebels or the army. Mopping-up operations were still continuing, the army said today. The government has estimated some 15,000 rebels are active in northwest Rwanda. At least 20 killed in rebel attack In another incident, at least 20 civilians were killed when rebels attacked a settlement near Mukamira village in neighbouring Ruhengeri prefecture on Tuesday night. The Rwanda News Agency described the victims as Tutsi returnees from 1994. It said machetes, clubs and small hoes were used in the raid. According to AFP, a defence ministry source described the attack as "swift", saying the rebels managed to escape before troops arrived on the scene. Mukamira

10

is close to the Gishwati forest which serves as a base for rebel operations, and local villagers are believed to be sympathetic to the guerrillas, AFP said. ICTR asks Dallaire to testify The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha yesterday requested the testimony of General Romeo Dallaire, the former commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), as a witness in the case of Jean-Paul Akayesu. The latter was the former mayor of Taba commune in Gitarama prefecture, and faces various charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. According to an ICTR press release, Akayesu's defence counsel argues that Dallaire's testimony is of paramount importance to the case. Dallaire's appearance in court has to be authorised by the UN Secretary-General. "Re-education" camps closed The Rwandan authorities have closed the five last remaining "re-education" camps for repatriated Hutu refugees, AFP reported. The camps were used for some 44,000 people who returned home at the end of 1996 and who wanted to return to their former jobs. The government felt repatriated people needed "detoxification" after their years as refugees, AFP said. The coordinator of one of the camps told AFP that "graduates had all been reemployed". ICRC distributes photo albums of separated children ICRC, helped by UNICEF, is distributing 2,500 copies of a photo album containing 440 pictures of children in a bid to reunite them with their families. The albums will be sent to churches, municipal offices and NGOs throughout Rwanda in the hope that families will come forward. Most of the children are aged between one and four years of age. BURUNDI: Bagaza to go on trial for alleged Buyoya murder plot Former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza is to go on trial next week on charges of plotting to kill Burundi's current leader Pierre Buyoya, BBC radio reported, citing the country's justice minister. Bagaza, who has been under house arrest for several months, is due to be tried by a military court. He leads the hardline Tutsi party, Parti pour le redressement national (PARENA), which is opposed to Buyoya's attempts to negotiate with the rebel Conseil National pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD). He was overthrown by a military coup in 1987 when Buyoya came to power for the first time. Eight killed in rebel "shooting spree" Eight civilians were killed and six wounded in a rebel attack on a village just north of Bujumbura, Reuters reported. According to an army spokesman, the raid was launched Sunday night on Mutara village when rebels "went on a shooting spree".

11

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: No decision taken on Francophonie - Kabila President Laurent-Desire Kabila has stressed his country's continued participation in the Francophonie, contrary to statements at the weekend in which he declared the DRC was withdrawing from the French-speaking community. According to Radio France Internationale, he said no official stand had been taken on the issue. Kabila reiterated the re-establishment of democracy in DRC, saying the ban on political parties should occur before 1999. A special commission had already been established to write the new constitution and the "franc congolais" would be in circulation before the year-end, he stated. Mugabe says world seeking to "demonise" Kabila Southern African leaders, attending a trade summit in Botswana, yesterday pledged their continued support for Kabila. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his Mozambican counterpart Joaquim Chissano said Kabila needed the support of the international community for the stability of his country, PANA news agency reported. Mugabe accused the international community of seeking to "demonise" Kabila without acknowledging the immense challenges faced by the DRC. While noting the importance of the UN probe into alleged human rights violations, Mugabe said Kabila should be seen as a "saviour of the people", rather than a "devil". UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told a news briefing the UN team might leave for the field early next week. Eastern Kasai governor and deputy suspended The governor of Eastern Kasai and his deputy have been suspended from their duties, DRC radio broadcasting from Bukavu said yesterday. The decision, taken by the interior minister, followed "open conflict between the two authorities which risked hindering the smooth running of the province," the radio reported. Last week, DRC radio said Kabila had accused some officials of abusing their positions. UGANDA: Cooperation with DRC to rout rebels The state-owned 'New Vision' today reported the Ugandan and DRC authorities were cooperating in the fight against rebels of the Allied Democratic Front, based in the Rwenzori mountains straddling the two countries. It quoted State Minister for Defence Amama Mbabazi as saying the current heavy rains were now a major problem for the rebels. KENYA: Moi declares more areas disaster zones President Daniel arap Moi has declared Northeastern province and the Marsabit and Moyale districts of Eastern province, devastated by floods, as disaster zones. Torrential rains have caused loss of live and destroyed property and infrastructure in the regions. Last month, Coastal province was also declared a disaster zone after areas were battered by storms.

12

GREAT LAKES: Donor contributions Donors have contributed nearly half a billion US dollars to humanitarian programmes in the Great Lakes region in 1997. Of a total of $498 million, $279 million went towards UN programmes. The United States and the European Commission's ECHO together account for about half of the finance. DHA's Financial Tracking Unit in Geneva, in its latest update on the region, reports that funds received for programmes specifically for Rwanda account for $115.3 million, despite not formally being included in the UN's Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal. In 1996, $629 million was given by donors for humanitarian work in the Great Lakes.

Nairobi, 20 November 1997, 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

13

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 14:55:28 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 31-97 14-20 Nov 1997 97.11.21

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 31-97 covering the period 14-20 Nov 1997 RWANDA: 300 killed in jail battle About 300 people died earlier this week in a battle that ensued after Hutu rebels tried to free inmates from a prison in northwest Gisenyi prefecture. The jail, in Giciye, was holding prisoners awaiting trial in connection with the 1994 genocide. The Rwandan authorities said some 1,200 militiamen took part in the attack. Eighty-eight prisoners died and the army says it killed around 200 rebels. Ninety-three inmates reportedly escaped. Army operations were continuing on Wednesday around the nearby Gishwati forest where the raiders are believed to be based. Giciye was also the scene of a rebel raid on a market last Thursday which claimed more than 30 lives. In another incident, at least 20 civilians died when rebels hit a settlement near Mukamira village in neighbouring Ruhengeri prefecture on Tuesday night. The victims were mainly Tutsi returnees from 1994. The attackers managed to escape into the Gishwati forest before troops arrived on the scene. The government has estimated some 15,000 rebels are active in

14

northwest Rwanda. In recent weeks, tracts urging Hutu armed struggle and the massacre or expulsion of Tutsis have begun appearing in the region. ICTR asks Dallaire to testify The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha has requested the testimony of General Romeo Dallaire, the former commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), as a witness in the case of Jean-Paul Akayesu. The latter was the former mayor of Taba commune in Gitarama prefecture, and faces various charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Dallaire's appearance in court has to be authorised by the UN Secretary-General. On Monday, the first defence witness to testify at the tribunal argued that Akayesu had been powerless to prevent ethnic massacres in his region and had initially done everything he could to prevent the killings. The unnamed witness was brought from detention in Rwanda to give evidence. Biya authorises transfer of two genocide suspects Cameroon's President Paul Biya has authorised the transfer of two Rwandans to the ICTR. Both suspects, Laurent Semanza and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, are accused of calling for the massacre of Tutsis at public meetings, distributing weapons and money to the Interahamwe militia, and of ordering and organising genocidal slaughter. In 1994, Semanza was mayor of Bicumbi, a town east of Kigali, and regional president of the then-ruling MRND party. Barayagwiza was director of political affairs in the ministry of foreign affairs. UN Special Representative calls for dossiers for detainees The Special Representative of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Rwanda has urged the international community to concentrate on providing all necessary assistance to enable the government to establish urgently a dossier for every detainee. In his latest report, Michel Moussali, said this would allow "for the determination of who should be released immediately and who should be brought to trial within the shortest time possible". "Re-education" camps closed The Rwandan authorities have closed the five last remaining "re-education" camps for repatriated Hutu refugees. The camps were used for some 44,000 people who came home at the end of 1996 and who wanted to return to their former jobs. The government felt repatriated people needed "detoxification" after their years as refugees. The coordinator of one of the camps told AFP that "graduates had all been re-employed". Alert over arrested Rwandan journalist Reporters sans frontieres and the freedom of expression group IFEX have issued an alert over the fate of Rwandan journalist Joseph Habyarimana. Habyarimana, editor of the magazine 'Indorerwamo', was arrested on 28 October allegedly over an article published in the 'Intego'

15

newspaper in December which highlighted pressures on local officials to arrest Hutus accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide. The article ended with an appeal for ethnic conciliation. BURUNDI: UNHCR notes difficult access to Burundians expelled from DRC UNHCR said some 2,000 Hutus expelled from Democratic Republic of Congo over the past two weeks had arrived in Burundi's combat zones where the agency was unable to gain access to most of them. Rwandan and DRC Hutus were thrown out, along with the Burundians, from around Uvira and Bukavu in eastern DRC. Burundian and Rwandan troops were involved in the operation, humanitarian sources told IRIN. Bujumbura has however denied knowledge of any forced repatriation to northwestern Cibitoke and Bubanza provinces. The DRC government has described those being expelled as "infiltrators" and a threat to security. UNHCR also reported a new influx of refugees into Rwanda fleeing continued fighting in Cibitoke. Several dozen Burundians and over 1,000 Rwandans had arrived in Rwanda over the past week. According to UNHCR, some of the Rwandans claimed they were expelled. In a separate development, the Tanzanian army has arrested or deported more than 28,000 illegal aliens since September in a security crackdown along its western Kigoma and Ngara border regions. According to UNHCR, most of those arrested were Burundians or Congolese. Also included in the sweep were old-caseload Rwandan refugees. Bagaza to go on trial for alleged Buyoya murder plot Former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza is to go on trial before a military court next week on charges of plotting to kill Burundi's current leader Pierre Buyoya, BBC radio reported. Bagaza has been under house arrest for several months. He leads the hardline Tutsi party, Parti pour le redressement national (PARENA), which is opposed to Buyoya's attempts to negotiate with the rebel Conseil National pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD). He was overthrown by a military coup in 1987 when Buyoya came to power for the first time. Buyoya rejects claims of involvement in 1993 coup plot Meanwhile, Buyoya has dismissed claims of involvement in the 1993 attempted military coup in which President Melchior Ndadaye was killed. A statement issued by the presidency stressed that no report had ever implicated Buyoya in the coup plot. The allegation was made over the BBC's Kirundi service by Lieutenant Jean-Paul Kamana, who is accused of being one of the main coup plotters. The official statement said the claim was a lie "instigated by circles opposed to the government". 31 killed in separate attacks Fourteen employees of a tea factory in Buhoro in the troubled province of Cibitoke were killed by rebels on Sunday night, according to an interior ministry statement. In another rebel attack, eight people were killed and six wounded in Mutimbuzi, 15 km north of Bujumbura, on Saturday. At least nine people were killed and 10 wounded when an armed gang carried out an attack last Thursday night at Kinyami in Cibitoke, state radio reported. The radio identified

16

the attackers as belonging to the "Benjamin" group, an off-shoot of CNDD. The gang is believed responsible for the killing of 50 civilians in Cibitoke since last month. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Mugabe says world seeking to "demonise" Kabila Southern African leaders, attending a trade summit in Botswana pledged their continued support for President Laurent-Desire Kabila. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his Mozambican counterpart Joaquim Chissano said Kabila needed the support of the international community for the stability of his country, PANA news agency reported. Mugabe accused the international community of seeking to "demonise" Kabila without acknowledging the immense challenges faced by the DRC. Last week, South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo made a similar appeal. Meanwhile, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told a news briefing the UN human rights investigation team might leave for the field early next week. The mission has yet to meet with the government's liaison committee to agree the modalities of deployment. In a fresh attack on UN Special Rapporteur Roberto Garreton, Kinshasa last Friday urged the UN to withdraw his human rights report on the country, saying it sought to "sabotage" the UN investigation. In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, DRC's UN envoy Andre Mwanba Kapanga described the report as a "deliberate act aimed at sabotaging" the enquiry. The report described the human rights situation in DRC under Kabila as "less than satisfactory". No decision taken on Francophonie - Kabila Kabila has stressed his country's continued participation in the Francophonie, contrary to statements at the weekend in which he declared the DRC was withdrawing from the Frenchspeaking community. According to Radio France Internationale, he said no official stand had been taken on the issue. Kabila reiterated the re-establishment of democracy in DRC, saying the ban on political parties should be lifted before 1999. A special commission had already been established to write the new constitution and the "franc congolais" would be in circulation before the year-end, he stated. Eastern Kasai governor and deputy suspended The governor of Eastern Kasai and his deputy have been suspended from their duties. The decision, taken by the interior minister, followed "open conflict between the two authorities which risked hindering the smooth running of the province," DRC radio reported. Newspaper editor to be freed Kabila has decided that the editor of the opposition 'Phare' newspaper should be released from detention, according to DRC television. Luboyayi Polydor was detained two months ago for an article in his paper alleging Kabila was creating a presidential guard, similar to the Division Speciale Presidentielle (DSP) of former president Mobutu.

17

UGANDA: Cooperation with DRC to rout rebels The state-owned 'New Vision' on Thursday reported the Ugandan and DRC authorities were cooperating in the fight against rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), based in the Rwenzori mountains straddling the two countries. It quoted State Minister for Defence Amama Mbabazi as saying the current heavy rains were now a major problem for the rebels. At least eight civilians were killed by the ADF on Monday in the western Kabarole district. Donors pledge $750 million to Uganda Donor nations have pledged about $750 million in aid to Uganda for the 1998 tax year and praised the government for its economic discipline, the World Bank said on Thursday. The bank had also announced the aid would include $320 million in quickly-disbursed budget support while the rest would be split among project and programme aid handed out as concessional loans and grants. James Adams, the World Bank's country director for Uganda, told a news conference donors were urging the government to make greater efforts to control corruption and had expressed worries over the high levels of defence spending. According to a recent ICRC report, some 30,000 displaced are returning to their villages in the West Nile area. Thousands of Ugandan refugees have also arrived home from DRC and Sudan. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Sassou Nguesso plans transitional parliament President Denis Sassou Nguesso has proposed a "peace and reconciliation" forum for next month in Brazzaville which will act as a transitional parliament. Former president Pascal Lissouba and his political allies will not be invited to attend. In an interview on Gabonese Africa No 1 radio Sassou Nguesso said the "forces for peace" inside the country would participate in the forum. Militiamen loyal to Sassou Nguesso fired into the air on Sunday in a demonstration to demand their inclusion in the national army. "We are shooting to make the military authorities understand that we want to get into barracks, like some of our comrades," an unidentified militiaman told government radio. Food distribution underway in Brazzaville WFP started food deliveries in Brazzaville on Wednesday, the first distribution since the end of the five-month civil war. A WFP press release said food was being handed out to some 20,000 people still affected by the conflict by Catholic Relief Services and Caritas. The statement said the capital's population faces acute food shortages and outbreak of disease. ANGOLA: UN halts demobilisation in Jamba The UN is halting the demobilisation of troops from the former rebel movement UNITA in the southern town of Jamba following an assault on two UN staff. A Zambian soldier and a UN employee handling the reintegration of civilians were wounded last Wednesday by UNITA supporters, AFP said. The UN announced it had lodged a strong protest with UNITA.

18

KENYA: Moi declares more areas disaster zones President Daniel arap Moi has declared Northeastern province and the Marsabit and Moyale districts of Eastern province, devastated by floods, as disaster zones. Torrential rains have caused loss of life and destroyed property and infrastructure in the regions. Thousands of Kenyans face starvation because food supplies cannot reach the flood-hit areas, local officials say. Last month, Coastal province was also declared a disaster zone after areas were battered by storms. UNITED NATIONS: De Mello new Emergency Relief Coordinator Sergio Vieira de Mello has been appointed as the new UN Emergency Relief Coordinator. His appointment takes effect on 1 January 1998. "I hope to contribute modestly my field experience in humanitarian and peace-keeping operations to strengthening the Office of the Emergency Relief Coordinator", de Mello said after his posting was announced in New York last Friday. De Mello, a Brazilian national, is presently serving as the UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees. He will succeed Yasushi Akashi as Emergency Relief Coordinator. GREAT LAKES: Donor contributions Donors have contributed nearly half a billion US dollars to humanitarian programmes in the Great Lakes region in 1997. Of a total of $498 million, $279 million went towards UN programmes. The United States and the European Commission's ECHO together account for about half of the finance. DHA's Financial Tracking Unit in Geneva, in its latest update on the region, reports that funds received for programmes specifically for Rwanda account for $115.3 million, despite not formally being included in the UN's Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal. In 1996, $629 million was given by donors for humanitarian work in the Great Lakes. Nairobi, November 21 1997, 11:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

19

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 16:47:47 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 297 97.11.21 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 297 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 21 November 1997)

TANZANIA: UN envoy hits out at arms embargo proposal Tanzania's UN representative has lashed out at a proposal to impose an arms embargo upon the Great Lakes region. Musinga Bandora described the suggestion by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burundi as an attempt to infringe on the sovereignty of countries of the region. The Special Rapporteur's report, presented to a UN committee earlier this week, created an "erroneous impression that the problems of Burundi, which were purely internal, emanated from the region," the envoy stated. He added his delegation had been "appalled" by the "misinterpretation of facts and malicious assertions" that regional economic sanctions on Burundi were a violation of human rights. Sanctions were for the "limited objective of peace", he claimed. In his report, the Special Rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro called for the embargo to be eased, saying it was having negative effects on the Burundian people. BURUNDI: Minister says education situation "catastrophic" Sectors such as education and healthcare have been particularly hard hit by the embargo, according to humanitarian workers. They point out the government has funnelled its limited resources into keeping the basic fabric of society functioning, such as fuel supplies, the military and civil servants' salaries, so there is little left for other areas. Primary Education Minister Joseph Ndayisaba told IRIN the situation for his ministry was "catastrophic", with educational facilities and manpower already depleted by four years of war. He said the education system in the troubled provinces of Cibitoke and Bubanza had "totally collapsed".

20

A recent report by the UN Human Rights Operation in Burundi stressed the education plight of children in displaced and regroupment camps was particularly dire. Bank to restrict issue of hard currency Faced with the effects of war and sanctions, Burundi's central bank took measures this week to restrict the release of the country's dwindling hard currency reserves, Reuters reported. It cited a statement issued by the bank on Monday as saying hard currency would only be available for importing "essential" products such as raw materials, equipment and spare parts. GDP had fallen by seven percent in 1996, compared to a positive growth in real terms of 3.7 percent between 1987 and 1992, the statement said. Money for official trips and other expenditures abroad would only be released for priority cases, it added, blaming a lack of foreign aid, drop in export revenues and increase in import prices for the current situation. Businessmen said the move would prompt them to turn to the black market for hard currency. Buyoya again denies involvement in coup plot Burundian head of state Pierre Buyoya yesterday (Thursday) reiterated he played no role in the attempted military coup of 1993 in which the then-president Melchior Ndadaye was assassinated and which sparked the current civil war in the country. Speaking over the BBC's Kirundi service, he said his name had never been mentioned by any commission of enquiry into the incident. He stressed he would be the first person to appear in court to answer charges if summoned to do so. Tanzanian troops accused of harassing border crossers The Agence burundaise de presse (ABP) accused Tanzanian security forces of trying to "sever the century-old friendly ties" between people living along the Burundi-Tanzania border. Its correspondent in southern Rutana province cited local residents as saying nationals of either country trying to cross the border were often beaten up or robbed by Tanzanian soldiers. ABP said although border tension remained high, Tanzanians and Burundians still crossed into each other's countries for trading purposes or to visit their families. Bujumbura accuses Tanzania of harbouring rebels who use the refugee camps as rear bases for launching attacks on Burundi. Regional analysts say however that the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) has splintered into as many as five factions, and the Burundi army appears to have the upper hand with security re-established in most provinces. Bubanza/Cibitoke in the north and Bururi/Makamba in the south remain volatile. RWANDA: Meles urges new probe into 1994 genocide to prevent recurrence Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi yesterday called for an investigation by eminent personalities into the 1994 genocide to probe why it was allowed to happen, in a bid to "come out of the cycle of violence" in the Great Lakes region. In comments to a session of the OAU conflict resolution committee in Addis Ababa, Meles said such a probe might "hold the clue" to preventing further tragedies. The investigation by a "panel of internationally renowned personalities" should look into "where the OAU failed, what the UN did and did not do". The

21

current relative calm in the Great Lakes region was "deceptive", Meles warned. "We obviously cannot play a meaningful role in preventing a slide into the abyss unless we know what might have gone wrong in April 1994," he stated. "There is probably no greater issue that warrants the urgent attention of the OAU". Genocide survivors protest against release of suspects A two-day demonstration by genocide survivors against the release of some genocide suspects ended on Wednesday after the authorities reversed the decision. The protest in Gikongoro was triggered by the release of 10 suspects, in accordance with a government decision to free those who are old, seriously ill or aged under 14. The 10 were "redetained temporarily pending a firmer decision", Rwandan radio said. A total of 150 will be redetained throughout the prefecture, it added. The demonstrators argued that the elderly suspects had been "killing since 1959 when Tutsi harassment began in Rwanda", while those who were ill should have their trials speeded up. Former editor pleads not guilty at ICTR A former editor of the Hutu extremist 'Kangura' newspaper pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha yesterday. The indictment against Hassan Ngeze includes allegations he used his newspaper to prepare the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Ngeze was arrested in Nairobi earlier this year and extradited to Arusha. Soldiers jailed for killing commander Four soldiers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) were sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for killing the commander of the gendarmerie in Gitarama/Kibuye region. Four other suspects - all officers - were acquitted by the Gitarama military court, Rwandan radio reported. Captain Theoneste Hategekimana, who belonged to the former Forces Armees Rwandaises (FAR), and his bodyguard were shot dead last month as they left their office. Military prosecutor Captain Joseph Nzabamwita told AFP he had asked for the death penalty. "This is the first time in this country that an RPA officer is killed by his own soldiers," he said. "This shocked not only the army but the entire population." DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Amnesty condemns refugee expulsion The human rights organisation Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned the expulsion of Burundian and Rwandan refugees from eastern DRC. It claimed the refugees were "systematically sought out" by Burundian and Rwandan soldiers with the help of the DRC authorities in the South Kivu region earlier this month. Unconfirmed reports suggested similar operations were taking place in other parts of the country, including the Fizi area, Amnesty said. It noted the refugees were accused of belonging to the DRC Mai Mai militia or the Rwandan Interahamwe.

22

Kabila warns journalists to respect press law President Laurent-Desire Kabila warned journalists in the country to report "responsibly" or face disciplinary action. He told a news conference on Wednesday the country's press law must be respected by all media workers. The state was "obliged to defend itself against a section of the media which is always quick to demand its rights, but quite unconcerned about accomplishing its duty," he said. He claimed that since the country's liberation, articles in the media "often reveal marketing in bad taste". Kabila asks Mandela to extradite pro-Mobutuists Voice of the People radio, broadcasting from Bunia, said today (Friday) Kabila had urged his South African counterpart Nelson Mandela to extradite supporters of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko residing in his country. According to the radio, 13 pro-Mobutu figures were reportedly plotting to topple the new Kinshasa leadership. SUDAN: Ugandan officials confirm poison gas factory in Wau Ugandan security officials have confirmed the existence of a mustard gas factory at Wau in southwest Sudan, the state-owned Ugandan 'New Vision' reported today. The report was carried by the British 'Sunday Times', which claimed the factory was a joint venture between Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and his Iraqi counterpart Saddam Hussein. Production reportedly began in 1995 and the gas had twice been used against the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the 'Sunday Times' said. Opposition begins military operation on Port Sudan-Khartoum road The Sudanese opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) says it has launched a military operation to cut off the Port Sudan-Khartoum road. It claimed its forces battled government troops on the Kassala-Butana bridge in northeast Sudan earlier this week, killing five Khartoum soldiers, destroying one vehicle and capturing another. Opposition Voice of Sudan radio said there were no NDA casualties. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Assistance urgently needed The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today said over 370,000 Congolese people were in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care. In a statement issued in Nairobi, it appealed for around US$ four million to assist vulnerable people in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. The NGO consortium, Action by Churches Together, described the devastation of Brazzaville as "terrifying" and said security had still not returned. The need for humanitarian assistance was urgent, it stressed in a report following a visit to the city. Residents of Dolisie in the south described the entry into the town last month by military leader General Sassou-Nguesso's Cobra militia as "terrifying". People were killed and everything was looted, they said, adding that Angolan tanks had arrived in the town to support the Cobras. Early this month, residents were fleeing Dolisie due to "insecurity and famine".

23

Sixty-five Rwandan refugees, including 15 unaccompanied children, were repatriated from Brazzaville to Kigali yesterday, UNHCR said. A further 170 Rwandans had indicated their willingness to return home. Nairobi, 21 November 1997, 13:45 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

24

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 17:53:11 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 298 97.11.24 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 298 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 22-24 November 1997)

RWANDA: Giciye reported calm after heavy fighting The Rwanda news agency (RNA) said the town of Giciye, in Gisenyi prefecture, was now calm after fierce fighting erupted there last week following a rebel attempt to storm the local prison. The building was completely destroyed, RNA added. In an interview with Radio France Internationale over the weekend, military spokesman Richard Sezibera said the rebels had no bases in the country. "They pretend to be civilians during the day, and at night they organise and attack," he stated. The authorities were trying to "politically educate" local people to reject the rebels. "We think this education, coupled with military operations, will yield some fruit," Sezibera said. It was possible the rebels had rear bases in the Democratic Repubic of Congo, but the armies of the two countries were cooperating to combat them, he added. No need to cross into DRC yet, Kagame says Vice-President Paul Kagame also stressed his country was cooperating with the DRC. According to AFP, he told the French daily 'Le Figaro' there was no reason "at the moment" for the Rwandan army to cross the border in pursuit of "genocidal militia" and ex-FAR soldiers who he blamed for the insecurity in northwest Rwanda. BURUNDI: Tanzania expels government representative Tension between Burundi and Tanzania increased over the weekend after Dar es Salaam expelled the Burundi government's only representative. The Burundi authorities on Friday

25

expressed "deep indignation" over the expulsion of Clavera Maregeya, saying she was "arrested by six men before dawn in front of her children". A government statement said the envoy had been the victim of "inhuman and demeaning treatment". The Burundi embassy in Dar es Salaam is staffed by exiled members of the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) who are not recognised by the Burundi government. FROLINA announces resumption of military operations A Tanzania-based Burundi rebel organisation, the Front pour la liberation nationale (FROLINA), says its armed wing has "resumed" military operations in Burundi. In a press release, FROLINA said the decision followed an 18-month ceasefire declared unilaterally to give international mediation efforts a chance to succeed. FROLINA said its military offensive, launched on 27 October, "lies within the final phase of the liberation of the Burundian people". It claimed its People's Armed Forces (PAF) occupied military barracks in the southern Burundi areas of Kabonga, Mugina and Mukerezi. Bagaza formally charged with Buyoya murder plot Former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza has been formally charged with plotting to kill the current leader Major Pierre Buyoya, AFP reported. It quoted a source from the state military prosecution as saying Bagaza, who leads the hardline Tutsi Parti pour le redressement national (PARENA), was accused of "plotting against the life of the head of state and the illegal possession of weapons". PARENA Secretary-General Cyrille Barancira denied the existence of a plan to assassinate Buyoya. Speaking to AFP, he also charged there were "political motives" to the detention of Bagaza, who has been under house arrest since January. Karuzi regroupment camps should be empty by year-end The governor of Karuzi province, Colonel Gabriel Gunungu, has said all regroupment camps in the province will probably be closed by the end of the year. He told the Agence burundaise de presse (ABP) that until the first half of 1996, which he described as the height of the crisis caused by civil war, the province registered 120,000 regrouped people, mostly in the Gihogazi, Bugenyuzi and Gitaramuka communes. Of these 50,000 had already returned to their collines, and the remaining 70,000 were now going home. KENYA: Thousands of refugees at risk as storms batter camps According to Kenyan press reports, heavy rains battering northeast Kenya risked leaving thousands of refugees homeless as camps in Garissa district were submerged. Structures in the Dadaab camps of Ifo and Hadgera were flattened by floodwater. The nearby camp of Dagahaley was dry but completely surrounded by water, the 'Sunday Nation' reported. The three camps house some 120,000 Somali, Sudanese and Ethiopian refugees. Water levels are still rising, heightening fears of starvation and epidemic, Kenyan television said. According to the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), up to 10 times more rain than normal for October has fallen in the usually-arid northeast. Mandera recorded more rain in October than the entire annual average.

26

UGANDA: Nearly 30 killed in floods and landslides Meanwhile, nearly 30 people were killed by landslides and floods due to heavy rains in eastern Uganda. Local officials, quoted by Ugandan radio yesterday (Sunday), said 29 people had lost their lives in the Bulucheke and Bunika areas of Manjiya county in Mbale district. Bridges had been washed away and communications cut. A rescue operation was underway by the Ugandan Red Cross, police and local villagers. The 'New Vision' daily on Saturday reported that western Uganda had also been hit by torrential rain. Hundreds of travellers were stranded along the Fort Portal-Mubende murram road. Uganda deploying troops on Sudan border Uganda is deploying additional troops along its border with Sudan, according to the stateowned 'New Vision'. The newspaper reported on Saturday that troops were being sent to the border in a bid to prevent infiltration by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Sudanese officials charged that Uganda was planning an invasion of the south. The daily 'Al-Rai alAkher' quoted South Sudan Coordination Council chairman Riak Machar and Arok Thon Arok of the pro-government United Democratic Salvation Front as saying the Ugandan army command was shifting from Kampala to Gulu in the north. SUDAN: Eritrea accused of preventing refugee return Sudan's commissioner for refugees on Sunday accused Eritrea of refusing to allow the repatriation of Eritrean refugees, AFP reported. Mohamed al-Sheikh Abdul Aal claimed the Asmara authorities were not allowing the return of refugees who had expressed a desire to go home. He added Sudan was willing to take back its own refugees, many of whom are in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Meanwhile, former rebel leader Lam Akol announced on Sunday he had accepted a nomination for governor of Upper Nile state. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UNHCR to resume repatriation from Tanzania UNHCR announced today (Monday) it would resume the repatriation of DRC refugees from Tanzania in accordance with a tripartite agreement adopted by the three sides in August. In a statement it said its decision had been motivated by the refugees' desire to go home. The announcement follows a visit to Tanzania by DRC's Minister for Reconstruction and Emergency Planning Richard Mbaya for discussions on the issue. DRC television described his talks with Tanzanian officials as very positive. A joint statement issued at the end of the visit stressed commitment to the tripartite agreement signed with UNHCR. Bank governor says revenue boosted By centralising collection and simplifying tax legislation, DRC Central Bank Governor JeanClaude Masangu Mulongo says his country has managed to boost revenues significantly. "We have basically doubled our revenue stream to $52 million per month from roughly $25 million by changing the methodology of paying tax and diminishing the temptation to corruption," he

27

told the 'Financial Times' in an interview published on Saturday. The governor stressed that 80 percent of the economy remained in the "informal sector". "It's a very difficult task bringing that 80 percent into the formal market," the paper quoted him as saying. Kabila visits Namibia to urge investment President Laurent-Desire Kabila visited Windhoek on Sunday for talks with Namibian leader Sam Nujoma and local businessmen. According to the South African news agency SAPA, Kabila urged investment in his country. He said the DRC was moving towards economic recovery, but reconstruction demanded investment in all areas. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Red Cross volunteer killed by militiamen A local Red Cross volunteer was shot dead in Brazzaville on Saturday by a group of militiamen who opened fire on his vehicle. Two other people were wounded. An ICRC statement said about 50 volunteers were travelling in a lorry bearing the Red Cross emblem when they came under fire. A spokesman for the organisation said it was not known why the militiamen attacked the Red Cross vehicle. Lissouba militia given deadline to disarm The new Congolese authorities have given militiamen loyal to ousted president Pascal Lissouba two weeks to hand in their weapons. Government spokesman Francois Ibovi said on Saturday those who did not comply would be liable to "penalties provided for by laws and regulations". He did not elaborate. He added that pro-government Cobra militiamen and others "who fought Lissouba's genocidal regime" would be incorporated into the armed forces. Ibovi also announced that all foreign diplomats close to the former government would be removed because they were responsible for "disinformation" regarding the new rulers. TANZANIA: East African military chiefs agree to boost defence ties Top military chiefs from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania met in Arusha last week for talks on defence-related issues within the East African Cooperation (EAC), the Kenyan 'Daily Nation' reported on Friday. A joint statement described the meeting between General Daudi Tonje of Kenya, General Robert Philemon Mboma of Tanzania and General Mugisha Muntu of Uganda as the first of its kind in the post-independence history of the three countries. The three armed forces leaders proposed increased defence cooperation, joint training and security and coordination of defence-related issues. GREAT LAKES: Salim suggests discussion on improving relations with UNHCR OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim has proposed a consultative meeting next year to address strained relations between UNHCR and some governments in the Great Lakes region. Describing the current state of affairs as "unsatisfactory", Salim said the OAU would cooperate with UNHCR to seek "an amicable and acceptable solution." In a statement to a session of the OAU's conflict resolution body last week, Salim said that while UNHCR

28

should be able to implement its mandate to assist refugees, the political and security concerns of countries of asylum and origin "deserve proper consideration." The meeting meanwhile concluded by endorsing Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi's call for a new investigation into the 1994 Rwandan genocide to stop it happening again. In comments to the meeting last week, Meles warned the fallout from the genocide was still "potent and pregnant with disaster". Primates threatened with extinction, WWF warns The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that war and poaching are threatening the survival of Africa's great apes. In a statement issued in Nairobi, the WWF said the mountain gorilla, living in the war zone between Rwanda, DRC and Uganda, was the primate most immediately threatened, due to deforestation and a collapse of infrastructures. Long-haired chimpanzees in Burundi and Rwanda were also at risk for their meat due to famine and widespread insecurity. The WWF appealed to the international community to act before it was too late. Nairobi, 24 November 1997, 14:45 gmt [ENDS] [The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

29

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 16:54:49 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 299 97.11.25 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 299 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 25 November 1997)

BURUNDI: Thousands displaced as army battles rebels in south The Burundi army announced 103 rebels were killed and ammunition seized in an operation mounted by the security forces in the southern Bururi province. Speaking over Burundi radio yesterday (Monday), military spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi said the operation was carried out over the weekend along the Dama river between the communes of Buyengero and Burambi. Two soldiers were slightly wounded. "Events are progressing positively," he said. WFP reported over 10,000 people had been displaced by recent fighting in Buyengero commune, fleeing ongoing rebel activities and military operations in the surrounding hills and forests. It said they were completely destitute, sleeping rough under trees or in the local church. Pressure mounts for lifting sanctions The chairman of the Eastern and Southern Africa Business Organisation (ESABO) has called on the regional economic grouping COMESA to lift the embargo on Burundi because of the "devastating consequences" for member states, PANA news agency reported yesterday. Kassim Owango said that while members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) had stopped trading with Burundi, other business competitors such as China and South Africa had taken over the market. Earlier this month, COMESA itself described the sanctions as futile and urged an end to the embargo. The human rights organisation, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, ended a conference in Senegal yesterday with a call for lifting economic sanctions.

30

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN team still waiting in Kinshasa The UN team investigating allegations of human rights violations in DRC is still in Kinshasa. Spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN the mission was still waiting for the "technical meeting" with DRC leaders to take place. The government had not yet indicated when the meeting might be held, he said. Team leaders have been waiting to meet government representatives to discuss the logistics of the mission including security in the field, without which the investigation cannot take place. A meeting planned earlier this month was postponed. Editor arrested for "spying" for UN The DRC authorities have arrested a newspaper editor for allegedly "spying" for the UN mission. Bonsange Yema, managing editor of the 'Mambenga', 'Essor Africain' and 'l'Alarme' newspapers, was arrested in Kisangani on 18 November, according to 'l'Alarme'. The newspaper said the human rights group Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF) called on Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo to order the "unconditional release" of Bonsange. ASF was reported as saying it had received "more and more alarming reports about the situation of human rights activists, aid workers and journalists in the east of the country". Meanwhile, another detained newspaper editor, Polydor Muboyayi Mubanga, of 'Le Phare' was released last week. Authorities worried by growing insecurity in the Kivus Security in the Kivus is again giving cause for concern, according to the official Agence congolaise de presse (ACP). Quoting businessmen in Bukavu, it said Lake Kivu remained the only secure channel for commercial trade between North and South Kivu. Road travel between Goma and Bukavu was particularly risky in the Minova area due to the presence of Mai-Mai fighters "who do not want to see anyone of Nilotic extraction in their way", the news agency reported. It added the South Kivu governor had noted that while some Mai-Mai had been integrated into the regular army, others had allied themselves with Interahamwe militia and exFAR members. The Lugushwa and Kitutu areas in the Mwenga zone of South Kivu had recently been subjected to acts of violence by Mai-Mai forces. Ugandan rebels reportedly control border area ACP also quoted local officials as saying the Banyangala area of Ruwenzori in North Kivu was under the control of National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) rebels. It said the rebels were taking advantage of the absence of the DRC army in the area, where the Ugandan shilling is the currency in use. The North Kivu governor has given local people, thought to be associated with NALU rebels, two weeks to turn themselves in before the start of military "clean-up" operation planned for the Ruwenzori area. NALU is thought to come under the umbrella of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who are active in western Uganda.

31

UGANDA: Cooperation with DRC in routing rebels The state-owned 'New Vision' newspaper reported today (Tuesday) the DRC and Ugandan armies would launch a joint military operation to fight rebels along their common border. Military commanders from the two countries toured the western Ugandan districts of Kabarole, Kasese and Bundibugyo where ADF rebels have been carrying out attacks. The Ugandan army claims the rebels are able to stage raids on border areas by passing through sparsely-populated parts of eastern DRC. More die in floods The death toll from severe flooding in the eastern Mbale district has risen to 35, the 'New Vision' reported yesterday. Bridges have been swept away, and electricity and running water supplies disrupted. TANZANIA: UNICEF concerned over Burundian round-up UNICEF in Tanzania has expressed concern over the situation of Burundian women and children who are being rounded up by the Tanzanian authorities and taken to refugee camps in the Kigoma and Kagera regions. It said families, who had been living in villages in the region for some 20 years, were being separated as a result of the operation. UNICEF stated it was assessing cases of rights violations against children and women, who were Tanzanian by law, but had been treated as illegal immigrants. According to an article in the 'EastAfrican' weekly, the Tanzanian government had denied there was deliberate operation to expel Burundians from the country, saying the exercise was a "military surveillance" of border areas for "security reasons". The weekly quoted a US diplomat as saying the move had "grossly marred" Tanzania's position as a peace-broker in the Burundi crisis. Government denies Burundian government envoy expelled Tanzanian Interior Minister Ali Amer Mohammed denied his government had expelled the Burundi government's only representative in the country. In an interview with the BBC's Kirundi service, he claimed Clavera Maregeya was asked to leave the country after the authorities discovered she had no accreditation. The minister also denied reports she had been manhandled by policemen who went to arrest her. Cholera deaths on the rise The daily 'Uhuru' newspaper reported yesterday at least 26 people died of cholera in the southern Tanzanian region of Mtwara between 10-16 November. The regional medical officer of Mtwara, Jamal Mbaya, was quoted as saying the latest deaths brought to 254 the number of people killed by cholera in the area during the past six months. In the central Singida district, 11 people had died of the disease out of 157 who contracted it. AFP said cholera had also resurfaced in Dar es Salaam, where some 56 people had been admitted to hospital since August.

32

SUDAN: Garang in Egypt Sudanese rebel leader John Garang arrived in Cairo yesterday on his first visit to Egypt since becoming leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), AFP reported. It quoted a spokesman for the Sudanese opposition National Democratic Alliance as saying Garang was on a weeklong visit aimed at explaining the SPLA position to Egyptian leaders. The spokesman, Faruq Abu al-Issa, admitted Garang's call for a confederation in Sudan "raised concern in Egypt" which was opposed to division of the country, but stressed the visit would "help clear the air". He added that contacts were underway for Garang to visit other Arab countries which have expressed concern over the separation of state and religion and selfdetermination for southern Sudan. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Osman Mohammad Taha meanwhile told parliament yesterday his country was taking steps to normalise ties with Egypt. These measures would be announced "in the very near future", he said. Nairobi, 25 November 1997, 14:00 gmt [ENDS] [The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

33

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 18:12:23 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: Background brief on floods 97.11.25 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN background brief on flooding in eastern Africa 25 November 1997 East Africa has been lashed for several weeks by torrential rain, creating floods and mudslides which have claimed both lives and homes. Unusual weather patterns over parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, blamed in part on the "El-Nino effect", have delivered as much as ten times the normal downfall for this time of year and triggered new humanitarian crises.. Farmers have been particularly hard hit. Crops have been destroyed and large numbers of livestock drowned. The damage to local infrastructure is also immense. Roads, bridges and houses have all been swept away and more rain is forecast. UNDP's Nairobi-based Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC) expects the current downpour to continue until mid-December. For western Kenya and parts of the Lake Victoria region of eastern Uganda, it warns the rains could stretch into January/February. Following is a brief country-by-country situation report: SOMALIA: Major food deficit predicted More than 1,300 Somalis have died since the Juba and Shabelle rivers burst their banks a month ago and some 270,000 people have fled their submerged villages. Some of the displaced are huddled on fingers of land surrounded by flood waters. Malaria and respiratory tract infections, rather than drowning, are increasingly claiming victims among the survivors, UNICEF's Somalia office told IRIN. Somalia is generally a flat and arid country. The Juba and Shabelle in the south are the country's only two perennial rivers, fed from the Ethiopian highlands. The short rain season -

34

the Deyr - usually runs between October and November. However, heavy rains in Ethiopia coupled with torrents in southern Somalia - over 1,000 percent more than seasonal averages in some areas - has led to disaster. The affected regions are the two river valleys and the interriverine areas. The rising water level of the lower Shabelle marsh has met the Juba overflow, creating flood plains more than 12 km wide, hindering access to affected populations. The last time the two rivers merged was in 1961. According to conservative estimates, flooding has wiped out 40 percent of the sorghum crop in the belt of agricultural land between Bay and Bakol. The weather phenomenon has exacerbated the disruption to agriculture caused by insecurity around Baidoa. Food stores, traditionally kept underground, have also been lost. If farmers cannot re-plant in time for the January harvest, it will mean a third consecutive crop failure for some households. "The implications are of a major food deficit in the New Year," a UNICEF spokesperson warned. "It's a very frightening situation." There is also concern that the traditional cholera months at the end of the year will be more intense this season. Cholera outbreaks have already been reported in the region and there are fears the disease could reach epidemic levels as as increasing numbers of people are thrown together in insanitary conditions. Four desperately needed helicopters, hired commercially for a month by UNICEF, are expected to join the search and relief operation at the weekend, mounted by humanitarian agencies. KENYA: National emergency declared in eight districts Kenya's short rains usually last from October-December. But up to 10-times more rain than normal for October fell in the northeast. The Tana River, Kenya's largest, has burst its banks at several points and there is serious flooding below Garissa town. Some 122,000 refugees have fled three camps in Garissa district for higher ground, according to a Reuters report. Continued rain upstream threatens settlements around the eastern end of the river. Along the Tana, farmers have lost their stored grain and vegetable and banana crops. Food prices in Mandera, on the Ethiopian border, have tripled. The population of the most severely-affected districts (Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River and Lamu) is about 900,000. In addition to those districts, the government has declared a state of emergency in Marsabit, Moyale and the Coast. In Kenya's western region, much of the maize crop is under water. It "provisionally looks worse than last year's drought-affected crop," the USAID's Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) Nairobi office told IRIN. "Based on previous El Nino patterns," the DMC predicts rain into January/February for western Kenya. In the rest of the country, the skies should clear by next month. But, even if the rain stops soon, WFP estimates it will be at least a month before any normal transport links can resume in the northeast. However, although disastrous in the short term, a FEWS analyst suggested the rains could help speed the northeast's recovery from a long drought by leaving fertile soil for farmers when the waters recede. At that time, aid workers stress farmers must have sufficient seeds to take advantage of the situation.

35

ETHIOPIA: Government issues international appeal According to official estimates, a total of 297 people have been killed and 65,000 displaced in eastern Ethiopia's Somali National Regional State. As a result of heavy rains in the highlands over the past month, some 30,000 hectares of cropland is inundated and some 4,252 homes destroyed along the region's river systems. The Baro and Akobo rivers in the west "have also been running very high", threatening a number of low-lying communities in the Gambella region, UNDP's Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia reported last week. With villages cut off, a government air-relief operation has been mounted to pre-position supplies in the central Ogaden town of Gode and an airforce helicopter deployed to shuttle supplies to affected communities around Kelafo, Mustahil and Ferfer and to rescue people trapped by the rising water levels. Operations are being coordinated in the field by an emergency task force in Gode comprising representatives of the local administration, military, Red Cross and the Government's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC). Following an appeal for international assistance, France has supplied two helicopters which have arrived in Gode. UGANDA: Flooding in east, landslides in south Eastern Uganda shares the same rainfall pattern as western Kenya. According to the DMC, the region has had "abnormally heavy rainfall". The rains started up to one month late, but their onset has been accompanied by flooding in the east which has killed 35 people in Mbale district. The state-owned 'New Vision' has also reported that heavy rains in the south have caused landslides in the mountainous Kabale area which have blocked roads. Nairobi, 25 November 1997 [Ends] [The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

36

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 18:15:09 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 300 97.11.26 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 300 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 26 November 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN probe given green light The DRC authorities have agreed to allow the UN human rights investigation to deploy into the field and begin its work. Mission spokesman Jose Diaz said the green light was given at a meeting with government representatives this morning. Reconstruction Minister Etienna Mbaya told the leaders of the UN team "there is nothing stopping you this time deploying your mission where you want," BBC World Service reported. Kinshasa's decision follows a 48-hour postponement of the team's withdrawal announced on Tuesday by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The mission has been marooned in Kinshasa for about two months despite highlevel diplomatic activity to overcome government objections to the probe. Acting army chief arrested The acting DRC army chief of staff, Commandant Masasu Nindanga, has been arrested. The BBC World Service reported that a large contingent of heavily-armed soldiers surrounded his offices before he was taken away. The government has not acknowledged the arrest. Nindanga, previously a senior commander in President Laurent-Desire Kabila's former rebel movement, has been acting chief of staff since Kabila came to power in May. Two opposition leaders included in government Kabila broadened his government in a minor reshuffle on Monday by naming two opposition figures as deputy ministers. Both Frederic Kibassa Maliba, who joins the mines ministry, and Fernand Tala Ngai, who joins the finance ministry, have distanced themselves from veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, Reuters said. However, according to Gabonese radio, Kibassa Maliba is yet to accept the post. Monday's presidential decree also named a new

37

governor and deputy governor for the diamond-producing region of eastern Kasai. Omar Kamba replaces the previous governor who was sacked. TANZANIA: Repatriation of DRC refugees to resume The repatriation of DRC refugees in Tanzania is set to resume on Thursday. Around 600 refugees will leave Kigoma tomorrow on one boat for Uvira. Most of them will then be transported by UNHCR to the Fizi area. UNHCR Tanzania said 48,402 refugees in Nyaragusu and Lugufu camps in Kigoma have registered to go home. Some 7,000 people have already been repatriated by UNHCR from Kigoma, but the operation was suspended in September due to concerns over security in eastern DRC. There has however been a steady flow of people returning under their own steam, particularly following the recent crackdown by the Tanzanian army on refugees living outside their camps. An estimated 74,000 DRC refugees are in Tanzania. Food aid pledged to overcome drought-induced shortages Foreign donors have pledged 64,000 mt in food aid for Tanzania to help offset the country's 916,000-mt food deficit. A senior Tanzanian government official announced on Monday that food pledges have come from the EU (25,000 mt), the United States (17,000 mt), Canada (3,000 mt), Australia (2,025 mt), Germany (1,515 mt) and Belgium (1,000 mt), AFP reported. In addition, Ireland has pledged $350,000 and Finland $560,000. The response follows an appeal for international assistance to help the country overcome a prolonged drought made by Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa in September. ZAMBIA: Former Mobutu soldiers' escape foiled Some 250 elite former Zairean soldiers who had escaped from their camp in Zambia's northern province yesterday and were walking home, were persuaded to turn back by the authorities. Zambian radio said the soldiers had got 40 km from their camp before they were stopped by the province's refugee committee and security personnel. The radio said the ex-soldiers are being held in a local prison "for safety". RWANDA: Power sharing under scrutiny - AFP According to AFP, reporting from Kigali, the future of the power-sharing principles of Rwanda's transitional parliament "remain unsettled." The parliament seats MPs from all the main political parties with the exception of the former ruling Hutu-led party. But, the news agency says, the multi-ethnic character of both parliament and government evident in 1994 has since been undermined. "There is a current of opinion in the RPF which thinks it was an error to share power after the genocide," AFP quoted a Rwandan official who requested anonymity. The escalating Hutu rebel insurgency has also served to concentrate power in the hands of the military, according to an unnamed analyst. In three years of operation, the parliament has passed only 45 pieces of legislation. Its mandate runs out at the end of 1999, but it is not clear whether elections will be held. According to parliamentary speaker Joseph Sebaranzi, "the

38

system there is ensures a balance between the parties. It's not sure that the elections would do that." Trial of Interahamwe leader adjourned The trial of George Rutaganda, a former leader of the Interahamwe militia accused of crimes against humanity, has been adjourned for more than three months. The trial, before the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, opened in March. It was halted following expert testimony from Belgian historian Filip Reyntjens. The hearing will resume on 4 March. UGANDA: World Bank set to disburse $75 million Uganda will receive the first tranche of a $75 million loan from the World Bank in April next year under the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. The money will be used to finance the government's Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme, PANA reported. Uganda was designated by the World Bank and IMF in 1996 as the first country to benefit from the HIPC Initiative. Development programme launched for the north President Yoweri Museveni has unveiled a poverty alleviation programme for underdeveloped and war battered northern Uganda. The state-owned 'New Vision' said today the plan covers 12 districts and involves providing feeder roads, a loan credit scheme, ploughs and oxen, and new schools and hospitals. ANGOLA: UN condemns UNITA deaths The UN observer mission in Angola has denounced as an act of "barbaric cruelty" the death in custody of 10 former UNITA soldiers. The BBC World Service quoted a UN spokesman in Luanda as saying the police had confirmed that the men died while being held in the central town of Malanje two weeks ago. They are thought to have suffocated in an overcrowded cell. UNITA radio yesterday accused the government of eliminating its supporters. France closes UNITA offices France ordered the closure of UNITA's offices in Paris yesterday, in line with UN sanctions imposed on the former Angolan rebel movement at the end of October. According to Angolan television, the French foreign ministry said the bureau would not be allowed to reopen under the pretext of a cultural or human rights centre. SUDAN: Military denies existence of poison gas factory The Sudanese government has denied allegations it is in possession of a poison gas factory built with Iraqi assistance, the German news agency DPA reported a local newspaper as saying on Tuesday. The 'al-Rai al-Akhar' quoted a military statement which said the

39

allegations were "manufactured to serve the imperialist interests." The statement followed reports first published by Uganda's 'New Vision' and the London 'Sunday Times' which claimed the Sudanese army was manufacturing gas weapons and using them against the rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in southern Sudan. KENYA: Government to register all parties where applications pending The Kenyan authorities today registered all political parties whose applications had been pending. The measure primarily affects the broad-based Safina party and the Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK) led by fiery preacher Khalid Balala. Twenty-four parties were already fielding presidential or parliamentary candidates for the 29 December polls, in which President Daniel arap Moi is seeking a new five-year term as head of state and candidate of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), which has ruled since independence. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Lissouba to sue Elf over his overthrow Former Congo president Pascal Lissouba has filed a suit against French oil company Elf, claiming it backed his rival Denis Sassou Nguesso who seized power last month. Lissouba filed the suit in France last week against Elf managers including chairman Philippe Jaffre. He alleges that Sassou Nguesso offered them financial inducements to back him, AFP reported Lissouba's aides as saying. According to the French daily 'Liberation', the judicial authorities are considering whether the suit is admissible. Nairobi, 26 November 1997, 15:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

40

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 17:49:00 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 301 97.11.27 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 301 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 27 November 1997)

RWANDA: Minister tells Tanzanians refugee expulsions "deplorable" Rwandan Education Minister Joseph Karemera, who led an official team to Tanzania earlier this month for discussions on the expulsion of Rwandan refugees, described the deportations as "deplorable". Rwandan radio recalled that over 1,800 Rwandans - many of whom had been in Tanzania for years - were thrown out by authorities some three months ago. Karemera said he was told by the Tanzanian authorities the intention was to deport "troublemakers" but the order was incorrectly implemented at local level. According to the radio, the minister stressed relations with Tanzania were "as a rule, marked by excellent mutual understanding". "I do not see why such incidents should happen again," he stated. A meeting was planned for 3 December between the two countries' defence and interior ministers to try and resolve the problem. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Refugees due home from Tanzania on Friday Six hundred DRC refugees are due to leave the western Tanzanian port of Kigoma today (Thursday) at the start of a resumed repatriation operation. They should arrive in Uvira tomorrow (Friday). Over 40,000 refugees have registered to return home, according to UNHCR Tanzania. The repatriation exercise was put on hold in September after UNHCR expressed concerns over security in eastern DRC. Humanitarian sources described the current situation in Uvira as calm with shops and businesses reopening and more goods available in the markets.

41

UN mission meets Kabila The UN mission investigating alleged human rights abuses met President Laurent-Desire Kabila today. Mission spokesman Jose Diaz told Reuters Kabila had assured investigators of the government's full cooperation, and they were now waiting to hear from the UN in New York. After over two months of wrangling, the DRC authorities yesterday gave the team the go-ahead to go "where they want". UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said yesterday the world body was hopeful this would be the "final okay" to get into the field. However, some "logistical matters" remained unresolved, he added. Albright to visit region next month US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is due to arrive in Kinshasa on 12 December as part of a tour of Africa. The one-week tour from 9-15 December will take in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe. A State Department spokesman said the trip would focus on "advancing US interests in the Great Lakes region, justice and the rule of law, stability and economic opportunity". Army counter-insurgency body created A counter-insurgency body has been set up within the DRC army, DRC radio, broadcasting from Bukavu, reported. Speaking over the radio, a South Kivu military commander stressed the new body - known as the Detection Militaire des Anti-Patrie (DEMIAP) - would only concern itself with the army. "It has nothing to do with the civilian population, the arrest of civilians or confiscation of property," he said. Army chief reportedly arrested over disagreements with Kabila Radio France Internationale said an official of the security service had confirmed the arrest on Wednesday of acting army chief-of-staff Major Masasu Nindaga. It said his office was surrounded by hundreds of soldiers and all cellular phones of his close friends had been confiscated. The radio pointed out no reasons had been given for the arrest of Masasu, who was reportedly very close to Kabila during the liberation war and also vice-president of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL). Senior political analysts told IRIN Masasu, 28, was arrested after reportedly falling out with Kabila over the handling of the Mai-Mai rebellion in eastern DRC. They say his arrest and incarceration could "have grave consequences for the future of the alliance". His detention follows the reported sidelining of ADFL Secretary-General Deogratias Bugera, a founding member of the Banyamulenge-led Democratic Alliance of the People (ADP) and in the days immediately after the defeat of former president Mobutu Sese Seko, the second most influential man in the country. Masasu, whose Rwandan Tutsi mother fled the pogroms of the late-1950s, joined the Rwandan Patriotic Army in 1993 before becoming a frontline commander in the fight to overthrow Mobutu. His father, a leading member of the Bashi ethnic grouping, is an influential figure in the region around Uvira.

42

Kabila pledges cooperation with neighbours President Kabila pledged cooperation with other regional partners, stressing DRC would "never enter into conflict with its neighbours". DRC radio in Bunia, citing a press release, today said Kabila affirmed his country would promote development in central and southern Africa. He spoke of exploiting oil deposits in Lake Albert and Lake Edward on the Ugandan border and constructing a railway linking the Great Lakes region. The projects would be financed by credit lines from Namibia, Kabila said. UGANDA: Babies reportedly killed by rebels At least 14 people were massacred by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army near the northern Ugandan town of Gulu yesterday, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported today. It quoted army commander Brigadier James Kazini as saying the incident occurred at dawn near the river Ayugi in Pabo. Seven of the victims reportedly were babies aged under one. Most of the victims were hacked to death and their bodies strewn along the roads, the newspaper added. KENYA: World Bank releases funds to combat water hyacinth Nearly 3,000 hectares of Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water reservoir in Africa, is covered with the water hyacinth weed which poses a severe threat to fisheries and lake transportation. The World Bank has set aside US$ 77 million for the first phase of a five-year programme for research into the lake involving Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, PANA news agency reported. The money would be used for researching fisheries, water quality, management of the wetlands and the environment. The lake is essential for east Africans who are dependent on its waters for their livelihood. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Clean water restored to parts of capital Clean water supplies were restored to parts of Brazzaville yesterday, official Radio Liberte reported, according to AFP. The city had been without clean water since the civil war broke out in June. The radio also said civil servants were paid their October salaries, although banks have not reopened. ANGOLA: Government inquiry into prison deaths The Angolan government has launched an inquiry into the deaths of 10 UNITA prisoners at a jail in the central town of Malanje, Portuguese radio reported. The Angolan embassy in Lisbon was quoted as saying the perpetrators would be punished. The dead inmates are believed to have suffocated in overcrowded conditions. UNITA radio yesterday (Wednesday) accused the government of "torturing and massacring" UNITA sympathisers in territory newly administered by the authorities.

SUDAN: Garang says SPLM does not oppose Islam

43

Sudanese rebel leader John Garang has stressed his Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) is not hostile to Islam, neither is it separatist. In an interview with the Egyptian news agency MENA, Garang who is visiting Cairo, said the SPLM was trying to unify Sudan on the basis of justice to accommodate all ethnicities and religion. His visit to Cairo, he added, was aimed at briefing Egyptian officials on developments in Sudan. He blamed the failure of the recent Nairobi peace talks on the Sudanese government, claiming the government delegation had "insisted on its views". GREAT LAKES: Economic growth rate revised down by IMF Drought and civil war have forced the IMF to revise down its 1997 projected real GDP growth rate for African economies from 4.5 percent to 3.75 percent. In the Great Lakes region, only Uganda is expected to turn in a robust GDP growth of more than five percent. The IMF's recently released 'World Economic Outlook' says the revision of Africa's growth rate is partly attributable to the political turmoil in DRC and Congo-Brazzaville. UNCTAD, in its 1997 report on 'Least Developed Countries', highlights the issue of "social and economic regress" that has afflicted several countries in the Great Lakes over the past decade. The report stresses that lessons need to be drawn from the analysis of development retardation and the "international community cannot afford to ignore the problems of regress." UNCTAD points out Uganda is an example that regress can be reversed even after prolonged civil war. The UN agency calls for external assistance in brokering peace and supporting reconstruction.

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: IRIN-CEA has recently enhanced its services and now covers a broader geographical area as well as providing a maps and graphics service. Subscribers are invited to subscribe to one or more of the following services. English service: irin-cea-weekly - weekly Round-ups and all special reports irin-cea-updates - daily Updates irin-cea-extra - news releases, communiques, non-IRIN reports irin-cea-graphics - using IRIN's specially-developed software, a new mailing list has been established to deliver maps and graphics to those without access to the World Wide Web. Items can be delivered to large numbers of subscribers by e-mail and fax simultaneously. French service: irin-cea-francais-hebdo - weekly Round-ups and all special reports translated from English into French irin-cea-francais-bulletins - daily Updates translated from English into French irin-cea-extra - news release communiques, non-IRIN reports mainly in English irin-cea-graphics - maps and graphics Nairobi, 27 November 1997, 14:40 gmt

44

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 12:05:08 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 32-97 21-27 Nov 1997 97.11.28

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 32-97 covering the period 21-27 Nov 1997 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN probe given go-ahead The DRC authorities on Wednesday agreed to allow the UN human rights investigation to deploy into the field and begin its work. Mission spokesman Jose Diaz said the green light was given at a meeting with government representatives. Reconstruction Minister Etienna Mbaya told the investigators "there is nothing stopping you this time deploying your mission where you want." Kinshasa's decision followed a 48-hour postponement of the team's withdrawal announced on Tuesday by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. On Thursday, the UN team members met President Laurent-Desire Kabila who assured them of the government's full cooperation. The mission has been marooned in Kinshasa for over three months despite highlevel diplomatic activity to overcome government objections to the probe.

Acting army chief arrested over alleged disagreements with Kabila

45

The acting DRC army chief-of-staff, Major Masasu Nindaga, was arrested on Wednesday, reportedly for disagreeing with Kabila over the handling of the Mai-Mai rebellion in the east. A large contingent of heavily-armed soldiers surrounded his offices and confiscated cellular phones belonging to his close frinds. No official reasons were given for the arrest, but regional analysts noted his detention could have "grave consequences" for the future of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL). Masasu, 28, who is half-Tutsi on his mother's side, comes from the South Kivu Bashi community and became a frontline commander in the ADFL during the overthrow of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko. Two opposition leaders included in government Kabila broadened his government in a minor reshuffle on Monday by naming two opposition figures as deputy ministers. Both Frederic Kibassa Maliba, who joins the mines ministry, and Fernand Tala Ngai, who joins the finance ministry, have distanced themselves from veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, Reuters said. However, according to Gabonese radio, Kibassa Maliba is yet to accept the post. Monday's presidential decree also named a new governor and deputy governor for the diamond-producing region of eastern Kasai. Omar Kamba replaced the previous governor who was sacked. Authorities worried by growing insecurity in the Kivus Security in the Kivus is again giving cause for concern, according to the official Agence congolaise de presse (ACP). Quoting businessmen in Bukavu, it said Lake Kivu remained the only secure channel for commercial trade between North and South Kivu. Road travel between Goma and Bukavu was particularly risky in the Minova area due to the presence of Mai-Mai fighters "who do not want to see anyone of Nilotic extraction in their way", the news agency reported. It added the South Kivu governor had noted that while some Mai-Mai had been integrated into the regular army, others had allied themselves with Interahamwe militia and exFAR members. The Lugushwa and Kitutu areas in the Mwenga zone of South Kivu had recently been subjected to acts of violence by Mai-Mai forces. Albright to visit region next month US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is due to arrive in Kinshasa on 12 December as part of a tour of Africa. The one-week tour from 9-15 December will take in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe. A State Department spokesman said the trip would focus on "advancing US interests in the Great Lakes region, justice and the rule of law, stability and economic opportunity". Refugees due home from Tanzania Six hundred DRC refugees were due to leave the western Tanzanian port of Kigoma on Thursday at the start of a resumed repatriation operation. Over 40,000 refugees have registered to return home, according to UNHCR Tanzania. The repatriation exercise was put on hold in September after UNHCR expressed concerns over security in eastern DRC.

46

Humanitarian sources described the current situation in Uvira as calm with shops and businesses reopening and more goods available in the markets. RWANDA: Minister tells Tanzanians refugee expulsions "deplorable" Rwandan meanwhile described the recent expulsion of Rwandan refugees from Tanzania as "deplorable". Education Minister Joseph Karemera, who led an official team to Tanzania earlier this month, said he was told by the Tanzanian authorities the intention was to deport "troublemakers" but the order was incorrectly implemented at local level. Rwandan radio recalled that over 1,800 Rwandans - many of whom had been in Tanzania for years - were thrown out by authorities some three months ago. According to the radio, the minister stressed relations with Tanzania were "as a rule, marked by excellent mutual understanding". "I do not see why such incidents should happen again," he stated. A meeting was planned for 3 December between the two countries' defence and interior ministers to try and resolve the problem. Giciye reported calm after heavy fighting The Rwanda news agency (RNA) said the town of Giciye, in Gisenyi prefecture, was now calm after fierce fighting erupted there last week following a rebel attempt to storm the local prison. The building was completely destroyed, RNA added. In an interview with Radio France Internationale over the weekend, military spokesman Richard Sezibera said the rebels had no bases in the country. "They pretend to be civilians during the day, and at night they organise and attack," he stated.It was possible the rebels had rear bases in the Democratic Repubic of Congo, but the armies of the two countries were cooperating to combat them, he added. Meles urges new probe into 1994 genocide The OAU's conflict resolution committee endorsed a proposal by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for a new investigation into the 1994 genocide. Warning that the fallout was still "potent and pregnant with disaster", Meles told the committee the new probe should look at why the genocide was allowed to happen, in a bid to "come out of the cycle of violence" in the Great Lakes region. He suggested a "panel of internationally-renowned personalities" should look into "where the OAU failed, what the UN did and did not do". The current relative calm in the Great Lakes region was "deceptive", Meles warned. "We obviously cannot play a meaningful role in preventing a slide into the abyss unless we know what might have gone wrong in April 1994," he stated. "There is probably no greater issue that warrants the urgent attention of the OAU". BURUNDI: Thousands displaced as army battles rebels in south The Burundi army announced 103 rebels were killed and ammunition seized in an operation mounted by the security forces in the southern Bururi province. Speaking over Burundi radio on Monday, military spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi said the operation was carried out during the weekend along the Dama river between the communes of Buyengero and Burambi.

47

Two soldiers were slightly wounded. WFP reported over 10,000 people had been displaced by recent fighting in Buyengero commune, fleeing ongoing rebel activities and military operations in the surrounding hills and forests. It said they were completely destitute, sleeping rough under trees or in the local church. Tanzania expels Burundi government representative Tension between Burundi and Tanzania increased over the weekend after Dar es Salaam expelled the Burundi government's only representative. The Burundi authorities on Friday expressed "deep indignation" over the expulsion of Clavera Maregeya, saying she had been the victim of "inhuman and demeaning treatment". The Tanzanian government denied she had been deported, claiming she was asked to leave the country after the authorities discovered she had no accreditation. The Burundi embassy in Dar es Salaam is staffed by exiled members of the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) who are not recognised by the Burundi government. Pressure mounts for lifting sanctions The chairman of the Eastern and Southern Africa Business Organisation (ESABO) called on the regional economic grouping COMESA to lift the embargo on Burundi because of the "devastating consequences" for member states, PANA news agency reported on Monday. Kassim Owango said that while members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) had stopped trading with Burundi, other business competitors such as China and South Africa had taken over the market. Earlier this month, COMESA itself described the sanctions as futile and urged an end to the embargo. The human rights organisation, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, ended a conference in Senegal on Monday with a call for lifting economic sanctions. The calls come in the wake of a report by UN Special Rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro which said the embargo was having negative effects on the Burundian people and should be ended. Tanzania's UN envoy hits out at arms embargo proposal Tanzania's UN representative has lashed out at Pinheiro's report which also contained proposals to impose an arms embargo upon the Great Lakes region. Musinga Bandora described the suggestion as an attempt to infringe on the sovereignty of countries of the region. The report, presented to a UN committee last week, created an "erroneous impression that the problems of Burundi, which were purely internal, emanated from the region," the envoy stated. He added his delegation had been "appalled" by the "misinterpretation of facts and malicious assertions" that regional economic sanctions on Burundi were a violation of human rights. TANZANIA: UNICEF concerned over Burundian round-up UNICEF in Tanzania expressed concern over the situation of Burundian women and children being rounded up by the Tanzanian authorities and taken to refugee camps in the Kigoma and Kagera regions. It said families, who had been living in villages in the region for some 20 years,

48

were being separated as a result of the operation. UNICEF stated it was assessing cases of rights violations against children and women, who were Tanzanian by law, but had been treated as illegal immigrants. According to an article in the 'EastAfrican' weekly, the Tanzanian government had denied there was deliberate operation to expel Burundians from the country, saying the exercise was a "military surveillance" of border areas for "security reasons". The weekly quoted a US diplomat as saying the move had "grossly marred" Tanzania's position as a peace-broker in the Burundi crisis. UGANDA: Babies reportedly killed by rebels At least 14 people were massacred by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army near the northern Ugandan town of Gulu on Wednesday, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported. It quoted army commander Brigadier James Kazini as saying the incident occurred at dawn near the river Ayugi in Pabo. Seven of the victims reportedly were babies aged under one. Most of the victims were hacked to death and their bodies strewn along the roads, the newspaper added. Earlier in the week, the 'New Vision' said the DRC and Ugandan armies would launch a joint military operation to fight rebels along their common border where another Ugandan group, the Allied Democratic Forces, is active. UGANDA/KENYA: Deaths and hardship as torrential rains continue Floods caused by torrential rain in Uganda's eastern Mbale district left 35 people dead, according to the 'New Vision' on Monday. Bridges were swept away and electricity and running water supplies disrupted. In northeastern Kenya, heavy rains battered refugees camps at Dadaab putting thousands of people at risk. The three camps of Ifo, Hadgera and Dagahaley house some 120,000 mainly Somali, Sudanese and Ethiopian refugees. According to the USAID Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), up to 10 times more rain than normal for October has fallen in the usually arid northeast.

KENYA: Government to register all parties where applications pending The Kenyan authorities on Wednesday registered all political parties whose applications had been pending. The measure primarily affects the broad-based Safina party and the Islamic Party of Kenya (IPK) led by fiery preacher Khalid Balala. Twenty-four parties were already fielding presidential or parliamentary candidates for the 29 December polls, in which President Daniel arap Moi is seeking a new five-year term as head of state and candidate of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), which has ruled since independence. SUDAN: Garang says SPLM does not oppose Islam Sudanese rebel leader John Garang stressed his Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) was not hostile to Islam, neither was it separatist. In an interview with the Egyptian news agency MENA, Garang who is visting Cairo, said the SPLM was trying to unify Sudan on the basis of justice to accommodate all ethnicities and religion. His visit to Cairo, he added, was

49

aimed at briefing Egyptian officials on developments in Sudan. He blamed the failure of the recent Nairobi peace talks on the Sudanese government, claiming the government delegation had "insisted on its views". Military denies existence of poison gas factory The Sudanese government denied allegations it was in possession of a poison gas factory built with Iraqi assistance, the German news agency DPA reported a local newspaper as saying on Tuesday. The 'al-Rai al-Akhar' quoted a military statement which said the allegations were "manufactured to serve the imperialist interests." The statement followed reports first published by Uganda's 'New Vision' and the London 'Sunday Times' which claimed the Sudanese army was manufacturing poison gas weapons and using them against the rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in southern Sudan. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Assistance urgently needed The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Friday said over 370,000 Congolese people were in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care. In a statement issued in Nairobi, it appealed for around US$ four million to assist vulnerable people in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. The NGO consortium, Action by Churches Together, described the devastation of Brazzaville as "terrifying" and said security had still not returned. The need for humanitarian assistance was urgent, it stressed in a report following a visit to the city.

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: IRIN-CEA has recently enhanced its services and now covers a broader geographical area as well as providing a maps and graphics service. Subscribers are invited to subscribe to one or more of the following services. English service: irin-cea-weekly - weekly Round-ups and all special reports irin-cea-updates - daily Updates irin-cea-extra - news releases, communiques, non-IRIN reports irin-cea-graphics - using IRIN's specially-developed software, a new mailing list has been established to deliver maps and graphics to those without access to the World Wide Web. Items can be delivered to large numbers of subscribers by e-mail and fax simultaneously. French service: irin-cea-francais-hebdo - weekly Round-ups and all special reports translated from English into French irin-cea-francais-bulletins - daily Updates translated from English into French irin-cea-extra - news release communiques, non-IRIN reports mainly in English irin-cea-graphics - maps and graphics Nairobi, 28 November 1997, 09:00 gmt

50

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 18:55:59 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 302 97.11.28 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 302 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 28 November 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Shooting reported in Kinshasa Heavy gunfire broke out in Kinshasa this afternoon (Friday) in the city centre and around the presidential palace, news organisations reported. They said sporadic outbreaks of firing were also heard last night and again this morning. Residents told IRIN they saw heavy troop movements in the DRC capital on Friday, but said the reason for the shooting was not clear. Supporters condemn Masasu arrest Meanwhile, supporters of detained acting DRC army chief General Masasu Nindaga claim he has been falsely accused of coup plotting and have warned that his arrest could lead to a serious rift within the ruling party. News agencies reported that although the government has stressed his arrest was for "disciplinary reasons", it is an indication of deep divisions within the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL). These allegedly centre on the rivalry between President Laurent-Desire Kabila and his followers who are from the southern Shaba province, and some soldiers who are from the east and loyal to Masasu, a cofounder of the ADFL. Radio France Internationale reported yesterday (Thursday) that Deogratias Bugera, the ADFL's secretary-general, has publicly backed Masasu. Bugera described him as "reliable". However, in an interview with Reuters today in Nairobi at the end of a three-day visit, Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha defended Masasu's incarceration on the grounds that he was involved in "dubious activities". Karaha said his detention would have no effect on the power dynamics of the ADFL as "Masasu was never in charge of the military command". Regional analysts say that Rwandan Vice President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame was kept closely informed of events and condoned the arrest to preserve stability in Kinshasa.

51

Foreign minister seeks normalisation of relations with Kenya Karaha said he was in Kenya to normalise bilateral relations and President Daniel arap Moi had promised to rein in exiled Congolese political dissidents. He told Reuters that the move would also pave the way for DRC's participation in regional cooperation, security, trade and investment matters. "My mission to Kenya was to meet President Moi and open up serious, normal channels of communication between our two countries. We had to defuse an impression that the two countries were enemies," Karaha said. Amnesty issues alert over arrests Amnesty International (AI) has issued an alert over the fate of 11 leaders of the opposition Forces du futur who were arrested on Tuesday while holding a meeting in Kinshasa. According to the rights group the men have been tortured and denied access to medical treatment. They are currently being held by the the Police d'Intervention Rapide (PRI) at the gendarmerie headquarters known as the Circo. Among them is the president of the movement, Zahidi Arthur Ngoma. According to Amnesty, the detainees were told they were arrested for their political activities. Ten journalists were also picked up in the initial swoop on the meeting and were beaten up and had their equipment stolen, Reporters sans frontieres said in a press statement. In a separate release, AI yesterday also said it was concerned for the safety of two human rights activists. Roger Sala Nzo Badila, Secretary-General of the Christian NGO Centre national des droits de l'homme (CENADHO) was arrested on 23 November at his home in the capital. He is not known to have been charged, but his arrest is apparently related to an article he wrote criticising the human rights record of the government. Nsii Luanda Shandwe, president of the Comite des observateurs des droits de l'homme (CODHO) has gone into hiding after being warned that the security forces were looking for him. He recently published a report on allegations of massacres by the ADFL. Fleeing Goma residents asked to return According to humanitarian sources, a senior commander of the 10th Army Brigade in Goma has asked people who fled their homes near the airport to return, state radio in Goma reported today. The panic was apparently prompted by the arrival of soldiers and weapons at the airport. According to the commander, the deployment was "for the security of the airport and the population." TANZANIA: Repatriation of Congolese begins Six hundred DRC refugees repatriated from Tanzania by UNHCR arrived in Uvira today. They are the first returnees out of the 48,402 DRC refugees in Tanzania who have registered to go home as part of the renewed UNHCR-assisted operation. Humanitarian sources report a further 160 Congolese refugees who were in Zambia arrived yesterday in Uvira following a

52

"spontaneous repatriation". A total of 1,000 refugees have left Zambian camps this week, most of them heading for Lubumbashi. RWANDA: President hints elections to be postponed Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu has not ruled out postponing elections and extending the five-year transition period for parliament and government beyond 1999. "On my behalf, I never thought the transition was primarily a question of duration, or simply a question of time alone," he told parliament on the commemoration of its third anniversary on Tuesday. He said the transitional arrangement was a response to the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, and "to my knowledge, these challenges have not yet been overcome," the privately-owned Rwanda News Agency reported. Hutu group accuses army of massacres The Rwandan pro-Hutu Centre for the Fight Against Impunity and Injustice has accused the Rwandan army of killing more than 8,000 Hutu civilians in the Kanama region of Gisenyi. The Brussels-based centre said the killings occurred last month during an army counter-insurgency operation against Hutu rebels. The BBC World Service reported that eyewitnesses claim the victims were chased into caves by the Rwandan army which then shelled them, leaving no survivors. In reaction to the allegations, Rwandan presidential advisor Seth Kamanzi denied that civilians had been killed. He said the Buvomo area where the killings were alleged to have taken place was a Hutu rebel base from where ambushes had been launched. "There are no citizens in the area", only rebels. "They will either move out or die there," he added. The military commander for the northwestern region told AFP the army had stumbled across the base two weeks ago as it pursued a rebel group. Colonel Kayumba Nyamwase said there had been no fighting around the caves and instead the army was attempting to starve the rebels out. He said that "since we discovered" the caves, "we haven't had a single road ambush in this sector." The region is a traditional home of Hutu nationalism and has seen increasingly intensive clashes between rebels and the army since the town of Gisenyi was attacked in midSeptember. 70 percent of church massacre victims were women and children Seventy percent of the victims of a massacre at a Roman Catholic church in the western district of Kibuye during the 1994 genocide were women and children, a US forensic expert told the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). William Haglund, of the Boston-based group Physicians for Human Rights, gave the evidence Wednesday at the trial of the former Kibuye prefect, Clement Kayishema, and businessman Obed Ruzindana. Both are accused of being responsible for the murder of thousands of people in various parts of Kibuye, and the church massacre where 8,000 people are believed to have perished. Meanwhile, a former army lieutenant, Samuel Imanishimwe, yesterday pleaded not guilty to eight counts of involvement in the 1994 genocide before the ICTR. Imanishimwe, the former commander of the Cyangugu barracks, is accused of ordering the execution of Tutsi refugees

53

held at the barracks, and the selection of names from a pre-established list of Tutsis and moderate Hutus confined in a local stadium who were later executed. UGANDA: Sudanese refugees cross into Uganda to escape fighting Some 1,800 Sudanese have crossed into northern Uganda's Kitgum District since the weekend, AFP quoted aid workers as saying. The refugees reportedly came from areas around the southern Sudanese town of Torit, where initial reports suggested they had been forced out due to rebel activity and shortage of food in areas surrounding their villages. There are currently close to 250,000 Sudanese refugees living in refugee and settlement camps across northern Uganda. KENYA: Moi nominated by KANU, Safina to contest election President Daniel arap Moi was nominated yesterday as the candidate of the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) for his Baringo Central constituency in the Rift Valley. Meanwhile, the newly-registered opposition party Safina has announced it will take part in the 29 December general elections, but will attempt to persuade opposition parties to rally behind a single presidential candidate. Safina Interim Chairman Muturi Kigano told a press confrence that the party supported the idea of a two-year interim government of national unity, KTN TV reported. AFRICA: Aids scourge worse than previously thought A report released yesterday by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and WHO shows that infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is far more common than previously thought. Over 30 million adults and children are now believed to be living with HIV infection - one in every 100 sexually active adults worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, 7.4 percent of all those aged between 15 and 49 years are now thought to be infected with HIV. Levels of infection vary, however, widely across the continent. Southern Africa continues to be the worst-affected area. Meanwhile, Rwanda's National Centre for AIDS Control (PNLS) has reported that one out of four Kigali residents is HIV-infected, the Rwanda National News Agency reported. Nairobi, 28 November 1997, 15:00 gmt [ENDS]

54

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 18:24:22 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 303 97.12.1 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 303 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 29 November-1 December 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kinshasa calm, but situation remains confused Calm returned to Kinshasa on Friday evening after heavy shooting rocked the DRC capital earlier in the day and overnight Thursday. Residents described the situation as tense and confused. The government announced it was in "complete control" and blamed Thursday night's outbreak of shooting around Kokolo barracks on a "misunderstanding" between two groups of soldiers. Congolese television reported that a group of soldiers on patrol had opened fire on a group not on patrol and then "refused to heed orders given to it to stop". The authorities said three soldiers were killed and two others injured and said all the unruly troops had been arrested. Interior Ministry blames "bandits" for city centre shoot-out In a separate statement also broadcast on Congolese television, the Ministry of Interior said "bandits" were responsible for the shooting which erupted in the centre of the city on Friday afternoon. The statement said the bandits in two jeeps had fired into the air near the Intercontinental Hotel and Tshatsi military camp, believed to be the main base for Tutsi soldiers serving in the Congolese armed forces. DRC troops guarding the Presidential Palace responded in kind and the firing spread to outside the Central Bank and Interior Ministry. The statement said the bandits "would be apprehended shortly" and urged people to go about their normal business because the situation "is calm in the country". It said the government was "keeping an eye on all troublemakers". Some residents, however, said the incident followed a dispute between Tutsi soldiers and members of the national police force and said between six and eight people were believed killed in the shoot-out.

55

Government details charges against Masasu The 'New York Times' reported from Kinshasa that as many as 18 people may have been killed in the clashes and said the most likely cause of the tension was last Wednesday's arrest of acting DRC army chief Commander Masasu Nindaga, previously one of President LaurentDesire Kabila's closest allies in the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL). Aid workers in the field reported that many young Banyamulenge Tutsi recruits were dismayed by his detention and said there were unconfirmed reports of desertions. The government defended its move and said Masasu had been arrested on the grounds of "military discipline" and notably "for the expropriation of property of others, (and) the creation of a tribal militia." A statement, issued by Kabila's office on Saturday, also accused Masasu of creating a private prison for "arbitrary arrests", liasing with foreign intelligence services, collaborating with the country's enemies, including the hardline Interahamwe Hutu militia, and "creating division within the army and the regular consumption of Indian hemp." International and local media, meanwhile, reported Masasu had been transferred from Kinshasa to Katanga, Kabila's stronghold in an attempt to reduce tensions in the capital and ADFL Secretary-General Deogratias Bugera, who last week expressed regret over Masasu's detention, issued a plea for unity and peace without which, he said, no reconstruction could take place. Angered by foreign reporting of recent events in the country, the DRC government yesterday (Sunday) banned relays of foreign radio stations by local stations on the FM band. Information Minister Raphael Ghenda said the measure had been taken because foreign radio correspondents had indulged in a disinformation campaign against the country and "systematically altered all facts" surrounding events taking place in DRC. Reuters reported today that the FM transmissions of Radio France Internationale (RFI), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Voice of America (VOA) had all fallen silent. Troops confiscate food trucks in eastern DRC Several aid agencies have complained to the local authorities after two trucks carrying food for internally-displaced people were stopped in Rutshuru last Monday and confiscated by DRC troops. A spokesman for World Vision said the two trucks, one belonging to his NGO and the other to WFP, were still in the hands of the army along with the key to a warehouse containing some 84 mt of food aid and 1,979 resettlement kits. "It's a mess," he said, adding radios and handsets had also been confiscated. Opposition leader accepts post in Kabila government Frederic Kibassa Maliba has finally agreed to join the government, DRC radio reported. Kabila offered Kibassa Maliba, who recently distanced himself from veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, the post of deputy minister of mines last week, but he did not immediately accept.

56

Paris demands recall of DRC diplomat in tit-for-tat exchange France on Monday requested the recall of DRC diplomat Yeye Lobota by the end of the week, retaliating after the number two at the French embassy in Kinshasa, Eric Lubin, was declared persona non grata, French officials announced. Yeye is first counsellor at the DRC embassy in Paris. France previously said it "deplored the decision" to expel Lubin, who returned to France on Sunday morning, after being accused in the Kinshasa press of espionage. UN mission delayed again The departure into the field of the UN human rights investigative mission to DRC has been delayed again. Mission spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN a scouting team, which was supposed to leave for Mbandaka on Saturday, did not leave as planned as the government official who is supposed to accompany them has not yet been designated. He said mission leaders were meeting with government liaison officers today and "hoped to leave on Wednesday". RWANDA: Genocide survivors protest early releases Survivors of the 1994 genocide of Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus by hardline elements in the Hutu-dominated army and militia forces have protested against the release of elderly, sick and child prisoners being held for their alleged part in the massacres, government radio reported at the weekend. The demonstration was the second in a week in the southwest district of Gikongoro. A similar protest on November 21 succeeded in having the released prisoners reincarcerated. According to AFP, a Rwandan newspaper today reported the Rwandan authorities had freed 2,129 prisoners since September, when they launched the policy to release very young, sick or elderly detainees. The 'Ukuri' (Truth) newspaper said that those freed were among 121,571 held in jails and makeshift prisons. Kagame aide Dusaidi dies in South Africa Claude Dusaidi, senior adviser and spokesman for Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame, has died following complications during a kidney operation, Reuters reported. The agency quoted a Rwandan government official as saying that Dusaidi died on Friday at a Johannesburg hospital during an operation to rectify a kidney ailment. EAST AFRICA: Floods kill four more in Kenya Four more people have been killed in floods in Garissa in Kenya's north-east province, taking the country's death toll as a result of the current torrential rains to 10, Kenyan KTN television reported on Sunday. It added that some 1,600 houses had been submerged or swept away in the area. Meanwhile, Uganda's daily 'New Vision' newspaper reported an estimated 1,000 people had been made homeless in Bundibugyo district after two major rivers, the Mpanga and the Muguzi, burst their banks. It also reported about 7,000 people were cut off in the Kanumba

57

and Kabuga parishes of Karusandara subcounty after a bridge was swept away by heavy rain in Kasese district. TANZANIA: Two killed in hand grenade attack At least two people were killed when a hand grenade exploded along a river bank in northwestern Tanzania early this week, the Kiswahili newspaper 'Uhuru' reported on Friday, according to AFP. The daily quoted Kagera Regional Police Commander Juma Ng'wanamwaka as saying the grenades went off on the banks of River Mwiluzi in Ngara district, killing the two, who were fishing on the river bank. Cholera kills 105 in central Tanzania since June Tanzanian radio reported from Dodoma that a total of 105 people out of 1,525 who contracted cholera in the central region of the country had died since June this year. ZAMBIA-ANGOLA: Zambian government denies any involvment with UNITA The Zambian government has denied Angolan government accusations of supplying arms to former UNITA rebels in Angola and has said it is committed to the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol of November 1994, AFP reported on Sunday. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Shimba said in a statement that the Zambian government would not do anything to sabotage the protocol because the war in Angola has never been in the interests of Zambia. Meanwhile, Angolan television reported six UNITA soldiers and one police officer were killed after the UNITA men attacked a police convoy near Cutende in Huila province last week in an attempt to capture more weapons. HUMAN RIGHTS: Mary Robinson to visit Rwanda and South Africa Mary Robinson, the new UN special envoy for human rights, will visit Rwanda and South Africa later this week on her first visit to Africa since being appointed, a spokesman announced in Geneva. John Mills said Robinson would arrive in Kigali on Thursday and stay until Saturday. Details of her visit to South Africa will be announced later, he added. IRIN BRIEFING: IRIN-CEA's fortnightly information exchange on current events in the region will take place at IRIN's offices at 09.00 am on Wednesday 3 December. A number of agencies have agreed to brief the meeting. Nairobi, 1 December 1997 15:00 gmt [Ends]

58

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 02 Dec 1997 18:15:48 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 304 97.12.2 Sender: owner-iri[email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 304 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 2 December 1997) BURUNDI: Efforts underway to organise regional summit Efforts are underway to convene a new regional summit on Burundi to consider whether to maintain economic sanctions against the Tutsi-dominated government of Major Pierre Buyoya, diplomatic sources told IRIN today (Tuesday). The sources said the plan was to try to hold a meeting of Burundian political groupings first followed later by a regional heads of state summit. Kigali radio, meanwhile, reported the Tanzanian foreign ministry had announced a meeting on sanctions for the second half of January, but did not say who would attend. The radio also quoted sources in Bujumbura as saying the Burundi authorities were unaware of such a meeting but "are open to discussions". On Monday, the 'EastAfrican' newspaper reported stalled peace negotiations under mediator Julius Nyerere would resume shortly and could lead to the end of the 16-month-old regional embargo against Burundi. The paper reported Buyoya would not be pressed to make a series of concessions as a pre-condition for normalisation the issue most blamed for preventing progress in the past. Much of country hit by dysentery outbreak Medical sources report a major outbreak of bacillary dysentery across most of the country. They said that by the end of September, 34,000 cases had been registered and if the trend continued there would be 48,000 cases by the end of the year. The areas most affected were Ngozi, Gitega and Bujumbura Rural. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Human Rights Watch urges donors to set aid conditions

59

Ahead of a critical World Bank-organised donor meeting for DRC, Human Rights Watch has urged donor nations to link aid to respect for human rights and avoid "the mistake of funding a repressive government in the hopes of achieving stability in central Africa." The human rights monitoring group accused the government of President Laurent-Desire Kabila of violating basic human rights and showing "no commitment" to democracy. "The risk here is that donors will find themselves in the same position they were in under the Mobutu regime," said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of Human Rights Watch/Africa. Rather, the rights group called for aid to be linked to carefully calibrated benchmarks and based on an ongoing evaluation of human rights and democratisation criteria. Donor meeting "could transform" central Africa Donor nations meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday to examine ways of helping revive a country rich in diamonds, cobalt and copper. Last week, Britain's 'Financial Times' said the meeting could transform the fortunes of central Africa by taking the first step to the "most exciting recovery programme" in Africa. "Unlike many African countries, it (DRC) has the resources to build a recovery, and attract essential foreign investment," the paper said in an editorial, warning that if the meeting failed "the repercussions would go well beyond the country's borders". DRC confirms Rwandan heads army DRC has confirmed for the first time that a Rwandan is currently the head of the country's armed forces, Reuters reported from Kinshasa. It said a statement, issued after an emergency cabinet meeting yesterday (Monday), pledged that all foreign soldiers would return home as soon as a new national army was trained. The same statement confirmed Interim Army Chief James Kabare in his position. Kabare was previously a senior figure in the Rwandan Patriotic Army which helped Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL) take power in May. The cabinet meeting followed reports of clashes between different ethnic groups in the army since the arrest last Wednesday of Commander Masasu Nindaga, one of the founding members of the ADFL and a popular figure in eastern DRC. The government denied reports Masasu was acting army chief. Aid workers told IRIN today Goma was calm, although it was still not possible to travel beyond the town for security reasons, but they said Bukavu was tense after Masasu's detention on the grounds of "military discipline". Kabila has, meanwhile, called off plans for an official three-day visit to Uganda. RWANDA: Government reshuffles top posts in army and gendarmerie The Ministry of Defence has carried out a major reshuffle of top posts in the national army and gendarmerie, news organisations reported from Kigali. The reports said Colonel Marcel Gatsinzi, previously deputy chief of staff of the Rwandan army, was the new gendarmerie chief of staff replacing Colonel Deogratias Nibwami who appears to have been been demoted. Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson Rwahama becomes reservists' commander. His former post as head of the military police is taken over by Major Jean Zigira. Lieutenant-Colonel Karake Karenzi, who was head of military intelligence in Kigali, has been transferred to the 305th

60

Brigade where he will be the army deputy commander for the Gitarama-Kibuye region. A Rwandan government spokesman described the military reshuffle as "normal and usual administrative changes" designed to "make things work better". SUDAN: Sudan suspends UN family-planning programme The Sudanese parliament has suspended a UN-sponsored family-planning programme for Sudan on the grounds that it contradicts Islamic values, AFP reported. The agency said the national assembly resolution was passed on Monday following days of heated debate following a report from the parliamentary social affairs committee on activities by international and local associations in the Khartoum suburb of Al Haj Yousuf under a programme sponsored by UNFPA. The committee, which branded the programme a threat to the Sudanese family, has called for legal action against all government agencies and officials involved in approving the Al Haj Yousuf and similar programmes in Sudan, and for the disbanding of all associations involved, including Sudanese family planning and fertility control offices. Sudanese president says rebels will be crushed by year-end AFP also reported Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had vowed to defeat SPLA rebels opposing his government by the end of this year. "Our armed forces are determined to defeat the rebel forces of John Garang and Yousuf Kuwah this year if they fail to respond to the peace call," Bashir was quoted as saying in the local press. Meanwhile, Garang - who has led the SPLA since 1983 - has said his movement has no desire to break with Khartoum and destroy the country's unity. "Our movement is totally committed ... to the necessity to maintain the unity of our country," Garang told reporters following his first official meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. KENYA: Health minister says 110 die daily through AIDS The 'Daily Nation' today reported Health Minister Jackson Mulinge as saying 110 Kenyans died every day from Aids or HIV-related causes. The minister, speaking in Nakuru during a ceremony to mark World Aids Day, said the 35 infections occurred daily. He said the number of people infected with the HIV virus had increased to 1.3 million this year and said this figure included 79,000 children. European Union funds Kenya's wildlife service The European Union is to grant the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) $2.5 million to fund a zoo improvement project in Nairobi and the rehabilitation of national parks, EU officials said Monday. According to AFP, an agreement for the funding was signed by the head of the EU delegation in Kenya Lutz Salzman and KWS director David Western. Salzman said most of the funds will be used to redesign and transform Nairobi's animal orphanage into a new conservation facility to be known as the Nairobi Safari Walk. Nairobi, 2 December 1997

61

[Ends]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

62

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 03 Dec 1997 18:38:17 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 305 97.12.3 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 305 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 3 December 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: France to consider aid to Kinshasa French foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne Gazeau-Secret said Paris held "no prejudice" against the DRC and would be "attentive" to Kinshasa's request for aid under the umbrella of a reconstruction plan it will present to donors today (Wednesday) at a two day "friends of the Democratic Republic of Congo" conference. DRC government spokesman Rapheal Ghenda said on state radio on Tuesday (yesterday) that President Laurent-Desire Kabila has linked the DRC's continued membership of the Francophone community to French support for Kinshasa's reconstruction proposals. Oxfam calls for coordinated donor strategy AFP reported that Kinshasa has costed its reconstruction plan at $1.29 billion, including $728 million hoped for from donors. In a press release Oxfam said the World Bank-initiated conference was an opportunity for donor governments and multilateral organisations to develop a "more coherent" and "multifaceted strategy" towards DRC to support reconstruction and encourage progress on human rights. Human Rights Watch, however, has urged donor nations to carefully link aid to an "ongoing evaluation" of human rights and democratisation criteria in the DRC. South Kivu governor warns against threatened strike In a communique warning against a threatened strike today in Bukavu, the interim governor of South Kivu said that "security measures" had been put in place to "deal with anyone who interferes with normal working duties." The communique, broadcast by Bukavu radio, follows the circulation of leaflets in Kiswahili in the town calling for a "dead day". According to

63

humanitarian sources, the leaflets were signed by an unknown group of soldiers and threatened reprisals for businesses that ignored the strike. The sources said the "dead day" is being interpreted as protest action over the arrest of acting army commander Masasu Nindaga. First phase of child soldiers demobilisation implemented The first phase of a UNICEF-funded child soldier demobilisation programme in Bukavu has been completed. The project aims to reintegrate into civilian life 110 children who fought with the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL). Under the first phase, the children were placed in a centre run by the local authorities where they were provided with counselling. The second phase, to last six months, plans to reintegrate children into their families or among guardians. According to a study of the demobilised children, their main motives for joining the programme were poverty, peer pressure, and financial expectations after reintegration. Over 70 percent of the children are between 15 and 17 years old. Only 50 percent have attended primary school. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Police begin militia disarmament operation Congolese riot police deployed on the streets of Brazzaville on Tuesday to disarm private militias and locate and return looted vehicles to their owners. The government's Radio Liberte, monitored in Kinshasa by AFP, did not indicate how long the operation would last. The deployment follows the expiry of an ultimatum issued three-weeks-ago by military leader Denis Sassou Nguesso which ordered his Cobra militia back to barracks and demanded that the defeated forces of former president Pascal Lissouba and former Brazzaville mayor Bernard Kolelas turn in their weapons. According to AFP, some of these militia fighters have retreated into the forests and villages of southern Congo-Brazzaville. Repatriation from DRC set to begin The voluntary repatriation of over 30,000 Congolese refugees from Kinshasa is set to start on Monday under a tripartite agreement with UNHCR, DRC and Congo-Brazzaville authorities. More than half the refugees are in Kinkole camp, 30 km from Kinshasa. WFP says security conditions remain "precarious" According to WFP, security conditions in Brazzaville remain precarious, hampering humanitarian assistance. A "large part" of the population who returned to Brazzaville are still concentrated on the outskirts of the city due to the instability. Many of the returnees are southerners whose homes were destroyed in the four-month civil war and are being housed in public buildings. The UN agency says it is distributing food to 20,000 vulnerable people in Brazzaville. Two Red Cross workers died last month in attacks by gunmen.

RWANDA: Hutu rebels free prisoners in jail raid

64

Hutu rebels attacked a jail and freed 103 prisoners in Rwanda's northwest Gisenyi prefecture on Tuesday. Two people were also killed and seven abducted in the dawn raid on the village of Rwerere in which a health centre was sacked. According to the privately-owned Rwanda News Agency, the same rebel group attacked the neighbouring village of Mutura the previous night and killed 10 people, all members of the family of a local official. Survivors told Rwandan radio that some of the local population had sided with the rebels and feared army reprisals. The Gisenyi and Ruhengeri prefectures are at the centre of intensified conflict between Hutu rebels and the army. A government spokesman told IRIN that the aim of the insurgency is the control of the two prefectures - the traditional home of Hutu nationalism - as a precursor to negotiations over power sharing with the authorities in Kigali. Amnesty for genocidaires would be one of the preconditions for a peace deal. Rejecting talks, he added that the rebel message at the village level "is the old ideology of Tutsis as foreigners who must be sent into exile or die." BURUNDI: Ugandan parliamentary to study peace process A six-person Ugandan parliamentary delegation is visiting Burundi to study ways of relaunching the central African country's peace process. The regional weekly newspaper 'The East African' said on Monday the lawmakers' visit was "private" but that their conclusions would be passed on to the regional heads of state and former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, the main mediator in the Burundian crisis. The delegation, led by Elly Karuhanga, president of the Ugandan parliament's foreign affairs committee, is expected to meet Burundian leader Major Pierre Buyoya, and former president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya. ANGOLA: UN accuses UNITA of relaying mines The UN mission in Angola (UNOMA) yesterday accused the former rebel UNITA movement of relaying mines on main highways which had previously been cleared by the UN and humanitarian organisations. It warned that such actions could deter donor countries preparing to help fund demining operations and projects to rebuild Angola, AFP said. A report from the commander of the UN peacekeeping forces in Angola, Zimbabwean General Philip Sibanda, said the general situation had eased in some areas but worsened in others, particularly in the north and northeast. UNITA has meanwhile accused the Angolan government of seizing several UNITA-controlled towns in the diamond fields of the northeast, while Luanda said UNITA troops had massacred at least 39 people in incidents last month in the diamond province of Lunda Norte, AFP reported. The government also said it had captured 10 UNITA soldiers as they prepared to attack an army unit at Malanje in the north. GREAT LAKES: Ambassador Wolpe appointed US special envoy Ambassador Howard Wolpe has been appointed US special envoy to the Great lakes and will accompany Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on a visit to Kinshasa next week. The former congressman served as the US president's special envoy to Burundi. His new

65

appointment is linked to the upcoming retirement of ambassador Richard Bogosian, the State Department's Special Coordinator for Rwanda and Burundi. Nairobi, 3 December 1997, 15.00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

66

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 04 Dec 1997 18:05:32 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 306 97.12.4 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 306 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 4 December 1997)

RWANDA: Rebels spring more prisoners Hutu rebels sprang another prison yesterday (Wednesday) in central Rwanda, freeing at least 500 inmates, military sources said. Some 300 Interahamwe militia reportedly attacked the prison in Bulinga, Gitarama prefecture, setting fire to the jail and then disappearing into the surrounding hills, before soldiers arrived on the scene. Six people were killed in the attack, according to Rwandan radio. Army troops are combing the hills to rout the rebels and Prime Minister Pierre-Celestin Rwigema visited the area to urge vigilance among the people. The raid follows a similar one in Gisenyi prefecture on Tuesday when 103 prisoners were freed in an attack on a jail in Rwerere. The latest raid in central Rwanda, away from traditional northwest areas, has led to fears the rebels are increasing their sphere of activity. Former interior minister Seth Sendashonga told IRIN the prison raid was significant "in that what was viewed as a border insurgency has struck in the heart of the country." He added that Hutu disenchantment with the government was countrywide rather than just confined to the northwest due to the "revenge trap" the authorities have fallen into, in which all Hutus are viewed as potential enemies. The tragedy of Rwanda, he said, was the population is "sandwiched between two extremist blocs that hold guns" - the Tutsi political leadership and the rebels.

UN human rights commissioner due in Kigali

67

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson was due in Kigali today (Thursday) on a four-day official visit. She is expected to discuss the volatile situation in northwest Rwanda and human rights issues in the country. She recently said the human rights situation in Rwanda had "worsened considerably" since the beginning of the year. Thousands of mines defused but some areas still badly affected Rwanda's National Demining Office announced that since 1995, about 6,000 out of 100,000 mines have been defused. The mines were planted during the country's civil war that began in 1990. The head of the Office noted some parts of the country, such as Byumba, Mutara and Kigali prefectures, were still heavily mined, Rwandan radio reported. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army show of support for Kabila Military units in Bukavu marched in support of President Laurent-Desire Kabila yesterday, DRC radio reported. It said the march also expressed anger against "people of bad faith" who had been distributing leaflets calling for a strike to protest against the authorities. "It (the strike) has not taken place because people did not heed the call", the radio said. Meanwhile, the Kinshasa authorities have told local journalists they must choose between working for the state media or for foreign radios. They are no longer authorised to hold the two jobs. However, the ban on FM foreign radio broadcasts was lifted today. Amnesty report slammed The DRC information ministry has accused Amnesty International of trying to discredit the country after it published a report on an alleged massacre carried out by government forces. In a preliminary report, the French section of the human rights group claimed forces loyal to Kabila were responsible for the massacre in northwest Wendji on 13 May and called for an "extensive enquiry". The DRC information ministry statement dubbed Amnesty an "enemy of the Congolese people", saying the report was released to coincide with a DRC donor meeting underway in Brussels. The statement added that the publication was part of a French-led campaign against the country. The 'Friends of Congo' meeting in Brussels today agreed in principle on a World Bank proposal to create a trust fund for the DRC, Reuters reported. UN team members arrive in Mbandaka A preparatory team of the UN mission investigating alleged human rights violations arrived in the northwest town of Mbandaka yesterday. Mission spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN the advance team was now "trying to figure out how to take care of the full mission going on Friday or Saturday." "There is no food and no lodging" in Mbandaka, he said. The full mission is expected to be 10-15 strong, comprising mainly human rights investigation officers and forensic experts.

BURUNDI: Boost for education, finance ministries' budget

68

The government has fixed a draft budget for next year which is lower than the current one due to continuing devaluation of the Burundian france and price increases. Allocations to the education and finance ministries will be increased. Finance Minister Gerard Niyibigira said the sum of 72 billion francs, the same as last year, represented less in real terms, and called on Burundians to prepare to tighten their belts. UN Special Rapporteur due to visit The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burundi, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, is expected to visit the country for the first time this year from 6 to 21 December, a UNHCHR official told IRIN. His latest interim report (released last month and available from IRIN) documents a series of attempts to visit Burundi earlier this year that were unsuccessful. The report also expressed "surprise" at media reports that the Burundian authorities had asked for his mandate to be ended. UGANDA: Rebels abduct eight Rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) abducted eight civilians from a camp in western Uganda on Monday, the independent 'Monitor' newspaper reported. It said the rebels pounced on the unsuspecting civilians as they were collecting wood in mountains around the Musana camp in Kyondo, Bukonzo district. UGANDA/KENYA: Thousands displaced by flooding Up to 150,000 people are believed to have been displaced by heavy flooding in Uganda, according to a UN report. Serious floods have been reported in western parts of the country. In Bundibugyo for example, an estimated 1,000 people have been displaced and millions of shillings worth of damage caused to crops and properties. DHA-Geneva has appealed for US $3,983,500 to provide assistance to flood-hit areas of Kenya. The current short rains season has seen exceptionally heavy rainfall, in many areas the most intense in 40 years. Worst-hit are Coast, Northeastern and Eastern provinces. Sudanese refugees flock to Kitgum About 1,700 Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children, have flocked into the northern Kitgum district fleeing war and famine at home, the 'Monitor' reported today. It said they had come from Tolit in southern Sudan and were being kept at Agolo town. The newspaper quoted UNHCR in Kampala as saying the refugees started arriving around 23 November, and their nutritional status was found to be quite good.

Nairobi, 4 December 1997, 14:45 gmt [ENDS]

69

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

70

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 05 Dec 1997 14:38:23 +0300 (GMT+0300) Date: Fri, 05 Dec 1997 14:36:09 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 33-97 28 Nov - 4 Dec 1997 97.12.5

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 33-97 covering the period 28 Nov - 4 Dec 1997 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army show of support for Kabila Calm returned to Kinshasa after two days of sporadic firing rocked the city late last week. The government blamed the initial outbreak of shooting on Thursday night on a "misunderstanding" between two groups of unruly soldiers. It said the gunfire that erupted the following day outside the Tshati military camp and Presidential Palace was due to "bandits". The 'New York Times' reported that as many as 18 people may have been killed in the clashes and said the most likely cause of the tension was the 26 November arrest of one of the founding members of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL), Commander Masasu Nindaga. The government said Nindaga, a popular figure among some army recruits from eastern DRC, had been detained on the grounds of "military discipline". In a show of support for President Laurent-Desire Kabila, military units marched through the streets of Bukavu on Wednesday, DRC radio reported. The march followed the appearance of leaflets in the town calling for a

71

strike by a group of soldiers apparently backing Nindaga. "It (the strike) has not taken place because people did not heed the call", the radio said. After an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday, Interim Army Chief James Kabare was confirmed in his position as military boss. Kabare was previously a senior figure in the Rwandan Patriotic Army. A government statement also said that all foreign troops would return home as soon as a new national army was trained. Paris demands recall of DRC diplomat in tit-for-tat exchange France on Monday requested the recall of DRC diplomat Yeye Lobota by the end of the week, retaliating after the number two at the French embassy in Kinshasa, Eric Lubin, was declared persona non grata, French officials announced. Yeye is first counsellor at the DRC embassy in Paris. France previously said it "deplored the decision" to expel Lubin who had been accused in the Kinshasa press of espionage. UN team members arrive in Mbandaka A preparatory team of the UN mission investigating alleged human rights violations finally arrived in the northwest town of Mbandaka on Wednesday. The full mission is expected to fly in on Friday or Saturday and will comprise mainly human rights investigation officers and forensic experts. Amnesty report slammed The DRC information ministry has accused Amnesty International of trying to discredit the country after it published a report on an alleged massacre carried out by government forces in northwest Wendji on 13 May. In a preliminary report, the human rights group called for an "extensive enquiry". The DRC information ministry statement said the report was released to coincide with a DRC donor meeting in Brussels this week on the government's reconstruction plans. The two-day 'Friends of Congo' meeting in Brussels agreed in principle on a World Bank proposal to create a trust fund for the DRC, Reuters reported. Kinshasa has costed its reconstruction proposal at $1.29 billion, including $728 million hoped for from donors, according to Oxfam. Foreign minister seeks normalisation of relations with Kenya Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha ended a three-day visit to Nairobi last Friday aimed at normalising bilateral relations. In an interview with Reuters he said President Daniel arap Moi had promised to rein in exiled DRC political dissidents. Meanwhile, the Kinshasa authorities have told local journalists they must choose between working for the state media or for foreign radios. They are no longer authorised to hold the two jobs. However, a ban on FM foreign radio broadcasts imposed on Sunday has been lifted. RWANDA: Hutu rebels free over 600 prisoners in jail attacks

72

Hutu rebels sprang more than 600 prisoners in two separate jail raids this week in central and northeast Rwanda. On Wednesday, at least 500 inmates were freed when some 300 Interahamwe militia attacked a prison in Bulinga, Gitarama prefecture, setting fire to the jail and then disappearing into the surrounding hills. Six people were reportedly killed in the attack. According to regional analysts, the strike was significant in that it occurred in the heart of the country, away from the rebels' usual area of operation in the northwest border region. On Tuesday, 103 prisoners were released in a dawn attack on a jail in Rwerere, Gisenyi prefecture, in which two people were killed and seven abducted. The same group of rebels is believed to have been responsible for killing 10 people the previous night, all members of the family of a local official, in the neighbouring village of Mutura. Hutu group accuses army of massacres The Rwandan pro-Hutu Centre for the Fight Against Impunity and Injustice has accused the Rwandan army of killing more than 8,000 Hutu civilians sheltering in a network of caves in the Kanama region of Gisenyi. The Brussels-based centre said the killings occurred last month during an army counter-insurgency operation. Rwandan presidential advisor Seth Kamanzi denied that civilians had been killed in the area and described the caves as a rebel base from where ambushes had been launched. The military commander for the northwestern region, Colonel Kayumba Nyamwase, told AFP there had been no fighting around the caves and instead the army was attempting to starve the rebels out. Government reshuffles top posts in army and gendarmerie In a major military reshuffle, Colonel Marcel Gatsinzi, previously the army deputy chief of staff was appointed the new gendarmerie chief of staff replacing Colonel Deogratias Nibwami who appears to have been demoted. Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson Rwahama is the new reservists' commander. His former post as head of the military police is taken over by Major Jean Zigira. Lieutenant-Colonel Karake Karenzi, who was head of military intelligence in Kigali, has been transferred to the 305th Brigade where he will be the army deputy commander for the Gitarama-Kibuye region. A Rwandan government spokesman described the military reshuffle as designed to "make things work better". UN human rights commissioner in Kigali UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson arrived in Kigali on Thursday for a four-day official visit. She is expected to discuss the volatile situation in the northwest and human rights issues in the country. She recently said the human rights situation in Rwanda had "worsened considerably" since the beginning of the year. President hints elections to be postponed Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu has not ruled out postponing elections and extending the five-year transition period for parliament and government beyond 1999. "On my behalf, I never thought the transition was primarily a question of duration, or simply a question of time alone," he told parliament.

73

BURUNDI: Efforts underway to organise regional summit Efforts are underway to convene a new regional summit on Burundi to consider whether to maintain economic sanctions against the Tutsi-dominated government of Major Pierre Buyoya, diplomatic sources told IRIN. The sources said the plan was to try to hold a meeting of Burundian political groupings first followed later by a regional heads of state summit. On Monday, the 'EastAfrican' newspaper reported stalled peace negotiations under mediator Julius Nyerere would resume shortly and could lead to the end of the 16-month-old regional embargo against Burundi. The paper reported Buyoya would not be pressed to make a series of concessions as a pre-condition for normalisation. Meanwhile, a six-person Ugandan parliamentary delegation arrived in Burundi to study ways of relaunching the peace process. According to 'The East African', the team is expected to meet Buyoya, and former president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, and their conclusions are to be passed on to Nyerere. UN Special Rapporteur due to visit The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burundi, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, is expected to visit the country for the first time this year from 6 to 21 December, a UNHCHR official told IRIN. His latest interim report (released last month and available from IRIN) documents a series of attempts to visit Burundi earlier this year that were unsuccessful. The report also expressed "surprise" at media reports that the Burundian authorities had asked for his mandate to be ended. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Police begin militia disarmament operation Congolese riot police deployed on the streets of Brazzaville on Tuesday to disarm private militias and locate and return looted vehicles to their owners. The deployment follows the expiry of an ultimatum issued three-weeks-ago by military leader Denis Sassou Nguesso which ordered his Cobra militia back to barracks and demanded that the defeated forces of former president Pascal Lissouba and former Brazzaville mayor Bernard Kolelas turn in their weapons. According to AFP, some of these militia fighters have retreated into the forests and villages of southern Congo-Brazzaville. Repatriation from DRC set to begin The voluntary repatriation of over 30,000 Congolese refugees from Kinshasa is set to start next Monday under a tripartite agreement with UNHCR, DRC and Congo-Brazzaville authorities. However, according to WFP, security conditions in Brazzaville remain precarious, hampering humanitarian assistance. A "large part" of the population who returned to Brazzaville are still concentrated on the outskirts of the city due to the instability. The UN agency says it is distributing food to 20,000 vulnerable people in Brazzaville.

TANZANIA: Repatriation of Congolese begins

74

Six hundred DRC refugees repatriated from Tanzania by UNHCR arrived in Uvira last Friday. They are the first returnees out of the 48,402 DRC refugees in Tanzania who have registered to go home as part of the renewed UNHCR-assisted operation. Humanitarian sources reported a further 160 Congolese refugees who were in Zambia had arrived in Uvira following a "spontaneous repatriation" and hundreds more were expected in Lubumbashi. Cholera kills 105 in central Tanzania since June Tanzanian radio reported from Dodoma that a total of 105 people out of 1,525 who contracted cholera in the central region of the country had died since June this year. ZAMBIA-ANGOLA: Zambian government denies any involvement with UNITA The Zambian government has denied Angolan government accusations of supplying arms to former UNITA rebels in Angola and has said it is committed to the full implementation of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Shimba said the Zambian government would not do anything to sabotage the peace agreement. ANGOLA: UN accuses UNITA of relaying mines The UN mission in Angola (UNOMA) on Tuesday accused the former rebel UNITA movement of replanting mines on main highways which had previously been cleared by the UN and humanitarian organisations. It warned that such actions could deter donor countries preparing to help fund demining operations and projects to rebuild Angola, AFP said. The commander of the UN peacekeeping forces, Zimbabwean General Philip Sibanda, said in a report the general situation had eased in some areas but worsened in the north and northeast. UNITA has accused the Angolan government of seizing several UNITA-controlled towns in the diamond fields of the northeast, while Luanda said UNITA troops had massacred at least 39 people in incidents last month in the diamond province of Lunda Norte. UGANDA/KENYA: Thousands displaced by flooding Up to 150,000 people are believed to have been displaced by heavy flooding in Uganda, according to a UN report. Serious floods have been reported in western parts of the country. In Bundibugyo for example, an estimated 1,000 people have been displaced and millions of shillings worth of damage caused to crops and properties. DHA-Geneva has appealed for US $3,983,500 to provide assistance to flood-hit areas of Kenya. The current short rains season has seen exceptionally-heavy rainfall, in many areas the most intense in 40 years. Worst-hit are Coast, Northeastern and Eastern provinces. UGANDA: Sudanese refugees cross into Uganda to escape fighting Some 1,700 Sudanese have crossed into northern Uganda's Kitgum District fleeing war and famine. The refugees are reportedly from around the southern Sudanese town of Torit. GREAT LAKES: Ambassador Wolpe appointed US special envoy

75

Ambassador Howard Wolpe has been appointed US special envoy to the Great lakes and will accompany Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on a visit to Kinshasa next week. The former congressman served as the US president's special envoy to Burundi. His new appointment is linked to the upcoming retirement of ambassador Richard Bogosian, the State Department's Special Coordinator for Rwanda and Burundi. Nairobi, 5 December 1997, 11:45 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

76

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 05 Dec 1997 17:50:20 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 307 97.12.5 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 307 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 5 December 1997)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Government opponents arrested in Bukavu The South Kivu authorities say they have arrested those responsible for distributing leaflets in Bukavu recently and they will be "made to answer for their actions". The leaflets had called for a strike to protest against the authorities. DRC radio said interim governor Benjamin Serukiza congratulated Bukavu residents "for not giving in to blackmail by ill-intentioned people". President Laurent-Desire Kabila meanwhile set up a new military court, which would try soldiers who attacked civilians. Kabila's decision to create the court was prompted by "mounting insecurity in DRC", a National Security Council statement said, according to state radio on Wednesday. In Kinshasa, four journalists working for both local and foreign media were sacked by the state broadcasting network. The acting head of Radio Television Nationale Congolaise accused them of "failing to heed instructions...regarding the dissemination of news". According to AFP, the four journalists said they were accused of "distorting" facts following last week's arrest of Commander Masasu Nindaga and subsequent shootouts in the capital between army factions. Masasu transferred to undergound jail near Lubumbashi 'Le Palmares' daily reported Masasu had been transferred to an underground jail in Buluwo between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi. He is reported to be on hunger strike. His aides, also under detention, wrote to the newspaper saying Masasu was arrested because of the "courageous position" he adopted on the situation in the country. Meanwhile, at a cabinet meeting on Monday, Kabila stressed the unity of the national army. "There is no army of Katangese, of

77

Rwandans, of Banyamulenge, of ex-FAZ, but only one national army where ethnic factions are banned," the newspaper quoted Kabila as saying. Amnesty alleges "wanton killings" in DRC A report by Amnesty International claimed there had been a "pattern of wanton killing of Hutus" in DRC from December 1996. It said witnesses interviewed by the organisation had spoken of massacres and killings by members of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL). The report called for a "thorough investigation" into the allegations and urged cooperation from the international community. Friends of Congo meeting urges human rights guarantees Foreign Minister Bizimia Karaha told the 'Friends of Congo' donor meeting in Brussels yesterday there would not be lasting peace in his country without economic recovery. Voice of America radio said the meeting, attended by 18 countries and 10 international organisations, agreed in principle on a trust fund for DRC, without determining the amount. VOA pointed out the European Commission is the largest potential donor with US $168 million of aid currently frozen. The EC warned there must be guarantees on human rights before most of the money could be released. However, US $50 million will be unblocked for the health sector and there will be further aid for an infrastructure programme, VOA said. RWANDA: Rebels on recruitment drive, army says Army spokesman Richard Sezibera said the recent insecurity in some parts of Gisenyi prefecture had to be put in the context of a general improvement in security in northern Rwanda. In an interview with Radio Rwanda yesterday (Thursday), he acknowledged security in some Gisenyi communes over the last two months had "not been particularly good". "Persistant attacks, sometimes involving big numbers of armed groups" had been carried out in Giciye, Rwerere, Ndusu, Gatonde and some other communes. But the neighbouring prefecture of Ruhengeri had been "particularly peaceful", as had Byumba prefecture. Large areas of Gisenyi itself were calm, he said. He claimed the armed forces were doing a good job and there was no need to panic. Militarily the rebels were not a threat and had suffered heavy losses. Thus, Sezibera said, the recent prison attacks were part of a recruitment drive. He urged civilians not to allow the rebels to melt into their communities. Robinson arrives in Kigali UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson arrived in Kigali last night, saying she had "a lot of serious questions" to ask, AFP reported. She is expected to focus on the security situation in northwest areas of Rwanda. BURUNDI: Peace dialogue opens in Brussels A peace dialogue between Burundians living in their country and those abroad is due to open in Brussels today. They are being brought together by an organisation known as the

78

Compagnie des Apotres de la paix (CAP) who says its aim is to enable all Burundians to contribute to the peace process. It is hoped the meeting, from 5 to 7 December, will be the first of a series to be organised in France, Switzerland and Kenya, CAP said in a statement. Nyerere planning consultative meeting Peace mediator Julius Nyerere is planning to hold a consultative meeting of all parties in the Burundi conflict soon. His aide Mark Bomani told Reuters the talks would be held "in the not too distant future" in the Tanzanian town of Arusha. The idea was not to negotiate but to discuss how to move the peace process forward, he said, adding it was up to Burundian leader Pierre Buyoya to decide whether or not he wanted to attend. Parliament ready to work with government National Assembly Speaker Leonce Ngendakumana said yesterday parliament was prepared to work with the government to find a peaceful solution to Burundi's problems. He proposed setting up a joint committee which would meet with regional leaders seeking to broker peace in the country. Ngendakumana said parliament had made a commitment to "be realistic and to make political compromises". However, it would "never support the current leadership if it chooses to resolve the internal problems of this country through war," he warned. UNHCR to concentrate on southern provinces UNHCR is to shift focus in 1998, according to a DHA report from Burundi. It is planning to gradually phase out its operations in the northwest provinces of Bubanza and Cibitoke, to which the majority of people, who sought refuge in former Zaire, have returned within the past year. UNHCR will instead concentrate its activities on the southern and southeastern provinces in anticipation of the return of up to approximately 250,000 Burundians who remain in camps in Tanzania. UGANDA: Rebels reportedly kill 21 Security forces said rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed 21 people in an attack Tuesday night in the Kyarusozi area of western Kabarole district. According to BBC radio, the victims were ordered to lie on the ground and were then hacked to death with machetes. A number of people were also abducted. Permanent committee on border security with Rwanda set up Uganda and Rwanda have agreed to set up a permanent committee on border scurity and to extradite suspected criminals, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported today. The decisions follow a meeting on Wednesday between officials from Rwanda's Ruhengeri prefecture and their counterparts in Uganda's southwest Kabale and Kisoro districts.

79

KENYA: UNHCR moving stranded refugees UNHCR is moving to higher ground 5,000 refugees whose shelters were destroyed by heavy flooding in the northeast Ifo and Dagaheley camps. Rains are still continuing in the Dadaab area and water is still a metre deep in much of the area, UNHCR said. The only way to reach the stranded refugees is by air. No vehicles have been able to reach the camps for two weeks now. ANGOLA: Albright wants to meet Savimbi US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has asked UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to come to Luanda for a meeting during her visit there later this month, AFP reported. It quoted a State Department spokesman as saying, however, the "odds are rather low" as Savimbi rarely ventures from his Andulo stronghold in central Angola. Albrght is due to arrive in Angola on 12 December. 1,500 refugees back from Zambia Official sources in Angola said some 1,500 refugees have returned home from Zambia as part of a repatriation operation launched in mid-October. An estimated 100,000 refugees fled the country's civil war to Zambia, AFP reported. It quoted Minister for Social Reintegration Albino Malungo as saying repatriation had been hampered by a lack of financial resources and a bad infrastructure. Nairobi, 5 December 1997, 14:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

80

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 13:24:44 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Background Brief on landmines 6 Dec 1997 97.12.6

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for the Great Lakes Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [This brief is intended as background information for the humanitarian community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the UN] IRIN background brief on landmines in Central and Eastern Africa 6 December 1997 The signature by 125 countries of the Ottawa Treaty is an historic step towards the adoption in international law of a total world ban on anti-personnel landmines. The total ban would cover use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. In Africa, the majority of countries, 37 in all, have backed this initiative and signed on Wednesday and Thursday (3 and 4 December) the Ottawa Treaty. Among the signatories are Angola, Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and Tanzania. South Africa, the most important African manufacturer of landmines, also signed the treaty. After Asia, Africa is the second most-affected continent with Angola remaining one of the most heavily-mined countries in the world. Regional experts stress, however, that even if the use of landmines in the conflicts of the Great Lakes region is currently neither very widespread nor a major factor, the increasing use of mines in these regional disputes is undoubtedly a growing cause for concern. The current situation country-by-country in Central and Eastern Africa is as follows:

81

ANGOLA: ICRC estimate between 10 and 20 million landmines have been laid across Angola. During the civil war which preceded and followed independence in 1975, both the MPLA and UNITA made widescale use of landmines in military operations. But these were condcuted in a disorganised manner with no registration of their location. Consequently, the country is littered with mines. This humanitarian crisis has led to the death of several thousand people, and mutilated some 30,000 others. It has also cut off access to fields and even sources of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of others. Several international organisations have set up important demining operations, such as the NGO HALO, but have also set up victimsupport groups and population-awareness programmes. Currently, Angola is witnessing another period of tension and a recent report by the UN mission in the country, quoted by AFP, accused former UNITA rebels of remining certain roads in the north and north-east of the country. BURUNDI: Since October 1966, incidents linked to mines have increased and now stand at 49. Even if the figure is not particularly significant, it is the upward trend that is worrying, according to Michel Sidibe, UNICEF representative in Burundi. Landmines laid in Burundi are most often anti-tank mines, placed on busy roads and even the streets of the capital Bujumbura. However, no independent and complete assessment of the situation has been undertaken because of insecurity in large parts of the country leading to fears the real number of landmines laid nationwide could in fact be much higher. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Unconfirmed reports suggest that certain areas were mined during recent clashes between supporters of former president Pascal Lissouba and those of current President Denis Sassou Nguesso. Congo-Brazzaville supports a world ban on landmines, but has not signed the Ottawa Treaty. UGANDA: In a similar fashion to Burundi, landmines are used in Uganda by rebel groups and are often left on roads in the north and northwest regions of the country, most notably around Gulu and Kitgum and, to a lesser extent, around Bundibugyo and Western Nile. According to ICRC, three-quarters of the victims of landmines in northern Uganda are children. According to an official communique published in April 1997, Uganda has completed ceased landmine production. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: DRC is a country which is relatively free of landmines. However, during the recent war between the forces of President Laurent-Desire Kabila and the Zairean army of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, mercenary troops called in by Mobutu are reported to have laid mines

82

around Kisangani. An international NGO has also reported the presence of some landmines around Ubundu. Currently, however, there is no precise account of the national situation. RWANDA: Rwanda has been faced with the problem of landmines since 1990, but the situation worsened dramatically in 1994 when the then-government army, the Forces Armees Rwandaises (FAR), laid mines in several towns and regions during their retreat. Other sources say the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) has also laid mines. ICRC estimate that there are currently 250,000 mines in Rwanda. Several incidents have also been reported in the border prefectures with former Zaire between 1994 and 1996, suggesting that infiltrators from refugee camps in eastern DRC were responsible. Several demining programmes have been set up, including one organised by the US defence department to train units of the current Rwandan army. SUDAN: ICRC estimates that more than one million mines have been laid in Sudan. Humanitarian sources say the outskirts of the southern capital of Juba and other southern towns held by government troops are ringed by heavy minefields. The use of mines in the country, however, appears to be limited geographically to frontline areas between government and rebel SPLA forces. However, the frontier areas, most notably Wadi Halfa which is contested by Egypt, are also likely to have been mined, according to experts. NAIROBI, 6 December 1997 [Ends]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

83

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 18:43:36 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 308 97.12.8 Sender: [email protected]org To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 308 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 6-8 December 1997) RWANDA: Robinson criticises government's human rights record The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson described the human rights situation in Rwanda as "bleak" at the end of a fact-finding mission yesterday (Sunday), and criticised as "wholly insufficient" the methods employed by the international community to facilitate an improvement. "There appears to be an absence of a committed policy of reconciliation" by the government and "a number of very serious human rights violations such as arbitary arrests" and "inhumane conditions of detention", she said. While acknowledging the "dramatically" escalating scale of violence by Hutu rebels, she noted that "arbitary killings" linked to the army "have risen substancially in recent months." She also observed that "participation, political power and decision making have become more and more concentrated." She said HRFOR should be "radically restructured" with the appointment of specialist staff and the building of local capacity in the promotion and protection of human rights. In response to the toughly-worded statement, senior cabinet advisor Emmanuel Gasana said Robinson's findings do "not reflect the truth," AFP reported. During her three-day visit, Robinson met senior government officials and toured detention facilities. She left Kigali for Uganda. Uganda accused of harbouring rebels The local authorities in Rwanda's northwestern Ruhengeri prefecture have accused their Ugandan counterparts of giving sanctuary to hardline Hutu rebels. During a joint security meeting last week in Ruhengeri, the Rwandan officials said Hutu rebels were either based across the border in Uganda's Kisoro and Kabale districts or transiting through the region from

84

the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Uganda's state-owned 'New Vision' newspaper, Ugandan officials said the rebels were terrorising residents in the two districts. BURUNDI: Government suspends FRODEBU for six months The Burundian government on Monday suspended for six months the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) after the mainly Hutu party declared its exiled chairman its "legal representative," AFP reported. The interior ministry said that Jean Minani, based in Tanzania, was "in open rebellion against Burundi." FRODEBU voted to restore Minani as its legal representative at a party congress on Saturday. Meanwhile, Radio France Internationale said some 5,000-8,000 Hutu rebels are being pursued by the army towards the Kabira forest from the hills overlooking Bujumbura. Ugandan mercenaries captured Burundi has captured Ugandan mercenaries fighting alongside rebel forces, the 'New Vision' reported today (Monday). The mercenaries are mostly Ugandan army deserters and include a number of officers. One of them, a captain interviewed by the paper, said he joined the rebels last year after being promised money. UN special rapporteur on human rights arrives The UN special rapporteur on human rights, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, arrived in Burundi on Sunday for a two-week visit. He is expected to meet a wide range of people and visit several areas of the country during his stay, AFP said. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN Mission arrives in Mbandaka The UN mission investigating alleged human rights in DRC finally arrived in Mbandaka today. The team was supposed to have left Kinshasa on Saturday but administrative problems blocked their departure. The 17-strong team, comprising human rights officers and forensic experts, is expected to spend several weeks in the town, the site of an alleged massacre of Hutu refugees. TV reports that NGOs told to suspend work in North Kivu The ministry of the interior has asked seven NGOs to suspend their activities in Goma, Kinshasa TV reported over the weekend. The affected organisations are allegedly World Vision, Concern, Merlin, Austrian Help Programme and Coopi, plus two local NGOs. No deadline was given in the TV announcement and no official notification has been received from the government, humanitarian sources said. Anti-Tutsi incidents reported in Goma State radio in Goma has reported a rash of security incidents in which Tutsis have been harassed and even beaten to death in North Kivu. In a recent case, the radio blamed ex-FAZ

85

elements in the army for roughing-up several people in Bunagana on the Uganda border merely because they looked like Tutsis. The provincial security committee said on Friday that exFAR and Interhamwe militia had "infiltrated" Goma and surrounding areas with the goal of implementing a "macabre plan". Embezzlers promised freedom if they repay the state President Laurent-Desire Kabila told 31 detainees accused of embezzlement that they could regain their freedom by repaying the state. Kabila met the detainees on Friday in response to a letter they had sent appealing for provisional liberty after six months in jail without trial. "Pay what you owe the state and you can be free," Reuters reported Kabila as saying. Three of a total of 34 detainees are hospitalised and were unable to attend the meeting. Meanwhile, the trial began on Saturday of General Kikunda Ombala, the former director of the national airline which went bankrupt in 1995. He is accused of embezzling public funds and property. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Government calls for investigation into "genocide" Congo-Brazzaville has called for an investigation by four international human rights organisations into the country's civil conflicts of 1993 and 1997. Government spokesman Francois Ibovi said that the International Court of Justice, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights should send missions to Brazzaville "to take stock of the extent of the material and human damage". Military ruler Denis Sassou Nguesso has described as "genocide" the 1993 clashes between rival militia over the contested election victory of Pascal Lissouba, and the events surrounding Lissouba's ousting in bloody fighting this year. Sassou Nguesso said the genocide would not go unpunished. According to AFP, the government may be considering legal proceedings against Lissouba and former Brazzaville mayor Bernard Kolelas who are in exile. "Limited" attendence for national reconciliation conference On Friday, the government's Radio Liberte, monitored by AFP in Kinshasa, said the authorities would limit attendance to a conference on national reconciliation and unity planned for January to those committed to what it described as "real reconciliation". The government meanwhile has set up two commissions to reconstruct the city and disinter the bodies of people who were hastily buried on the premises of hospitals and schools. The radio announced the reopening of schools today and appealed to pupils to return despite the difficult conditions. Commercial flights to Brazzaville are also expected to resume today, but the airport would only be open from 06.00 am to 4.00 pm, Radio France Internationale reported. UGANDA: Albright to visit Gulu US Secretary of State Madeline Albright is set to visit the northern town of Gulu on Wednesday, the centre of the rebel insurgency in northern Uganda. She will make the trip after talks with President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala. Albright is expected to inspect a refugee

86

centre in Gulu and visit a local hospital. The Secretary of State is making a tour of seven African countries and will leave Uganda for Ethiopia on Thursday, AFP reported. Meanwhile, Khartoum has lashed out at Albright's trip as part of a "US-Israeli ploy to destabilise Sudan." TANZANIA: Mpaka calls for debt relief Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa on Sunday urged donors to write off some of the country's debts so that his government could raise more money to fund health and education, AFP reported. "The Tanzanian government is spending 11.5 dollars per capita to service only part of the external debt, while it can afford only two dollars per capita on both health and education," Mkapa said in a statement. Tanzania's external debt stood at 8.1 billion dollars in October. Some 42.2 percent of the debt is owed to bilateral donors, 48.7 to multilateral donor institutions and the rest to commercial banks and private creditors, according to central bank figures. Nairobi, 8 December 1997, 15:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

87

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 18:29:33 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 309 97.12.9 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 309 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 9 December 1997) BURUNDI: Human Rights Watch accuses arms suppliers of fuelling civil war Human Rights Watch has accused a list of countries, including the world's major arms suppliers, of fuelling Burundi's civil war by providing weapons to the government and/or rebels. In a report released yesterday (Monday) in Brussels, the rights group said "China, France, North Korea, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) have directly provided military support to abusive Burundi forces." According to AFP, the report alleges that Angola, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and DRC have allowed the transit of weapons through their territories - in defiance of a regional embargo - or the establishment of bases by Hutu rebels. China rejects report Beijing today (Tuesday) rejected the report's accusations. "To say China is involved in Burundi's internal affairs is baseless," AFP reported Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tang Guoqiang as saying in Beijing. Eritrea stops support for sanctions Eritrea has withdrawn its support for sanctions against Bujumbura, state-owned Burundi radio reported yesterday. Sanctions only hurt innocent people and were counter-productive to the peace process, Eritrean Foreign Minister Haile Woldetensae said on an official visit to Burundi. According to the radio, Woldetensae called for internal solutions to internal problems.

88

Government lifts ban on FRODEBU The Burundian government has lifted a short-lived ban on the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU). An AFP dispatch said the government instead decided late yesterday to ask the courts to deal with a FRODEBU party declaration on Saturday that its Tanzanian-based chairman had been re-elected. In announcing the ban earlier on Monday, the government accused Frodebu leader Jean Minani of "open rebellion against Burundi". The predominantly Hutu FRODEBU is the majority party in the National Assembly. Bujumbura claims Minani backs the four-year-old Hutu rebellion. In an interview with the BBC Kirundi service, Minani struck back at the government of Major Pierre Buyoya which came to power through a coup last year. "People who took over power cannot suspend a party which was legally set up and won elections." He accused the government of trying to stop the work of the National Assembly. RWANDA: Kigali hits back at Robinson Kigali has accused UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson of "gross misrepresentation of facts on the situation in the country" following her criticism of the government's human rights performance. A statement, issued late on Monday by Presidential Spokesman Joseph Bideri, claimed Robinson had made "deliberate omissions and blatant distortions" in her account of meetings with government officials, news agencies reported. Robinson described the human rights situation in the country as "bleak" on Sunday at the end of a fact-finding mission. Rwanda-Tanzania discuss forced repatriation A meeting of senior Rwandan and Tanzanian officials on Sunday agreed to create a joint commission to address the issue of forced repatriation of Rwandans from Tanzania. According to Rwandan radio, Tanzania's Internal Affairs Minister Ali Ahmed Mohammed said people of Rwandan origin with Tanzanian citizenship would be allowed to stay in the country and spouses of Tanzanian citizens wrongly expelled allowed to return. The meeting, in Tanzania's northern district of Ngara, was the second between the two countries on the expulsions. Army lays siege to cave complex According to Rwanda's army spokesman, a network of caves discovered recently in northwest Rwanda is "probably" still occupied by Hutu rebels, and is under constant surveillance. Conducting reporters and human rights observers on a visit to the site in the volcanic hills of Gisenyi, Richard Sezibera said the caves had probably been used since early 1995 by members of the Hutu Interahamwe militia. He said he could not estimate their size. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: France-DRC rapprochement Relations between the DRC and France are on the mend, DRC Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha told Radio France Internationale. He said France adopted a positive attitude at last

89

week's DRC donor conference. He also downplayed the recent tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats. "Having differences does not mean that our relations are bad. We even say relations are better between France and the DRC because we talk to each other very frankly," Karaha said. On Monday, Karaha met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala to discuss "regional issues", AFP reported. He also briefed Museveni on the Brussels donor meeting. Returnees welcomed by government DRC officials led by Rehabilitation Minister Etienne Mbaya and a Tanzanian and UNHCR delegation today welcomed home the latest group of 613 voluntary repatriants who had arrived in Uvira from Kigoma overnight. Since 1 September, 9,420 Congolese have been transported in 16 "convoys" across the lake by UNHCR under a tripartite agreement. The large majority of returnees are going to the Fizi and Uvira zones of South Kivu. Greeting the cheering returnees, Congolese officials urged them to reject tribalism and work for the reconstruction of the country. A returnee, interviewed by IRIN, acknowledged continuing tensions between Babembe and Banyamulenge communities in South Kivu, but said returnees were coming back peacefully to re-build their lives after about a year in the refugee camps. ANGOLA: Annan says UNITA stalling peace process The UN Secretary-General on Monday criticised former Angolan rebels for stalling the peace process, despite the imposition of UN sanctions five weeks ago. In a report to the UN Security Council, Kofi Annan said "the peace process continues to be slow, with intermittent surges of UNITA cooperation and long periods of stagnation following one another," AFP reported. "It is imperative for UNITA to complete, without further delay, the crucial tasks of demilitarisation and extension of state administration throughout the country," he said. "Both parties, but in particular UNITA, are responsible for this unsatisfactory state of affairs," Annan noted. UGANDA/KENYA: Governments promise flood relief President Yoweri Museveni has assured flood victims in western Mbale district of government relief. State-owned 'New Vision' said Museveni, who toured a camp for the displaced in the area, cautioned against the indiscriminate felling of trees in the hilly region which had exacerbated the problem of landslides following torrential rains. Meanwhile, Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi yesterday ordered the immediate supply of food and medicine to the flood-hit northwestern districts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Moyale, KBC radio reported. Nairobi, 9 December 1997 14:45 gmt [ENDS]

90

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 19:09:03 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 310 97.12.10 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 310 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 10 December 1997) RWANDA: Over 300 freed inmates return voluntarily to jail Some 307 genocide suspects freed from a jail in central Rwanda last week during a raid by Hutu rebels have turned themselves in to the Rwandan authorities, news organisations reported yesterday (Tuesday). Some of the prisoners, who were among 570 freed in the 3 December attack on the prison in Bulinga, Gitarama prefecture, were quoted by the Rwandan news agency (RNA) as saying they had been forced to follow their liberators into the bush. "Those who liberated us failed to evaluate the distance from here to Democratic Republic of Congo," RNA quoted one prisoner, Boniface Rugwizangoga, as saying. "We had been in prison for two years and were short of strength to follow these men to an unknown destination." Other inmates said they had been scared by heavy clashes following their escape between the army and rebel Interahamwe militia. In an apparent recruitment drive, rebels have sprung two other groups of prisoners in recent weeks, including 103 in Rwerere, in Gisenyi district, and 93 in Giciye, a few km to the east. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN rights team meet local authorities The UN human rights investigative team in Mbandaka met with the deputy governor of the province yesterday to inform the local authorities of the exact location the investigators want to have access to, Fred Eckhard, spokesman for the office of the Secretary-General, told the daily press briefing at the UN's New York headquarters. AFP in Kinshasa later quoted Mission Spokesman Jose Diaz as saying the deputy governor told the team, which finally arrived in the northwestern town on Monday, that "the question will be dealt with tomorrow (Wednesday) by the provincial security committee." Diaz said the investigators, who include 17 technical experts, also paid a courtesy call on local army and police officials.

91

UNHCR says 1,415 Rwandans expelled from Goma UNHCR has reported that a further 1,413 Rwandans have been expelled from the Goma area of DRC in recent days in the largest expulsion so far. The group was composed mostly of women and children who had fled to DRC to escape fighting in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri prefectures, spokesperson Pam O'Toole told a press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday. Meanwhile, CRS announced today (Wednesday) that for political reasons they were withdrawing from Goma, but gave no other details. Earlier, this week Kinshasa television reported that seven NGOs had been requested to suspend their activities in Goma, but did not say CRS was one of those affected. Aid workers said on Wednesday the NGOs concerned had now received formal notification from the government and been informed the local authorities would assist in all closure procedures. Churchman reported arrested for criticising Kabila Police have arrested a Protestant churchman for allegedly making defamatory remarks about President Laurent-Desire Kabila, AFP reported a source close to his church as telling the agency. It said Father Theodore Ngoy was arrested at his Gombe parish in central Kinshasa on Saturday, after he said at a regional seminar that the Kabila government was making the "same mistakes" as the one it ousted. BURUNDI: Eritrea agrees cooperation deal Burundi and Eritrea signed a cooperation agreement yesterday at the end of a two-day visit by Eritrean Foreign Minister Haile Woldentensae. Burundian radio, monitored by the BBC, said the accord would cover the areas of transport of goods and people, trade, and university education. During the minister's visit, Eritrea formally withdrew its support for sanctions against Bujumbura, saying they were counter-productive to the peace process. After leaving Burundi, Woldentensae visited President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda for talks on a wide range of regional issues, Ugandan state radio reported. UNHCR to shift focus in 1998 UNHCR is planning next year to boost its activities in Burundi's southern and south-eastern provinces in anticipation of the return of thousands of refugees from camps in Tanzania, aid sources say. Official UN figures show there are approximately 250,000 Burundians who remain in camps in Tanzania, many of whom have recently indicated to aid workers they may start returning home in 1998. ANGOLA: Angola signs cooperation pact with Congo-Brazzaville Angola and Congo-Brazzaville today signed a cooperation agreement on security along the border, Angolan radio reported on Tuesday. Angolan Interior Minister Santana Andre Pitra Petroff and his counterpart Pierre Oba signed the agreement which also includes training of the Congo-Brazzaville police. The accord will come into force immediately. Meanwhile, AFP reported government officials in Luanda as saying Angolan and police units were gearing up

92

for an offensive against separatists still holding out in the oil enclave of Cabinda. On Tuesday, one person was killed in the enclave bordering Congo-Brazzaville. The attack was blamed on the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC-Renewed). French oil company reports major find French oil group Elf Aquitaine has found a huge oil field containing more than 100 million tonnes or about 730 million barrels of oil off the coast of Angola, news organisations reported. Elf confirmed that it had struck oil on block 17 about 200 km from Luanda. SUDAN: Albright meets Sudanese rebels US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright today met Sudanese opposition and rebel leaders in Kampala, where she said that Washington was seeking to isolate Khartoum's leaders. Albright, in Uganda during an African tour, held talks with the head of the rebel SPLA, John Garang, and three other leaders in the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which linked up with Garang in 1995. The meeting was the first between a US government representative and the SPLA and also the first at such a senior level between Washington and the exiled opposition. UNITED NATIONS: UNHCR report says refugees increasingly used as war tactic The world's major powers are increasingly using humanitarian assistance as an excuse for not taking political action in conflict situations, Soren Jessen-Petersen, the Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees said on Monday on the launch of a biennial report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He noted that forced population shifts, as in the Great Lakes region, are increasingly a tactic of modern wars in which civilians are deliberately targetted. A mounting statelessness among the world's populations due to displacement is also being met by rising inhospitality towards refugees by both rich and poor nations. The good news that refugee numbers worldwide are down compared with a year ago and repatriations are accelerating, does not negate the challenges faced by humanitarian workers sent into situations where the politicians and armies of major powers dare not tread, JessenPetersen said. He stressed that "internal human security should be the major focus of UNHCR activities". That response, offering a "real solution", would include the reduction of poverty; curtailment of the small arms trade; promotion of human rights in countries emerging from conflict; long-term actions to avert relapses; and the protection of the right to asylum. NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: The launch of 'The State of the World's Refugees' in Kenya will take place at Nairobi's Hotel Intercontinental at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday 11 December. Nairobi, 10 December 1997 15:30 gmt [ENDS]

93

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 17:46:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 311 97.12.11 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 311 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 11 December 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Mai-Mai launch attack on Bukavu Mai-Mai fighters and ex-Rwandan army soldiers attacked Bukavu town early today (Thursday), humanitarian sources reported. Heavy fighting, including intense street battles, raged from about 03:00 a.m. until about 08:00 a.m. when calm appeared to have been restored. The interim governor of South Kivu confirmed on public radio there had been an attack by exFAR and Interahamwe forces on several points around the town, but said army soldiers had repulsed them and the situation was now under control. He pledged the army would pursue "these enemies until they uproot the last root". Attackers appeal to ex-FAZ elements to join them At one stage during the fighting, residents said a local FM radio station began transmitting broadcasts claiming the attackers represented ex-FAR (Forces armees Rwandaises) of the defeated Hutu-dominated government of Juvenal Habyarimana and non-Tutsi soldiers in the current DRC army. The radio broadcasts also appealed to elements of the defeated army of ex-Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko to join them. Fighting also reported around Uvira There were also reports of fighting further south in the area around Uvira. Humanitarian sources said some aid agencies operating in the area were considering an evacuation fearing a situation similar to the one in Bukavu could develop. Some aid sources said the insecurity could jeopardise further refugee rapatriation operations from Tanzania across Lake Tanganyika to Uvira.

94

WFP ordered out of Goma, CRS to stay WFP said it had been asked to leave Goma. The agency told IRIN it had received a letter from the authorities saying it should not operate in Goma, but no reasons were given. WFP has asked for an explanation and is staying put for the moment. Negotiations with the authorities are underway. Earlier this week, seven NGOs were ordered to cease operations in Goma. However, contrary to a report in IRIN Update 310 on 10 December, CRS is not pulling out of Goma. Clarifying its position, the NGO told IRIN they were in fact initiating two new projects this month in Goma in support of peace and justice issues. Budgetary constraints have, however, forced a reduction of staff in the Goma office, the NGO said. RWANDA: Rebels kill mayor, 11 others in northwest Rwandan rebels have killed a mayor and 11 other people in a village south of the northwestern town of Gisenyi, news reports quoted a senior military official as saying today. The reports said the attack took place on Tuesday night in the village of Ramba. The official added that Mayor Pascal Owimana, who had provided refuge to people fleeing clashes during Rwanda's civil war and 1994 genocide, was killed and his house torched during the attack. UGANDA: Albright announces aid for northern Uganda US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright yesterday announced US $four million in aid for northern Uganda where the government is battling a rebel insurgency it says is supported by Khartoum's Islamic-backed government. According to news reports, Albright said: "The US will stand with the Ugandan government in its efforts to end the violence of this (Sudanese) regime and improve the security of Ugandans, especially children." Meanwhile, Uganda's 'New Vision' newspaper reported today that 13 rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army were killed on Monday and 27 captured when a military helicopter gunship backed by infantry attacked and shelled one of their hideouts. Army Commander Brigadier James Kazini told reporters from his Gulu barracks office the attack took place in Klayorbit forest, Aswa county, some 24 km east of Gulu. Another newspaper, 'The Monitor' said a rebel captured in the attack had reported that LRA Commander Marianno Ochai Lagira had been shot in the leg during the fighting. Lagira was accused last year of engineering a raid on St Mary's School in northern Kitgum district, in which 139 schoolgirls were abducted. Twenty-one of them remain in captivity. SUDAN: Khartoum angered by Albright comments Meanwhile, Sudan has reacted angrily to remarks by Albright on the need to isolate Khartoum. A Sudanese foreign ministry statement yesterday condemned Albright's statements as "clearly manifesting America's interference in other countries' affairs and inciting disputes and disturbances," AFP reported. Albright made her comments after talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on the second leg of her seven-nation African tour. She further upset Khartoum by meeting the head of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), John Garang, and three leaders of the allied opposition National Democratic Alliance, calling on them to unite and show they could form a credible government.

95

Khartoum has described Albright's tour as a "US-Israeli ploy to destabilise Sudan." Khartoum is blacklisted by Washington for sponsoring international terrorism and in November, President Bill Clinton applied sanctions against what the US describes as a hardline Islamic government. The first two ports of call on the Albright tour were Ethiopia and Uganda, countries that Khartoum accuses of cross-border operations in support of Sudanese rebels and which have received US military support. According to a spokesman in the US embassy in Nairobi, the idea that Albright's trip is about reviewing the success of Washington's anti-Khartoum alliance has been over-played. He said the real focus of the tour is "to meet the new generation of (African) leaders" in the Great Lakes. Albright goes on to visit Rwanda, DRC, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The spokesman said Washington was concerned the Great Lakes region could become "a great drain if not turned around or the boil taken off." According to the spokesman, the tour will also prepare the ground for a planned visit to Africa by Clinton next year. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Team begins work for reconciliation conference Congo's new rulers have set up a 100-member team to prepare for a national reconciliation forum in January in Brazzaville, devastated by months of civil war, AFP reported on Wednesday. It said the minister responsible for organising the conference, Firmin Ayessa, said the planning committee was set up on Tuesday to draft discussion papers for the gathering to be held from January 5 to 11. Ayessa was quoted as saying that although members of the committee belonged to political parties or professional or other social groups, they were chosen for their "competence and experience" and not on political or regional grounds. UNITED NATIONS: UNHCR details refugee numbers in Kenya UNHCR Representative for Kenya and Somalia Yvette Stevens said today Kenya now sheltered some 177,000 refugees compared to half a million five years ago. Speaking on the occasion of the national launch of UNHCR's biennial 'The State of the World's Refugees' report, Stevens said the numbers had dropped tremendously as the situation in the region had stabilised and praised the cooperation her agency had received from the Kenyan government in reducing the refugee population. Nairobi, 11 December 1997 [ENDS]

96

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:04:32 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 34-97 5-11 Dec 1997 97.12.11

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 34-97 covering the period 5-11 Dec 1997

RWANDA: Over 300 freed inmates return voluntarily to jail Some 307 genocide suspects freed from a jail in central Rwanda last week during a raid by Hutu rebels have turned themselves in to the Rwandan authorities, news organisations reported on Tuesday. Some of the prisoners, who were more than 550 freed in the 3 December attack on the prison in Bulinga, Gitarama prefecture, were quoted by the Rwandan news agency (RNA) as saying they had been forced to follow their liberators into the bush. "Those who liberated us failed to evaluate the distance from here to Democratic Republic of Congo," RNA quoted one prisoner, Boniface Rugwizangoga, as saying. "We had been in prison for two years and were short of strength to follow these men to an unknown destination." Mayor killed near Gisenyi Hutu rebels killed a mayor and 11 other people he was sheltering from fighting in Ramba near Gisenyi on Tuesday night, military sources said, according to AFP. The victims were

97

reportedly witnesses to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The sources said the mayor, Pascal Owimana, and those he was sheltering had no chance against the rebels who were "numerous". Kigali hits back at Robinson Kigali has accused UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson of a "gross misrepresentation of facts on the situation in the country" following her criticism of the government's human rights performance. A statement, issued late on Monday by Presidential Spokesman Joseph Bideri, claimed Robinson had made "deliberate omissions and blatant distortions" in her account of meetings with government officials, news agencies reported. Robinson described the human rights situation in the country as "bleak" on Sunday at the end of a fact-finding mission. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Heavy fighting in Bukavu Humanitarian sources reported heavy fighting and intense street battles in Bukavu on Thursday morning after the town came under attack by Mai-Mai fighters. A source close to the local administration told IRIN it was a "very serious attack" by a variety of opponents of the DRC government, grouped together under the Mai-Mai banner. These are believed to include ex-FAZ, ex-FAR, Burundian Hutu rebels, and Interahamwe militia members. For a while, the Mai-Mai were said to be in control of at least half the town, and operating a clandestine radio calling for local support to expel "foreign forces". The governor of South Kivu confirmed on public radio there had been an attack by ex-FAR and Interahamwe forces on the town, but said army soldiers had repulsed them and the situation was under control. UN rights team meets local authorities The UN human rights investigative team in Mbandaka met the local authorities on Tuesday to inform them of the sites they wanted to visit. Mission Spokesman Jose Diaz said the team was expected to begin its work on Thursday. UNHCR says 1,413 Rwandans expelled from Goma UNHCR reported that a further 1,413 Rwandans were expelled from the Goma area of DRC in recent days, the largest expulsion so far. The group was composed mostly of women and children who had fled to DRC to escape fighting in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri prefectures, spokesperson Pam O'Toole told a press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday. Earlier in the week, Kinshasa television reported seven NGOs had been requested to suspend their activities in Goma. Aid workers said on Wednesday the NGOs concerned had now received formal notification from the government and been informed by the local authorities. Friends of Congo meeting urges human rights guarantees Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha told the 'Friends of Congo' donor meeting in Brussels last Thursday there would not be lasting peace in his country without economic recovery. Voice of America radio said the meeting, attended by 18 countries and 10 international organisations,

98

agreed in principle on a trust fund for DRC, without determining the amount. VOA pointed out the European Commission is the largest potential donor with US $168 million of aid currently frozen. The EC warned there must be guarantees on human rights before most of the money could be released. However, US $50 million will be unblocked for the health sector and there will be further aid for an infrastructure programme, VOA said. BURUNDI: Human Rights Watch accuses arms suppliers of fuelling civil war Human Rights Watch accused a list of countries, including the world's major arms suppliers, of fuelling Burundi's civil war by providing weapons to the government and/or rebels. In a report released on Monday in Brussels, the rights group said "China, France, North Korea, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) have directly provided military support to abusive Burundi forces." Eritrea agrees cooperation deal Burundi and Eritrea signed a cooperation agreement on Tuesday at the end of a two-day visit by Eritrean Foreign Minister Haile Woldentensae. Burundian radio said the accord would cover the areas of transport of goods and people, trade, and university education. During the minister's visit, Eritrea formally withdrew its support for sanctions against Bujumbura, saying they were counter-productive to the peace process. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Government calls for investigation into "genocide" Congo-Brazzaville called for an investigation by four international human rights organisations into the country's civil conflicts of 1993 and 1997. Government spokesman Francois Ibovi said the International Court of Justice, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the African Commission on Human and People's Rights should send missions to Brazzaville "to take stock of the extent of the material and human damage". Military ruler Denis Sassou Nguesso has described as "genocide" the 1993 clashes between rival militia over the contested election victory of Pascal Lissouba, and the events surrounding Lissouba's ousting in bloody fighting this year. ANGOLA: Angola signs cooperation pact with Congo-Brazzaville Angola and Congo-Brazzaville on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement on security along the border, Angolan radio reported. Angolan Interior Minister Santana Andre Pitra Petroff and his Congolese counterpart Pierre Oba signed the agreement which also includes training of the Congo-Brazzaville police. The accord will come into force immediately. Meanwhile, AFP reported government officials in Luanda as saying Angolan army and police units were gearing up for an offensive against separatists still holding out in the oil enclave of Cabinda. On Tuesday, one person was killed in the enclave bordering Congo-Brazzaville. The attack was blamed on the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC-Renewed).

99

French oil company reports major find French oil group Elf Aquitaine has found a huge oil field containing more than 100 mt or about 730 million barrels of oil off the coast of Angola, news organisations reported. Elf confirmed it had struck oil about 200 km from Luanda. UGANDA: Albright meets Sudanese rebels US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday met Sudanese opposition and rebel leaders in Kampala, where she commented that Washington was seeking to isolate Khartoum's leaders. Albright, in Uganda during an African tour, held talks with the head of the rebel SPLA, John Garang, and three other leaders in the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which linked up with Garang in 1995. The meeting was the first between a US government representative and the SPLA and also the first at such a senior level between Washington and the exiled opposition. Albright is on a tour of seven African countries. Khartoum lashed out at her trip as part of a "US-Israeli ploy to destabilise Sudan." Albright, meanwhile, announced US $four million in aid for northern Uganda where the government is battling a rebel insurgency which it says is supported by Khartoum. UGANDA/KENYA: Governments promise flood relief President Yoweri Museveni this week assured flood victims in western Mbale district of government relief. State-owned 'New Vision' said Museveni, who toured a camp for the displaced in the area, cautioned against the indiscriminate felling of trees in the hilly region which had exacerbated the problem of landslides following torrential rains. Meanwhile, Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi on Monday ordered the immediate supply of food and medicine to the flood-hit northeastern districts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Moyale. Nairobi, 12 December 1997, [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

100

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 19:16:15 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 312 97.12.12 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 312 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 12 December 1997) RWANDA: Rebels kill at least 231 in refugee camp attack At least 231 Tutsi refugees were killed and 207 wounded in an attack by Hutu rebels on a refugee camp yesterday (Thursday) in northwest Rwanda, a UNHCR spokeswoman told IRIN. The camp at Mudende, in Gisenyi prefecture, housed some 17,000 refugees mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ninety percent of the wounded taken to Gisenyi hospital had machete wounds, the spokeswoman added. The attack took place between 2:00 a.m and 4:00 a.m, sending survivors fleeing to Nkamira and Gisenyi town. A UN inter-agency team is visiting the area today (Friday). Thursday's attack follows a raid on Mudende in August in which 131 refugees were killed. The camp is only eight km from the DRC border. UNHCR requested relocation of the camp after the August attack and the local authorities had recently agreed, the spokeswoman said. An earlier attempt to transfer the refugees to Kibuye failed when they returned to Mudende, preferring to remain close to Masisi. Albright backs government with aid pledge US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Thursday pledged US support to Rwanda and said the country's future was critical to the region, AFP reported. At a joint press conference with President Pasteur Bizimungu, she condemned hardline Hutu rebels for failing to choose peace and national unity. However, AFP said, she stressed the need for justice in Rwanda and "the importance of providing security without harm to non-combatants" - a reference to civilians killed in the army's counter-insurgency operations. She noted that Washington plans to release US $3.9 million in aid for army demobilisation, the education of repatriated refugees and the promotion of democracy and reconciliation.

101

Army clashes with rebels fleeing Bukavu Kigali radio reported a clash yesterday in southwestern Rwanda between the army and a 500strong rebel group that had crossed Lake Kivu from the DRC. According to security sources, the rebels were part of a combined force of Mai-Mai, ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia that were driven out of Bukavu on Thursday after attacking the town. The report said the rebels fled into the forest around Cyangugu after an exchange of fire with the army, but gave no casualty figures. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Governor thanks Bukavu residents South Kivu's vice-governor Benjamin Serukiza said over Congolese radio on Thursday the situation in Bukavu was under control after the rebels' dawn attack was beaten back by the DRC army. He thanked the population "who did not listen to the enemy, who only want to divide our united people". Mai-Mai rebels operate a clandestine radio station 'Patriot' and broadcast calls for rebellion during Thursday's attack. The interim commander of the 222nd brigade in Bukavu said on state radio, monitored by the BBC, that five rebels were killed in the fighting and one wounded. He said the rebels, numbering some 300 and carrying no more than 50 guns between them, had raided Bukavu on their way to Rwanda. The Mai-Mai are composed of a variety of opponents of the DRC government, including ex-FAZ, ex-FAR, Burundian Hutu rebels, and Interahamwe militia members. No fighting in Uvira Reports in IRIN Emergency Update 311 of fighting spreading south to Uvira from Bukavu were inaccurate. Aid sources said there were no signs of fighting in or around Uvira up to this morning. However, aid workers said there were a higher number of checkpoints than usual on the road to Bukavu. Local officials admitted to IRIN this week there are tensions in the area particularly between Banyamulenge and other ethnic groups. US says it working on big aid package Albright said in Kinshasa on Friday that the US was working on a US $35-40 million aid package for DRC, Reuters reported. It said the money would come on top of a US $10 million contribution Albright announced on Tuesday that Washington would grant the former Zaire through a World Bank trust fund. Speaking after talks with President Laurent-Desire Kabila, Albright said the US administration would prepare the package jointly with Congress, which has demanded assurances that Kabila is respecting democracy and human rights before sending aid. Albright said the money would be used for infrastructure, health care, water projects and rebuilding a bridge destroyed by the forces of ousted President Mobutu Sese Seko. Protestors force UN team to suspend work UN human rights investigators are expected to start work today in Wendji, southwest of Mbandaka, after protestors forced them to suspend assessing an alleged massacre site on Thursday. Mission spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN the investigators had been "followed

102

around by a group of demonstrators". Their deployment had been delayed earlier in the day by government liaison officials. Diaz said the UN team had complained to the authorities over the incident. Work went ahead in Mbandaka yesterday, with UN investigators "familiarising themselves" with the area, Diaz said. ANGOLA: UNITA says Annan report "unfortunate" The Angolan armed opposition movement UNITA described as "unfortunate" a report by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in which he accused the movement of delaying the implementation of the peace accord, AFP reported from Lisbon. "UNITA wants to make clear its deep concern because the report of the UN Secretary-General appears to herald new sanctions against the party and confirms the irresponsible withdrawal of MONUA [the UN Observer Mission in Angola] which leaves the country in a dangerously explosive situation conducive to the advent of a totalitarian regime," a UNITA statement said. TANZANIA: Paris Club pledges US $1 billion The Paris club of Western donors pledged yesterday to lend Tanzania US $1 billion dollars to fund its development programmes, AFP quoted a World Bank official as saying. At the donor consultative meeting, held for the first time in Tanzania, "donors confirmed their willingness to increase sector support for education and health, as well as roads, once improved implementation arrangements are put in place by the government," the World Bank country director James Adams said. A number of donors also said they would consider participating in a "multilateral debt fund" as suggested earlier this week by President Benjamin Mkapa. KENYA: WFP begins airlift of aid to flood victims WFP yesterday started an airlift to provide urgently-needed food rations and emergency supplies to flood victims in the seven worst-hit areas of Kenya. The agency said in a press release the one-month operation would deliver 1,000 mt of high energy biscuits, bulk foods, blankets, medicines, plastic sheeting, seeds, cooking sets, kerosene and other relief supplies at a cost of about US $7.2 million. The airlift will assist 295,000 flood victims in the districts of Tana River, Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Moyale, Marsabit and Isiolo, which have suffered severe flood damage from unusually heavy rains that began last month. Nairobi, 12 December 1997 15:30 gmt [ENDS]

103

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 18:03:39 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 313 13-15 Dec 97.12.15 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 313 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 13-15 December 1997) RWANDA: US expert to investigate camp massacre, Kabila wants international probe US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced in Kinshasa on Friday she would send a State Department expert on crimes against humanity, David Shepherd, to investigate last week's massacre of Congolese Tutsi refugees in Rwanda by Hutu rebels, AFP reported. Estimates of the death toll in the Thursday attack on Mudende camp, in the northwestern Gisenyi prefecture, range from the initial count of 271, to a provisional tally of 1,643 released by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Internal Affairs Minister, Mwenze Kongolo. Speaking alongside Albright at the press conference, DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila called for an international investigation into the massacre. "Here, when you kill a killer, an Interahamwe, the international community sets up an investigation," he complained, in reference to the UN probe into alleged human rights abuses in the DRC. Annan condemns massacre UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the camp slaughter and renewed "the international demand that the security of vulnerable refugees be respected." In a statement on Friday, he said "it is most distressing that after almost four years, prospects for peace, stability and national reconciliation remain dim." UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata also condemned the attack, calling it "barbaric". UNHCR spokeswoman Pamela O'Toole said in Geneva: "Most of the dead and wounded were mutilated by machetes. The attackers were merciless, killing even babies." Army response "complicated" by refugee panic The Rwandan army commander for the northwest region Colonel Kayumba Nyamwase told AFP the rebels came both from the town of Kanama and the DRC border in "a coordinated

104

attack." He said intervention by the army was "complicated by the panic that swept through the camp" of some 17,000 people. An eyewitness, quoted by the news agency, said the rebels "came at midnight and encircled the camp, armed with rifles, grenades, axes and spears. They put up barriers on the roads, the tracks and all around to prevent the soldiers from coming." IMF approves US $8 million loan The IMF on Friday approved an US $8 million dollar loan for Rwanda to support the government's economic programme, AFP reported from Washington. The loan follows a US $12 million credit granted in April, the IMF said in a statement. "The Rwandese authorities have made progress under the 1997 IMF-supported programme in resettling a large number of refugees and internally displaced persons, rehabilitating the economy and nurturing economic recovery," the fund said. Freed prisoners surrender Some 470 genocide suspects freed from a jail in central Rwanda during a raid by Hutu rebels have so far surrendered to the authorities, Radio Rwanda said. Around 580 inmates escaped from the jail in Bulinga, Gitarama prefecture, during the 3 December attack. Meanwhile, humanitarian sources report that propaganda leaflets are being circulated by the rebels claiming they control Gisenyi prefecture and intend to "take Gitarama". DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Local leaders demand cash to allow probe to proceed Local DRC traditional leaders are blocking the UN massacre probe in the northwestern region until they are given cash and supplies, AFP quoted the UN team spokesman Jose Diaz as saying yesterday (Sunday). The demands were made in the town of Wendji, where angry but non-violent protests took place against the UN investigators on Thursday, Diaz said. "The experts believe that these new difficulties rule out any significant work being done before the end of 1997," he added. Another group of UN investigators in Mbandaka, 25 km north of Wendji, were continuing their task unimpeded and continue to record eyewitness accounts, Diaz noted. On Friday, Kabila said in Kinshasa that he was unaware of the Wendji protests and insisted the UN team was "free to work". Kabila visits China Kabila arrived in China on Sunday on his first official visit outside Africa since coming to power in May this year. The visit is at the invitation of the Chinese government and would last a "few days", Kinshasa TV announced. ANGOLA: Albright "disappointed" over Savimbi's no-show Albright, in Angola on the fifth leg of her African tour, said on Friday she was disappointed that former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi had turned down an invitation to meet her during her visit. "Dr. Savimibi and the UNITA leaders who remain outside Luanda can expect only

105

marginalisation if they do not move swiftly to comply fully with the Lusaka [peace] protocol", Albright warned. Savimbi has consistently refused to go to Luanda on the grounds that his safety is not guaranteed. UNITA radio reported that a message from Savimbi was handed to Albright. The contents of the message were unknown, the station, monitored by the BBC, said. The Secretary of State did however meet with a UNITA delegation which stressed that the planned withdrawal of the UN Observer Mission in Angola in the first quarter of 1998 "would be suicidal" for the peace process. Savimbi meets UN Special Representative Beye On Saturday, UN Special Representative Alioune Blondin Beye visited Savimbi in his central highlands base of Andulo to discuss the peace process and deliver a message from dos Santos. According to UNITA radio, Savimbi told Beye that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had failed to recognise any efforts by UNITA to comply with the Lusaka peace agreement. US committed to Angolan regional role - Albright In Luanda, Albright held talks with President Eduardo dos Santos and said Washington was committed to helping the country become a major player in the region, AFP reported. At a brief stop in the oil enclave of Cabinda she announced a joint initiative by the US oil company Chevron and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to "support reconstruction and economic development" in Angola. Albright added that Washington is financing a US $20 million loan to the government to buy food. Noting that Angolan oil represents seven percent of US crude imports - worth more than two billion dollars - she said she was "discussing with (the Angolan state oil company) Sonangol and Chevron a US $350 million package to support the purchase of American equipment" by Luanda. SUDAN-EGYPT: Beshir's planned Cairo visit signals possible rapprochement Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir will travel "soon" to Egypt amid growing signs that Cairo and Khartoum want to improve strained relations, AFP reported yesterday. The Egyptian news agency MENA said Sudanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mustafa Osman Ismail, will be in Cairo "within 48 hours" to prepare the visit. Relations between Cairo and Khartoum deteriorated in 1995 when Egypt accused Sudan of involvement in a failed bid by Egyptian islamists to kill President Hosni Mubarak. Bashir's visit would follow rebel SPLA leader John Garang's trip this month to Cairo, and Albright's meeting last week in Uganda with Garang and other leaders of the Sudan opposition after which she called for the "isolation" of Khartoum. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Lissouba supporters call for boycott of reconciliation forum Supporters of ousted president Pascal Lissouba have turned down an invitation to a government-organised national reconciliation forum due on 5-11 January. Brazzaville's official Radio Liberte broadcast on Saturday a statement by the opposition Republican Space for Democracy and National Unity (ERDUN) which said the planned forum is being organised by "dictatorial" forces, AFP reported. The statement urged people not to take part in such a

106

"masquerade" and asked the international community to withhold aid and to take steps to "return the legal government" to power. Forum coordinator Sebastien Bowao told Radio Liberte that if ERDUN was convinced of its popular support, it should take part in the forum. According to AFP, the conference is to decide on the nature of multiparty general elections promised by military leader Denis Sassou Nguesso. UGANDA: Rebels kill eight Rebels of the Uganda National Rescue Front II (UNRF-II) killed eight people and wounded six others in an ambush on a passenger vehicle on Friday in the northwest Arua region. The state-owned 'New Vision' today (Monday) also quoted senior army officials as saying that several UNRF-II soldiers who survived an ambush last week by the SPLA had surrendered to an army post in Yumbe. The paper said 25 UNRF-II fighters were killed in the SPLA ambush in southern Sudan, out of a column of 150 rebels heading towards the Ugandan border. UNRFII, headed by Ali Bamuze who served under Idi Amin, is a splinter group of the West Nile Bank Front. KENYA: Cholera outbreak in Nairobi claims 30 lives A Kenyan MP has blamed the Nairobi City council for the outbreak of cholera in the capital which has claimed at least 30 lives in the past week, the official 'Kenya Times' reported today. Gerishon Kirima said insanitary condition's in Nairobi's slums had contributed to the outbreak. Humanitarian sources told IRIN that ministry of health officials are touring the two worst-hit areas of Korogocho and Mathare. Meanwhile, the privately-owned 'Daily Nation' said the cholera death toll in the Coast province has risen to 66. Nairobi, 15 December 1997, 14:15 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

107

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 18:24:00 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 314 16 Dec 97.12.16 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 314 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 16 December 1997) RWANDA: Interior ministers discuss fate of refugees The interior ministers of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, Mwenze Kongolo and Sheikh Abdul Karim Harerimana, yesterday (Monday) examined the options of repatriating Congolese survivors of Thursday's Mudende refugee camp massacre to Masisi or their relocation in Rwanda. Bilateral delegations are expected to meet again tomorrow (Wednesday). A UNHCR spokeswoman told IRIN the agency's prime concern is the "guaranteed safety for the refugees". She pointed out that if they were to be repatriated, UNHCR's job would be complicated by the lack of a presence in Goma. Some 17,000 Congolese Tutsi refugees were sheltering in Mudende before the attack on the camp by Hutu rebels and local people. There are unconfirmed reports of Mudende residents fleeing into the DRC. Army repulses attack on transit centre Humanitarian sources today (Tuesday) described the security situation in northwest Rwanda as "still very volatile". An attempted rebel attack on a transit centre at Nkamira, a few kilometres from Mudende in Gisenyi prefecture, was beaten off by the army on Saturday, the sources said. Nkamira shelters three separate populations: internally displaced people, villagers from the surrounding area, and people who fled Mudende. Official death toll in Mudende massacre rises to 317 The official death toll in the Mudende massacre has risen to 317 after 15 people died of their wounds in hospital, Rwandan radio said yesterday. Kinshasa claimed over the weekend that as many as 1,643 people were killed in the attack. Humanitarian sources told IRIN that figure

108

was based on a head count by refugee leaders in the aftermath of the raid, but refugees had scattered and are only now being identified. Kigali calls for international community to accept its responsibilities Kigali on Monday said the international community was partly to blame for the Mudende massacre by failing to halt the arms trade in the region, AFP reported. Education Minister Joseph Karamera called on the international community to "take up its responsibilities in the face of the massacres ... like punishing whoever helps (the rebels)." Presidential adviser, Joseph Bideri, stressed the violence in northwest Rwanda "is simply the continuation of the genocide," the private Rwanda News Agency reported. He also accused France and Belgium of sowing the seeds of ethnic hatred. The President of the UN Security Council Fernando Berrocal Soto said in a press briefing yesterday that council members "strongly condemned" the "brutal massacre" at Mudende. He said the members were concerned over the deteriorating security situation in Rwanda, but urged the government to respect all human rights, "in particular, when performing its counterinsurgency operations." EU envoy arrives in Rwanda Aldo Ajello, the EU's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region arrived in Kigali yesterday for a three-day official visit. AFP quoted a source in his delegation as saying his itinerary had not been settled. In Brussels on Monday, Emma Bonino, the EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, described the Mudende assault as a "shameful and barbarous act of cowardice." She called for "more national and international energies and resources (to) be devoted to reconciliation and peace-building." She added: "Rwanda has seen enough blood and massacres," AFP reported. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has instructed David Scheffer, US Ambassador-atlarge for War Crimes Issues, to travel to Mudende to assist in the investigation of the massacre. (This corrects IRIN Emergency Update 313). UN General Assembly considers US $59 million budget for Rwanda tribunal According to a PANA report from New York, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is asking the General Assembly to approve US $59 million for the 1998 operations of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The request reflects an increase of almost 47 percent compared with the 1997 appropriation, the news agency said. Two courtrooms are expected to be in full operation, enabling the simultaneous holding of proceedings. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN probe team withdraws from Mbandaka A UN spokesman said in New York yesterday the UN human rights investigative team to the DRC was evacuated from Mbandaka at the weekend owing to "serious security concerns"

109

arising from a large demonstration outside their camp. The situation would be assessed before a decision to return to Mbandaka was made. Zairean generals arrested in South Africa over anti-Kabila plot Three senior military figures in the Mobutu regime, allegedly plotting to overthrow the government of President Laurent-Desire Kabila, were arrested near Johannesburg on Saturday, the South African news agency SAPA reported yesterday. The three generals, Mavua Madima, Kpama Baramoto and Ngbane Nzimbi, are being held on charges relating to entering the country with illegal passports. They had left for the DRC on Friday and returned to South Africa the following day. Madima was the former defence minister, Baramoto the head of the civil guard and Nzimbi the commander of the special presidential division. Foreign ministry spokesman Marco Boni said no formal request for the men's extradition had yet been received. The three have denied media allegations they were planning to assassinate Kabila, the South African representative of the radical opposition Union pour la Democratie et le Progres Social (UPDS) told Radio France Internationale. Kimwana Kayem, who met the three, said their arrest was due to "an immigration error". He added the issue of their extradition "is null and void" as South Africa has no extradition treaty with the Kinshasa. However, DRC Justice Minister Celestin Lwangy said in Kinshasa "extradition is a political matter," Reuters reported. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Sassou Nguesso visits Paris to drum up aid support Congo-Brazzaville's leader Denis Sassou Nguesso headed for France on Monday for a "private trip" that will include talks with President Jacques Chirac and premier Lionel Jospin. AFP reported that Sassou Nguesso is expected to ask Paris for backing in raising foreign funds during his week-long visit, notably for rebuilding the capital Brazzaville. "The meetings will enable us to emphasise the value we attach to Congo, under his leadership, finding the path of democracy and good government," foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne Gazeau-Secret said. BURUNDI: Rights group deplores allegations of army brutality A report on the plight of Burundian refugees in Tanzania by Refugees International has condemned alleged human rights abuses by the Burundian army. The US-based rights group cited interviews with recently arrived refugees from eastern Burundi who accused the army of executions of family members, the round-up of men in the communes and the burning of homes and fields. The "allegations together paint a compelling picture of a citizenry being terrorised by the army," the report released yesterday said. The organisation also slammed Tanzania's 'systematic' forced repatriation of refugees. WFP's internal flights resume The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), has confirmed funding to restart internal air operations for aid agencies in Burundi, a WFP report said. The funding is expected to cover four months of operations.

110

UGANDA: Flooding wreaks havoc In a preliminary damage assessment, the UN Disaster Management Team says flooding/landslides in Uganda have claimed at least 33 lives, affected 50,000 people, ruined 3,500 mt of maize and 2,000 hectares of farm land. A report released by DHA Geneva on Friday noted that eight bridges have been confirmed destroyed and some 31 rail wagons loaded with WFP food stranded at Malaba, on the Kenyan side of the border. A WFP report also said that road conditions have "seriously deteriorated" in western Uganda, cutting off the town of Bundibugyo and hampering food deliveries to 55,000 displaced. Cholera hits Kampala The state-owned 'New Vision' said today that 70 people suffering from cholera have been admitted to Mulago Hospital in Kampala. The paper said the disease has hit 14 suburbs of the city, and three people are reported to have died. ANGOLA: Luanda claims 34,000 UNITA soldiers unaccounted for According to Angolan state television, UNITA's official figure of 2,000 undemobilised soldiers "has steadily risen to 8,000 and is growing." Sunday's TV broadcast said the likelihood is that the real figure is far greater, and claimed that more than 26,000 UNITA soldiers have deserted from their confinement areas. AFRICA: The malnutrition scourge The 1998 State of the World's Children Report released by UNICEF today warns that malnutrition contributes to nearly seven million child deaths annually - more than any infectious disease, war or natural disaster. Where it does not kill, malnutrition can leave victims physically maimed or intellectually impaired. "While malnutrition has long been recognised as a consequence of poverty, it is increasingly clear that it is also a cause," UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said in a press release. Nairobi, 16 December 1997, 15:00 gmt [ENDS] [The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

111

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 18:28:45 +0300 From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 315 16 Dec 97.12.17 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 315 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 17 December 1997) RWANDA: Rwandan army units enter Goma Rwandan army units entered Goma yesterday (Tuesday) as Congolese Tutsi refugees continue to spontaneously cross the border after the Mudende camp massacre. Aid workers also told IRIN a brief clash in the town between the Rwandan soldiers and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) troops left two dead. Decision on Congolese refugees postponed Talks between senior Rwandan and DRC officials to decide on the options of repatriation, relocation or resettlement of DRC Tutsi refugees have been postponed until tomorrow (Thursday), humanitarian sources told IRIN. The meeting was due to have taken place today (Wednesday). Kigali has stressed that adequate security is the minimum condition for any voluntary repatriation and the DRC authorities are expected to present their proposals at the meeting, the sources said. Kigali is also evaluating relocation and resettlement in Rwanda. Rebel attack on ministers' convoy Hutu rebels staged an abortive grenade attack on the convoy of DRC Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo and his Rwandan counterpart Sheikh Abdul Karim Harerimana in Rwanda's northwestern Gisenyi prefecture, Congolese TV reported on Monday. The TV bulletin said the "grenade-throwers were overpowered on the spot" and three were killed. The ministers continued with their visit to the mass grave of the victims of last week's Mudende refugee camp massacre, and addressed survivors sheltering at the nearby Nkamira transit centre.

112

Minibus ambush kills 19 Hutu militiamen are believed responsible for the killing of 19 people in an ambush of a minibus taxi in the north of the central Gitarama prefecture yesterday, the private Rwanda News Agency reported. The attack took place at around 8.00 a.m. local time. Only one of the passengers managed to escape. EU special envoy to discuss Rwanda with Meles, Salim The EU's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Aldo Ajello is due in Ethiopia on Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim. The talks are expected to focus on Rwanda, AFP said. Meles recently suggested that the OAU set up a panel to analyse the response of the international community to the Rwandan genocide. Ajello is currently in Kigali for talks with the authorities on the security situation in Rwanda. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Angolan troops to leave "as soon as possible" Congo-Brazzaville leader Denis Sassou Nguesso said in Paris yesterday Angolan troops that helped him to power in October would leave the country "as soon as possible". "The causes which justified the presence of these soldiers are starting to disappear," he told Radio France Internationale. Speaking after an hour-long meeting with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Sassou Nguesso also said questions of national reconciliation and elections would be discussed at a forum in Brazzaville next month. Sassou Nguesso meets Elf boss AFP reported Sassou Nguesso also met Philipe Jaffre, the head of the French oil company Elf-Aquitaine. He said after the talks he hoped the management of his country's oil resources could be improved "in the interests of the government, which has enormous reconstruction needs." He said his government was "looking at financial questions, the price of crude, sales, and earnings for Congo ... There's no secret, we are also looking at the important question of secured loans." He added: "the Lissouba government borrowed nearly 3.5 billion francs (US $600 million) against Congo's oil assets. These are large sums with very heavy servicing terms which seriously undermine the state's wealth." ANGOLA: Dos Santos and Savimbi discuss peace process Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi have exchanged letters over the countries stalled peace process. On Monday, the pair held a telephone conversation to discuss a planned face-to-face meeting and the extension of state administration into UNITA's strongholds of Andulu and Bailundo, UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt told a press briefing in New York yesterday. Both men have pledged to meet in Angola by the end of December, AFP reported.

113

UGANDA: Cholera cases rise The number of cholera patients in Kampala's Mulago Hospital has hit 100, the official 'New Vision' reported today. It quoted the hospital director as saying the epidemic is spreading rapidly due to the heavy rains, and extra beds were needed to set up emergency field clinics in the areas of the city struck by the outbreak. LRA abduct 28, army intensifies operations The paper, meanwhile, said Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels abducted 28 people attending a wedding ceremony at Apac over the weekend. It also reported that at least 12 rebels were killed in Kitgum and Gulu districts in "fierce" army attacks on LRA hideouts. BURUNDI: Amnesty fears for detained opposition leader Amnesty International is "extremely concerned" for the safety of Etienne Mvuyekure, the former secretary-general of the opposition Rassemblement du peuple burundais (RPB), arrested at the beginning of November. In a statement, the rights group said the prison authorities have denied access, and it "fears he is at risk of torture and 'disappearance'". According to Amnesty, Mvuyekure was arrested apparently as a result of accusations made against him of possible links with an armed opposition group. ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to the hilday period, IRIN's next information exchange meeting will take place at IRIN's offices in Gigiri on 7 January. Nairobi, 17 December 1997 14:45 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

114

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 13:24:26 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Briefing on Water Hyacinth 97.12.17 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Briefing on Water Hyacinth 17 December 97 IRIN provides this background briefing for the benefit of the humanitarian community. It is intended as an outline of the problems related to water hyacinth, based on varied and reliable sources, but does not claim to be a comprehensive review of the situation. INTRODUCTION Already battered by man-made crises, the central and eastern region of Africa is now in the grip of an environmental disaster. The fast-spreading water hyacinth is encroaching on some of the region's major inland waterways, threatening communities living on their shores. Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, as the countries most affected by the floating weed, are taking steps to try and eradicate it, but have come under criticism for not taking the problem seriously enough. Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), which originates from South America, was believed to have been brought to the region by Belgian colonialists as ornamental pond plants. With no natural predator it quickly multiplied - in the right conditions, the plants can double every five to 15 days. In the late 1980s, it began its stealthy voyage, invading the Kagera river in Rwanda, from where it fed into a number of lakes along the way such as Kyoga and George in Uganda and the huge expanse of Lake Victoria. Its hold on regional waterways has intensified this decade.

LAKE VICTORIA

115

Lake Victoria today is on the verge of "ecological collapse", observers say, and scientists say the vast inland sea is dying. With a surface area of 68,800 sq km and a catchment area of 184,000 sq km, it is the second largest body of freshwater in the world. Respectively Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda control six, 49 and 45 percent of the lake which supports 25 million people or one third of the combined population of the three countries. The lake basin is a vital source of food, energy, drinking and irrigation water. Environmental protection is therefore essential to support the main economic activity of subsistence fishing. The lake has already seen its ecosystem undergo alarming fundamental changes over the last few decades, not least the introduction of Nile perch in the 1950s to boost fisheries. The voracious fish soon gobbled up much of the existing cichlid fish species, vital to the lake's survival. With the disappearance of over half the cichlid species, a huge layer of deoxygenated water was created in which nothing could survive. The subsequent appearance of water hyacinth is tipping the already precarious ecological balance of Lake Victoria, particularly in Uganda. Surveillance satellites show an estimated one percent of the lake has already succumbed to the killer plant. The purple-flowering plant, ranging from a few inches to as much as three feet in height, usually floats in large masses but may also be rooted in mud, slowly choking the life of the waterway, clogging up vital structures such as dams and imprisoning boats. The merciless hyacinths, ideal nesting sites for bilharzia-causing snails, malarial mosquitoes and snakes, form a dense mat blocking the sunlight from organisms in the water below. EFFECTS ON THE KENYAN COAST Driving along the Lake Victoria shoreline, it is difficult to see where the land stops and the lake begins. The main Kenyan lake port of Kisumu is completely blocked by the plant which extends as far as the eye can see. Even large vessels have been ensnared by its leaves and port activity is at a standstill. Rail goods are stranded at the port, unable to be loaded onto boats. A WFP food consignment destined for Rwanda has been held up for over a week. One cargo ship from Mwanza in Tanzania, forcing its way through the green carpet, came to a grinding halt as its engines overheated. According to Kenyan press reports, the rampant weed has resulted in hundreds of fishermen and transporters losing their jobs. Kenya's fisheries department, which lends support to projects to clean up the lake, says Kenya's portion of the lake at Winam Gulf, while small, is the most productive because it has several inward-flowing rivers. The Kenya Railways Corporation, which manages Kisumu port, has lost millions of shillings worth of business and has urged the government to declare a national disaster to encourage removal of the water hyacinth. Further south, the effect of the weed in towns such as Homa Bay and Kendu Bay has completely disrupted small fishing communities. Local fishermen say no-one is interested in their plight. "A government official brought someone to have a look," one fisherman from Homa Bay told IRIN during a recent visit. "They started removing the plant, but when it started growing faster than they could take it away they just left it alone. No-one has been since." The surrounding land is dry and cannot support agriculture, so many local people are totally dependent on fishing and fishing-related activities for their livelihoods. The cost of their business has escalated. Unable to anchor at weed-choked landing sites, they have to land

116

where they can, often tens of kilometres away from their homes. They then have to take public transport home. The Kenya fisheries department says entire communities are on the move, searching for weedfree areas in which to fish. They in turn are overburdening the communities on which they descend, which do not have the infrasctructure to support a mass influx of people. "It's just like a refugee crisis", one official said. Three weeks ago, Homa Bay was completely colonised by the water hyacinth. A change in wind direction blew most of it away towards Kisumu, but fishermen are all too aware the respite is temporary. Kenyan press reports said that local people had even paid a "magician" to dispel the weed. And even though fishermen can now go out to fish without their nets becoming entangled or their boats marooned, their catches are pitiful. "We used to catch hundreds of fish, now we come back with just three or four, sometimes 10, big fish and 20 to 40 smaller fish," they say. The fisheries department estimates that fish landings, which dropped by 10 percent last year, will tumble even further this year by some 20 percent. People are angry, believing they have been left to tackle a problem that is too great for them to cope with alone. The story is repeated throughout the three east African countries where lakeside communities are facing economic ruin as fish catches dwindle. CONTROL EFFORTS A project set up by the three nations seeks in part to control the aquatic menace. The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project (LVEMP), established in 1994, says the lake itself is not the source of its problems, which are due rather to human activity. It pinpoints two main hypotheses: the introduction of Nile perch which altered the food web structure and nutrients from adjoining catchment areas which are causing eutrophication or an overabundance of water organisms. The project, aimed at rehabilitating the lake's ecosystem with the involvement of local communities, acknowledges there are difficulties. A study of community needs undertaken in Tanzania, for example, concluded one of the major setbacks was the "general lack" of community participation in management programmes. A project report stresses that for tackling the water hyacinth problem in particular, it is essential for local people to understand and assist in the biological control efforts LVEMP is conducting. The report warns that the current cost of controlling water hyacinth infestation - estimated at up to US $10 million per year - will shoot up still further if the problem is allowed to spread. The LVEMP received a boost from the World Bank last month which pledged US $77 million to assist the programme, specifically for research purposes on fisheries, water quality, management of the wetlands and the environment. One of the problems in tackling the weed, is a divergence of views among the experts and disagreement between the governments involved. Scientists point out that as governments and donors come to realise the extent of the problem there is still much confusion about what needs to be done. The International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC) in Kenya says chemical, mechanical and biological controls all have positive and negative aspects. Uganda, fearful for the impact on its hydroelectric production, favours chemical treatment but experts believe this should only be used to treat priority areas. If Uganda goes ahead with the use of chemicals, reports say the European Union has threatened to ban fish imports from the

117

country, where water hyacinth has laid siege to over 7,000 hectares of the lake. And while some scientists argue that mechanical control is the only long-term solution, others doubt its practicality on the scale required. IIBC says harvesting machines to scoop up the hyacinth are expensive pieces of equipment with a dubious record for sustainable control, but easy to deliver as part of a development assistance package. Some organisations, such as the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), are trying to develop biological control which has successfully been implemented in other parts of the world affected by water hyacinth, such as Australia. KARI for example is breeding weevils which burrow down into the plant and kill it. Ugandan scientists have reported successful results after the introduction of Central American weevils in the much smaller Lake Kyoga. Biological control with weevils will take a long time to take effect even in favourable conditions. But some scientists reject this form of treatment for Lake Victoria anyway because of the scale involved. Billions of weevils would be required, and their rate of multiplication is very slow compared to that of the weed. The notion of floating booms or fixed barriers has been mooted for protecting key sites, such as ports and the Owen Falls Power Station in Uganda. However help may be in sight. An article in Kenya's 'Economic Review' weekly noted Nairobi University's botany department had made a possible breakthrough in the fight against the hyacinth. The method involves collecting fungus from diseased hyacinth leaves and using it to kill the healthy plants. The university's Professor R.K.Mibey, who says the method has been successfully used in the USA, claims the most potent fungi have already been isolated. The scheme which involves spraying the leaves with the fungus is reportedly environmentallyfriendly. Mibey told the weekly he hoped for funding from interested parties, but was afraid "vested interests" might spoil his chances. CONCLUSION There are some positive uses for the destructive weed, although they cannot be considered large-scale control measures. According to a report in 'Nature Watch' - a publication of the East African Wildlife Society - inmates at the maximum security Luzira prison in Kampala have been producing high quality furniture, bags and rope from the water hyacinth. Prison work-teams collect the weed, whose roots and leaves are discarded and the stem split and left to dry in the sun. The fibre is then soaked in preservative and braided into ropes which are then woven into furniture or bags. Rotting water hyacinths also produce methane gas for cooking. The 'EastAfrican' weekly, meanwhile, noted the three East African states, in conjunction with research institutes, NGOs and environmentalists, had held numerous meetings on the issue since 1990, but it asked the question why was it taking so long to "add more vigour" to the campaign. The article warned against politicising the issue as the three countries sought to look after their own interests rather than working together to tackle the hyacinth menace. As a step towards better cooperation, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have now agreed to coordinate their fisheries regulations. Lake Victoria is suffering because the gravity of the situation was assessed too late. While experts and governments squabble over funds and methods, the weed threatens to swamp all vital waterways and freshwater facilities in the region.

118

Nairobi, 17 December 1997

119

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 17:45:05 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 316 18 Dec 97.12.18 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 316 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 18 December 1997) BURUNDI: Eight soldiers killed in mine blast Eight soldiers were killed yesterday (Wednesday) in an anti-tank mine blast near Mubimbi, about 20 km from Bujumbura, AFP reported. To counter the threat of mines laid by Hutu rebels, local people have been asked to remain vigilant "because we cannot have troops available to do that 24 hours a day," Bujumbura province governor Stanislas Ntahobari said. According to a DHA report, there were 48 confirmed mine incidents between October 1996 and November 1997. The majority of the attacks have occurred around Bujumbura. Supreme Court asked to overturn Minani's election as FRODEBU leader Burundi's interior ministry has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the nomination of the exiled opposition leader Jean Minani as the head of the mainly Hutu Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU), the ministry said Wednesday. Tanzania-based Minani, who the government accuses of supporting Hutu rebels, was elected leader at a party congress on 6 December. FRODEBU Secretary-General Augustin Nzojibwami said the party would win the legal battle "absolutely." 125 Congolese repatriated Fifty-five Congolese families mistakenly expelled from South Kivu were repatriated with the help of UNHCR on 5 December, humanitarian sources report. The 125 Congolese, caught up in last month's deportations of mainly Burundian and Rwandan Hutus from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were living in desperate conditions in the northern province of Cibitoke. Five of the group died from illness and malnutrition.

120

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Cholera outbreak kills 38 near Kisangani Humanitarian sources report that 38 people have died in a cholera outbreak in Kapalata, 5 km from Kisangani. The epidemic is currently killing an estimated seven people per day, with some 800 cases observed since 18 November. Humanitarian agencies are attempting to improve the sanitary conditions at Kisingani hospital and provide equipment and medicine. Access to the military camp in Kaplata has, however, been denied. ANGOLA: Security improves in "sensitive" areas The UN peacekeeping mission in Angola, MONUA, on Wednesday said the security situation has improved in the most "sensitive" areas of the country, notably the northeastern diamond fields where a three-year-old peace deal has yet to be implemented, AFP reported. According to the United Nations, the government now has complete control of five out of Angola's 15 provinces - the northern provinces of Bengo, Zaire and Kwanza-Norte, and the southern provinces of Benguela and Huila. A MONUA spokesman told AFP that UNITA retains fighters and military and political structures in the other 10 provinces. 3,000 flee Cabinda clashes At least 3,000 people have fled clashes between separatists and the army in the north of the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, AFP quoted "reliable sources" in Luanda as saying. The displaced have been arriving in Cabinda city since the start of the month. The sources said military activity by various factions of the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC) has increased in recent weeks. The Luanda government has refused negotiations with the rebels until a complete ceasefire is achieved. Elf makes major new find French oil company Elf Aquitaine said today (Thursday) it had discovered a major oilfield in the Dalia field off the Angolan coast. The new field, at a depth of 1,250 metres, is some 200 km northwest of Luanda, AFP reported. SUDAN: Machar claims victory in battle with SPLA near Torit Pro-government forces claimed victory in a clash with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in southern Sudan's East Equatoria province. Riek Machar, the chairman of the South Sudan Coordination Council, said in a statement that the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) on Tuesday captured the Solora mountain area near Torit and inflicted heavy losses on the SPLA, AFP reported. Machar said heavy equipment was captured in the fighting close to the Ugandan border. The SSDF groups the militiamen of six south Sudanese factions allied to the government.

121

State governors claim Eritrea, Uganda offensive planned Meanwhile, Kassala state governor Ibrahim Mahmoud told the 'Al-Rai al-Aam' daily that Eritrean troops "backed by Israeli experts" and SPLA rebels were amassed along the border. He said Eritrea was planning an "offensive on Sudan ... masterminded by the United States and Israel which has a military presence in the region." In the south, East Equatoria Governor Abdallah Kafelo said on Thursday in the Khartoum daily 'Alwan' that there were "hostile activities" by Ugandan troops on the south Sudan border in addition to those of the SPLA in and around Torit. Russian oil pipeline deal signed The Sudanese government and a Russian company Lukoil on Tuesday signed a US $30 million oil pipeline construction agreement to link the Hajlij oil field with Ubaid refinery, the Sudanese news agency reported. Energy and Mining Minister Dr Awad Ahmad al-Jaz said investment in oil production was a vital strategic goal for Khartoum. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Paris appoints new envoy France has named Herve Bolot as its new ambassador to Brazzaville. He will replace Raymond Cesaire, who remained in the city throughout the five month civil war, Gabonese Africa No 1 radio said. Nairobi, 18 December 1997 14:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

122

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 15:13:42 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 35-97 12-18 Dec 1997 97.12.19

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 35-97 covering the period 12-18 Dec 1997 RWANDA: International condemnation of Mudende massacre The international community responded with outrage to an attack by Hutu rebels last Thursday on a refugee camp at Mudende in northwestern Rwanda in which over 300 Congolese Tutsis died - many of them macheted and axed to death. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata described the slaughter as "barbaric" and the EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Emma Bonino condemned it as an "act of cowardice". UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan demanded that "the security of vulnerable refugees be respected". US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was in Rwanda when the massacre took place, ordered a US specialist on crimes against humanity to help in the investigation of the killings. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Laurent-Desire Kabila demanded an international inquiry.

Concern over state of human rights

123

International concern was also expressed over the general state of human rights in Rwanda. Bonino called for "more national and international energies and resources (to) be devoted to reconciliation and peace-building" while the President of the Security Council urged the government to respect all human rights. Kigali accused the international community of being partly to blame for the Mudende massacre by failing to halt the regional arms trade and called for the punishment of those who assisted the rebels. Rwanda/DRC discuss fate of refugees In the wake of the Mudende attack, Rwandan and DRC government delegations met to decide on the options of repatriation, relocation or resettlement of the refugees in Rwanda. The continued insecurity in Gisenyi prefecture was underscored by a raid at the weekend by rebels on the Nkamira transit centre - to where thousands of the Mudende survivors had fled - which was repulsed by the army. Three rebels were also killed in an abortive grenade attack on the convoy of Rwandan and DRC interior ministers who were visiting Mudende and Nkamira. Mudende sheltered some 17,000 refugees. EU special envoy to discuss Rwanda with Meles, Salim The EU Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Aldo Ajello arrived in Ethiopia on Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim. The talks were expected to focus on Rwanda, AFP said. Meles recently suggested that the OAU set up a panel to analyse the response of the international community to the Rwandan genocide. Ajello was in Kigali this week for talks with the authorities on the country's security situation. Army clashes with rebels fleeing Bukavu Kigali radio reported a clash last Thursday in southwestern Rwanda between the army and a 500-strong rebel group that had crossed from the DRC. According to security sources, the rebels were part of a combined force of Mai-Mai, ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia that were driven out of Bukavu after attacking the town. The report said the rebels fled into the forest around Cyangugu after an exchange of fire with the army, but gave no casualty figures. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN probe team quits Mbandaka The UN human rights investigation team to the DRC was evacuated from Mbandaka at the weekend owing to "serious security concerns" arising from a demonstration outside their camp. A UN spokesman in New York said the situation would be assessed before a decision to return to Mbandaka was made. Non-violent protests also took place when the UN mission attempted to start work at an alleged massacre site at Wendji, 25 km from Mbandaka. Local traditional leaders had demanded money and supplies as a condition for allowing the investigation to proceed. Zairean generals arrested in South Africa over anti-Kabila plot

124

Three senior military figures in the Mobutu regime, allegedly plotting to overthrow the DRC government, were arrested near Johannesburg on Saturday, the South African news agency SAPA reported. The three generals, Mavua Madima, Kpama Baramoto and Ngbane Nzimbi, are being held on charges relating to entering the country with illegal passports. They had left for the DRC on Friday and returned to South Africa the following day. Foreign ministry spokesman Marco Boni said no formal request for the men's extradition had yet been received. Cholera outbreak kills 38 near Kisangani Humanitarian sources reported that 38 people have died in a cholera outbreak in Kapalata, 5 km from Kisangani. The epidemic is currently killing an estimated seven people per day, with some 800 cases observed since 18 November. Humanitarian agencies are attempting to improve the sanitary conditions at Kisangani hospital and provide equipment and medicine. Access to the military camp in Kapalata has, however, been denied. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Angolan troops to leave "as soon as possible" Congo-Brazzaville leader Denis Sassou Nguesso said on a visit to Paris this week that Angolan troops that helped him to power in October would leave the country "as soon as possible". "The causes which justified the presence of these soldiers are starting to disappear," he told Radio France Internationale. Speaking after an hour-long meeting with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Sassou Nguesso also said questions of national reconciliation and elections would be discussed at a forum in Brazzaville next month. Meanwhile, supporters of ex-president Pascal Lissouba described the forum as a "masquerade" organised by "dictatorial" forces and said they would boycott the meeting. Sassou Nguesso meets Elf boss AFP reported Sassou Nguesso also met Philipe Jaffre, the head of the French oil company Elf-Aquitaine. He said after the talks his government was "looking at financial questions, the price of crude, sales, and earnings for Congo." He noted: "there's no secret, we are also looking at the important question of secured loans," and added: "the Lissouba government borrowed nearly 3.5 billion francs (US $600 million) against Congo's oil assets. These are large sums with very heavy servicing terms which seriously undermine the state's wealth." ANGOLA: Dos Santos and Savimbi discuss peace process Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi have exchanged letters over the countries stalled peace process. On Monday, the pair held a telephone conversation to discuss a planned face-to-face meeting and the extension of state administration into UNITA's strongholds of Andulu and Bailundo, UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt told a press briefing in New York yesterday. Both men have pledged to meet in Angola by the end of December, AFP reported. Security improves in "sensitive" areas

125

The UN peacekeeping mission in Angola, MONUA, on Wednesday said security has improved in the most "sensitive" areas of the country, notably the northeastern diamond fields. According to the United Nations, the government now has complete control of five out of Angola's 15 provinces - the northern provinces of Bengo, Zaire and Kwanza-Norte, and the southern provinces of Benguela and Huila. A MONUA spokesman told AFP that UNITA retains fighters and military and political structures in the other 10 provinces. 3,000 flee Cabinda clashes At least 3,000 people have fled clashes between separatists and the army in the north of the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, AFP quoted "reliable sources" in Luanda as saying. The displaced have been arriving in Cabinda city since the start of the month. The sources said military activity by various factions of the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC) has increased in recent weeks. BURUNDI: Rights group deplores allegations of army brutality A report on the plight of Burundian refugees in Tanzania by Refugees International has condemned alleged human rights abuses by the Burundian army. The US-based rights group cited interviews with recently arrived refugees from eastern Burundi who accused the army of executions of family members, the round-up of men in the communes and the burning of homes and fields. The "allegations together paint a compelling picture of a citizenry being terrorised by the army," the report released Monday said. Supreme Court asked to overturn Minani's election as FRODEBU leader Burundi's interior ministry has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the nomination of the exiled opposition leader Jean Minani as the head of the mainly Hutu Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU), the ministry said Wednesday. Tanzania-based Minani, who the government accuses of supporting Hutu rebels, was elected leader at a party congress on 6 December. FRODEBU Secretary-General Augustin Nzojibwami said the party would win the legal battle "absolutely." SUDAN-EGYPT: Beshir's planned Cairo visit signals possible rapprochement Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir will travel "soon" to Egypt amid growing signs that Cairo and Khartoum want to improve strained relations, AFP reported. Bashir's visit would follow rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) leader John Garang's trip this month to Cairo, and Albright's meeting last week in Uganda with Garang and other leaders of the Sudan opposition after which she called for the "isolation" of Khartoum. Machar claims victory in battle with SPLA near Torit Pro-government forces claimed victory in a clash with the SPLA in southern Sudan's East Equatoria province. Riak Machar, the chairman of the South Sudan Coordination Council, said

126

in a statement that the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) on Tuesday captured the Solora mountain area near Torit and inflicted heavy losses on the SPLA. The SSDF groups the militiamen of six south Sudanese factions allied to the government. UGANDA: Flooding wreaks havoc In a preliminary damage assessment, the UN Disaster Management Team says flooding/landslides in Uganda have claimed at least 33 lives, affected 50,000 people, ruined 3,500 mt of maize and 2,000 hectares of farm land. A report released by DHA Geneva on Friday noted that eight bridges have been confirmed destroyed and some 31 rail wagons loaded with WFP food stranded at Malaba, on the Kenyan side of the border. A WFP report also said that road conditions have "seriously deteriorated" in western Uganda, cutting off the town of Bundibugyo and hampering food deliveries to 55,000 displaced. UGANDA/KENYA: Cholera cases rise The number of cholera patients in Kampala's Mulago Hospital has hit 100, the official 'New Vision' reported. It quoted the hospital director as saying the epidemic is spreading rapidly due to the heavy rains, and extra beds were needed to set up emergency field clinics in the areas of the city struck by the outbreak. Meanwhile, a Kenyan MP has blamed the Nairobi City council for the outbreak of cholera in the capital which has claimed at least 30 lives in the past week, the official 'Kenya Times' reported. The worst-hit areas are the Korogocho and Mathare slums. Meanwhile, the privately-owned 'Daily Nation' said the cholera death toll in the Coast province has risen to 66. US-GREAT LAKES: Albright dispenses aid and encouragement US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made a whirlwind visit of the Great Lakes region to meet the "new generation" of African leaders and to strengthen trade ties. In Rwanda last Thursday she pledged US support to Kigali and said the country's future was critical to the region. She noted that Washington had pledged US $3.9 million in aid for army demobilisation, the education of repatriated refugees and the promotion of democracy. In Kinshasa on Friday she said the US was working on a US $35-40 million infrastructure rehabilitation package for the DRC on top of a US $10 million contribution through a World Bank trust fund. The package would be prepared jointly with Congress which has demanded human rights guarantees from Kinshasa. In Luanda, Albright said Washington was committed to supporting a regional role for Angola, and criticised UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi for stalling the country's peace process. She announced a US $20 million loan to the government and said she was discussing a US $350 million package to support the purchase of US equipment by the state oil company Sonangol. Nairobi, 19 December 1997 9:40 gmt

127

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 18:25:20 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 317 19 Dec 97.12.19 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 317 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 19 December 1997) UGANDA: Army pursues rebels in DRC Ugandan troops have again entered the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in pursuit of rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The official 'New Vision' daily reports that one of the ADF's bases was "annihilated" by a joint attack by Ugandan Army and DRC forces in the Kamango hills. An assortment of military hardware was also seized. WFP appeals for victims of civil strife WFP today launched an appeal for $12.8 million for emergency food aid to help victims of the conflict in northern Uganda. In the districts of Gulu and Kitgum, 257,600 Ugandans are displaced, and WFP is seeking to supply them with 21,044 mt of food in the six-month period before the next harvest. In the latest reported attack, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) abducted five youths from Koro area, eight km east of Gulu town, on Tuesday, accoring to the Ugandan 'Monitor' today. Cholera outbreak continues The number of cholera cases in Kampala has risen to 214, medical officials told the 'New Vision' today. "The crisis has not yet been contained", the paper quotes a Mulago hospital official saying. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN human rights team held up again Referring to the latest delays in the work of the UN human rights investigation team in DRC, UN Spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt said yesterday that the next few days would be "critical

128

for establishing some kind of definite solution to this impasse." The team withdrew from Mbandaka and Wendji in northwestern DRC this week after large protest demonstrations by local people. PANA reported DRC's ambassador to the UN, Andre Kapanga, saying on Wednesday that the protests were in reaction to the killings of Congolese refugees at Mudende in Rwanda. Demands for money and other items from the team were made so that customary rituals could be performed prior to the exhumation of bodies, he said. Human rights organization says situation "dangerous" Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed in a report released yesterday that the political and civil situation in the Congo is "dangerous for the average Congolese". The report, which covers the DRC government's human rights performance since taking over power in May 1997, alleges that the government has failed to respect rights of association, assembly and expression and calls for reforms in the actions of the judiciary and security services. HRW states that the government has not integrated its forces under a "unifed command structure" and that clashes within the military have led to the deaths of civilians. RWANDA: US official calls for better security for refugees David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, who has been in northwestern Rwanda on behalf of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright reported a "marked failure" on the part of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) to protect the refugees attacked at Mudende camp during the night of December 10. State Department spokesman James Rubin said in a statement yesterday that Scheffer had determined that 327 refugees were killed during the attack, and that it was probably launched by ex-FAR and Interahamwe from the DRC. Scheffer's report also indicates that 460 prisoners may have been freed from the local cachot (communal lockup), about 1.5 km from the camp during the raid. The work of the Gisenyi hospital, treating 267 severly wounded people from the attack he described as "heroic". Scheffer was also taken to the caves at Kanama, north of Gisenyi, to check allegations of killings of civilians there by the RPA earlier in the year. He reports that the RPA say 60-120 insurgents were pursued into the caves on October 26 and 27. While there are "some dead bodies" in the caves, the report continues, "there is no visible evidence that there were mass killings of hundreds or thousands" of Rwandan citizens as alleged by non-governmental sources. Amnesty issues new report Amnesty International has released a new report on Rwanda which documents alleged human rights abuses both by armed insurgents and the RPA. It includes an account of the events at the Kanama caves, which it describes as a massacre of civilians sheltering there. It also alleges that a "massive reprisal operation" took place on 11 December, the morning after the Mudende massacre, in which Tutsi civilians and the RPA "indiscriminately and systematically" killed unarmed Hutu civilians. "The gravity and brutality of killings by one side can never justify reporsals against civilians by the other side," the report states. As one of many recommendations in today's report, which updates another published on September 25 entitled 'Ending the Silence', Amnesty criticizes foreign governments close to the Rwandese

129

government for their "prolonged inaction and refusal to recognize the gravity of the human rights situation". RWANDA-DRC: Tripartite meeting held with UNHCR The governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda met with UNHCR representatives in Gisenyi, northwestern Rwanda yesterday. According to Radio Rwanda, agreement was reached in principle on the voluntary repatriation of the Congolese refugees in Rwanda. But a UNHCR spokesperson told IRIN today that it is evaluating more secure and appropriate temporary sites to house the refugees within Rwanda while elements of the repatriation are prepared on both sides of the border. Several hundred refugees trying to cross back into DRC returned to Rwanda on Wednesday night after encountering groups of hostile local Congolese people at the border. KENYA: UNHCR launches airlift UNHCR announced today it had started an airlift to deliver emergency relief to 123,000 refugees stranded in Kenya's northeastern camps. The camps have been cut off since late November when heavy rains cut roads into the region. WFP had launched an airlift on 10 December for flood-stricken Kenyans in the northeast and WFP's first flight to bring food for refugees landed earlier this week. UNHCR estimates that roads cannot be re-opened before February at the earliest. GREAT LAKES: Representative of the UN Secretary-General endorsed Berhanu Dinka has been endorsed as the UN Secretary-General's Representative and Regional Humanitarian Advisor for the Great Lakes region. The UN Security Council has agreed with proposals put forward by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 12 December, which also redefine the role of Mohamed Sahnoun. Sahnoun will act as Annan's Special Envoy in Africa on an "as and when employed basis". UN Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for the Great Lakes update Of a total requirement of US $324.5 million for 1997, UN agencies have received funds of US $280 million. Other programmes, falling outside of the appeal, including activities in Rwanda, the work of NGOs and the Red Cross, have received US $228 million, according to figures provided by donors to DHA's Financial Tracking Unit. Nairobi, December 19 1997, 15:00 GMT [ENDS]

130

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 19:07:59 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 318 22 Dec 97.12.22 (fwd) Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 318 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 20-22 December 1997) RWANDA: Army kills 50 rebels after fresh attack on refugees At least 50 Hutu rebels were killed by the Rwandan army after they attacked a transit centre at Nkamira, Gisenyi in northeast Rwanda last Thursday housing some 16,000 survivors of the earlier 10 December Mudende massacre, news organisations reported on Friday. Rwandan state radio quoted an army spokesman as saying 30 Tutsi civilians, two refugees and two soldiers were also killed in clashes at Nkamira and around a nearby military camp at Bigogwe. Human rights groups call for "thorough investigation" Two leading human rights organisations on Friday demanded a thorough investigation by the UN into the Mudende massacre. Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) said in statements in Paris the Rwandan government should also investigate why its army had failed to protect the refugees. The US, meanwhile, said it had launched consultations on ways to avoid renewed genocide in the central African country. The US initiative came after David Scheffer, ambassador-at-large for war crimes, returned from a fact-finding mission. Secretary of State Spokesman James Rubin said in a statement the Mudende attack represented a "resurgence of genocide in the northwest region of Rwanda... reminiscent of the genocide of 1994." He said Washington was reviewing Scheffer's report and "examining future steps to assist the Rwandan government and people in preventing such atrocities and bringing those responsible to justice".

131

Government urges Rwandans to remain calm, cooperate with army The Rwandan government on Monday urged the people to remain calm and to cooperate with the armed forces in trying to track down the people behind the recent spate of attacks. "Show all their hideouts, leave them no quarters, spare them no food or roof, because whoever is found in league with those killers has to be treated likewise. There is nothing to be expected from them save death and hunger, and [they] themselves have nothing to offer you, save the destroying your country, as they are now busy doing," a statement, issued by the prime minister's office, said. It added the country's armed forces were "ready and well prepared with all their might and capability, will and wisdom, to teach a lesson to whoever wants to disturb people's peace and tranquility, or to pull Rwanda back into obscurantism". World Bank approves loan for road construction The World Bank has approved a loan to the government of Rwanda of some $45 million for the completion of a main road to Kibuye, some feeder roads, and some roads around the capital Kigali, Rwandan radio reported on Saturday. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila returns from trip to China DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila returned to Kinshasa over the weekend after a oneweek visit to China. DRC radio reported Kabila had obtained a package of aid worth some US $150 million and signed some bilateral and technical assistance agreements. He said on return to Kinshasa the Chinese were prepared to come to the country to help in its development. Floods hit Kisangani Humanitarian sources told IRIN today (Monday) that heavy rains over the past week had caused the Congo river and other waterways to overflow in the area around Kisangani, damaging property and crops and leaving thousands of people homeless. Witnesses said homes along the river bank had been partially or completely flooded and boats could no longer dock today at Kisangani port. In addition, they said, flooding from the Tshopo river had damaged the central hydro-electric station and the city was without both electricity and running water. The floods are reportedly the worst since 1963, although the area was also hit by less serious floods in 1979. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: First 291 refugees repatriated from Kinshasa A first batch of some 291 refugees were repatriated on Friday from Kinkole camp outside Kinshasa, aid sources confirmed. It is now planned the repatriation to Congo-Brazzaville will continue every two days and an estimated 1,050 refugees, out of some 8,000 now registered to return, should be able to go home in the first week. WFP has agreed to provide those returning with a one-month food package corresponding to the size of family.

132

Sassou Nguesso pledges new start with Elf-Aquitaine Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has left France for Morocco after a one-week private visit, saying he hopes to start afresh with French oil giant Elf-Aquitaine, Radio France Internationale reported. Sassou Nguesso held talks with French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and urged Paris to help with aid to rebuild the country after its five-month civil war. BURUNDI: Ousted president calls for all-inclusive talks Burundi's deposed president, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, maintained in an interview with AFP on Sunday that he was the sole legal head of state of the country and called for all-inclusive talks to forge peace. Ntibantunganya, overthrown in a bloodless coup by Major Pierre Buyoya in July 1996, insisted that the only way to end Burundi's civil war was for all parties to enter into negotiations. "I will go to the negotiations as overthrown president. I am ready to speak with the man that overthrew me because negotiation is the only way out of the crisis," AFP quoted him as saying. On Friday, Burundi appealed to the world to take a fresh and positive approach and end the sanctions imposed by neighbouring states following the July coup. "The international community must take account of the new, stable security situation and the willingness of the population to have national reconciliation," Minister for Peace Ambroise Niyonsaba told a news conference. Meanwhile, the 'East African' newspaper reported on Monday that Buyoya was expected to attend talks in Tanzania chaired by former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere in a fresh attempt to break deadlock in return for Ugandan support for a lifting of economic sanctions. KENYA-TANZANIA: Radio says 13 die of mystery illness in northeast Kenya Kenyan radio reported yesterday that 13 people had died of a mysterious illness in the northeastern districts of Wajir and Garissa which had left them "bleeding uncontrollably". The radio, monitored by the BBC, quoted the area's provincial medical health officer, Dr Abdi Hassan, as saying the disease could be haemorrhagic fever caused by a viral strain passed on by the anopheles mosquito. Hassan confirmed the deaths, but ruled out the possibility of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. He said the nature of the disease would be confirmed after the blood samples were tested at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) in Nairobi. WHO details cholera deaths, UNICEF reports outbreak in Zanzibar WHO reported at a meeting held in Nairobi on 18-19 December on cholera in the Horn of Africa that some 555 people out of some 17,200 affected had died of the disease in Kenya between 26 June and 16 December. In Tanzania, it said, some 1,720 people out of 34,449 cases had died since January 1997. "Almost all countries in the Horn of Africa are affected or threatened by severe cholera outbreaks and the ravages of the disease are likely to increase unless urgent measures are taken," WHO said in a press statement. Meanwhile, a UNICEF official reported to IRIN that more than 130 people died of the disease in Zanzibar over the last three weeks. Reuters quoted Elena Eversole, a UNICEF project officer based in Zanzibar, as saying: "It's an epidemic ... it's not yet contained".

133

ANGOLA: Luanda tells UNITA to disarm by 20 January The Angolan government on Friday gave the UNITA former rebel movement until January 20 to finish disarming its troops, a cornerstone of the 1994 Lusaka peace pact that has yet to be fully implemented. In a communique broadcast over state radio, AFP reported the government also told UNITA to relinquish its two strongholds in central Angola, Bailundo and Andulo. Meanwhile, Angolan state radio reported about 8,000 UNITA soldiers were on the move in Malanje province. Lucas Gomes, commander of the National Police in the province, was quoted by the radio as saying the soldiers had come from Negage, Huila Province. SUDAN: New river blindness outbreak hits 80,000 more - paper Some 80,000 people have lost their sight due to a new outbreak of river blindness in Sudan, AFP reported a Sudanese health official as saying. The agency said Leila Abulfutuh was quoted in the 'Al Rai Al Akher' newspaper yesterday as saying that 95 percent of Raga town's 400,000 inhabitants had contracted the disease and some 20 percent, around 80,000 people, were already blind. Raga is situated on a river of the same name in Bahr Al Ghazal, some 75 km from Sudan's border with Central Africa Republic. Abulfutuh said the Sudanese health ministry and WHO were cooperating to fight the disease. Nairobi, 22 December 1997 15:30 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

134

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 17:50:51 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 319 23 Dec 97.12.23 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 319 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 23 December 1997) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN pulls aid workers out of Baraka Humanitarian sources told IRIN today (Tuesday) that aid workers pulled out of Baraka in eastern DRC yesterday (Monday) morning as reports reached them of an infiltration of the town by rebels known as Mai-Mai. The situation was further complicated by a landslide on the road between Baraka and the town of Uvira which they were trying to reach. The road was cleared with equipment operated by Oxfam-Quebec. Sources in the area confirm that gunshots were heard around Baraka yesterday, but little further detail is available. UNHCR has decided to delay the latest group of Congolese returnees who were due to arrive from Kigoma, Tanzania and land for the first time directly at the newly-rehabilitated port at Baraka this week. Kabila orders cabinet reshuffle DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila has ordered a government reshuffle which will come into effect from 3 January, AFP reported. It said government spokesman Raphael Ghenda said on Monday the reshuffle was justified by an "upturn in the economy" and because "law and order" had been established in the country. No other details, such as any ministerial changes, were given. The government, meanwhile, announced it would not accept Belgium's attempts to set strict conditions to any aid disbursements it may agree to provide. Press body says journalist detained A journalist working for DRC state radio and television has been detained in the eastern city of Goma for the past week, a press freedoms watchdog body said on Monday. "We have learnt with consternation of the arrest of our colleague, Pontien Tshisungu, and demand his

135

return to Kinshasa," Free Media-Media for All said in a statement. The group said Tshisungu was detained after reporting an attack on the entourage of Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo during a recent visit to north Kivu province. The minister immediately denied the reported attack. RWANDA: UNHCR moves more Mudende survivors to new camp UNHCR sources told IRIN today 16 trucks carrying about 900 refugees originally from the Masisi area of eastern DRC arrived safely in Byumba prefecture of Rwanda yesterday. Another 30 vehicles are expected to go today. The refugees are the survivors of the massacre at Mudende camp on 10-11 December. The new site agreed by the Rwandan government and UNHCR at Gihembe is intended to offer better security for about 12,000 of the mainly Tutsi refugees. A UNHCR spokesperson told IRIN that all the refugees are still saying they want to go home, but no repatriation is expected until suitable security conditions are established in areas of return in DRC. The Rwandan government, as well as UNHCR, has requested guarantees of minimum security before any repatriation begins. Rwandan radio, meanwhile, reported government officials had assured people living in Ruhengeri prefecture the area was well-guarded and rumours it would shortly fall to "infiltrators and criminals" were unfounded. Several anti-Tutsi pamphlets threatening the local population have recently surfaced in the area, causing several people to flee their homes. Meanwhile, in a separate development, the UN General Assembly announced it had approved US $56.7 million for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha, Tanzania for 1998. GREAT LAKES: Sahnoun calls for all-inclusive approach to regional problems Mohamed Sahnoun, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Africa, has called for a comprehensive approach to the problems in the Great Lakes region, the UN said in a statement from its New York headquarters. Commenting on his briefing to a closed meeting of the Security Council yesterday, Sahnoun was quoted as saying: "I insisted on the fact that we should really look at the problems in a comprehensive manner." Sahnoun called for an approach dealing with political, humanitarian and development issues all at once. In an interview with UN Radio, Sahnoun noted that Burundi and Rwanda were among the most densely-populated countries in the world, placing great stress on scarce resources. "People feel insecure and this is one of the reasons why they fight each other or why they align themselves into ethnic or tribal groups," he said. While stressing the need to tackle the root causes of the conflicts in the Great Lakes region, Ambassador Sahnoun also called for practical, immediate measures. He drew attention to the need to address questions of governance, the flow of arms and the problem of impunity. BURUNDI: UN envoy calls for sanctions review A UN envoy to Burundi called yesterday (Monday) for an urgent review of economic sanctions on the African country in recognition of the government's efforts to improve security and human rights there, AFP reported. "The time has come for serious consideration of the usefulness of economic sanctions," the agency quoted UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burundi, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, as saying.

136

ANGOLA: UNITA orders halt to work of NGOs in Jamba Angola's former rebel movement UNITA has ordered a halt to the work of non-governmental organisations at its jungle stronghold in southeastern Jamba, AFP quoted sources close to the movement as saying today. It said UNITA took the step after the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said last week that the area around Jamba was mined, and charged that UNITA was impeding the work of humanitarian organisations. KENYA: Media reports say 143 now died of mystery disease Kenya's media reported today that 143 people had now died of a mystery illness in the northeastern districts of the country. Kenyan state radio quoted North Eastern Provincial Commissioner Maurice Makhanu saying the disease had killed 73 people in Garissa and 70 in Wajir. He said symptoms included diarrhoea, high fever, vomiting of blood and nose-bleeding, but denied rumours circulating in the area that it was the deadly ebola virus. ZANZIBAR: Radio says 14 opposition party members accused of treason Fourteen members of the opposition Civic United Front on Zanzibar were charged with treason on Monday, Radio Tanzania Zanzibar reported. The radio, monitored by the BBC, said the 14, who include two members of the semi-autonomous island's parliament, were accused of plotting last month to overthrow the Zanzibari government of President Salmin Amour. The defendants were not allowed to plead because the case will go to the High Court. The two MPs charged are Said Yusuf Ngani and Hamad Masoud. Nairobi, 23 December 1997 15:00 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

137

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 10:17:55 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Africa: UN Secretary-General's representatives 97.12.24 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

Distr. GENERAL

S/1997/994 19 December 1997

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

_________________________________________________________________

LETTER DATED 12 DECEMBER 1997 FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL

I have the honour to refer to the situation in the Great Lakes region and Central Africa, and to the need to adjust the United Nations political presence in that region to the new environment brought about by the momentous changes that have taken place there since the beginning of the year. As you know, the United Nations contribution to the regional mediation concerning Burundi and to the international peace initiatives which accompanied the changes of regime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo has been largely carried out by Mr. Mohammed Sahnoun, in his capacity as Joint United Nations/Organization of African Unity Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. His mandate was outlined in my letter of 22 January 1997 to your predecessor (S/1997/73) and endorsed by the members of the Security Council (S/1997/74).

138

I wish now to seek the Council's concurrence with a new mandate for Mr. Sahnoun in Africa, as well as for a new political and humanitarian presence for the United Nations in the Great Lakes region, in the person of my former Special Envoy for Sierra Leone, Mr. Berhanu Dinka.

As my Special Envoy in Africa, Mr. Sahnoun will continue to follow closely developments in Central Africa, including the Great Lakes region. He will also lend his support to existing peacemaking and peace-building initiatives there, and give special attention to Burundi. In addition, he will be available for preventive and other missions that I may ask him to undertake in other regions of Africa as needed. Mr. Sahnoun will operate on an as and when employed basis. I estimate the cost of his mission as my Special Envoy in Africa at US$ 890,000 for the biennium 1998-1999. Mr. Sahnoun could not have carried out his difficult assignments over the last 11 months without the generosity of those Governments who have made funds available for his mission through the Special Fund set up in support of his efforts. To those Governments, I wish to express here my deep gratitude. As for Mr. Dinka, he will serve as my Representative and Regional Humanitarian Adviser for the Great Lakes Region. In his capacity as my Representative, Mr. Dinka will represent me in meetings held in the region, monitor developments and their implications for peace and regional security, and seek to contribute to regional efforts in the prevention or peaceful settlement of conflicts.. With specific regard to Burundi, he will oversee the political activities of the United Nations in that country, and support ongoing political initiatives for Burundi both inside and outside the country. In carrying out the above functions, Mr. Dinka will consult my Special Envoy in Africa as required. In his capacity as Regional Humanitarian Adviser, Mr. Dinka will represent the Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Great Lakes region, facilitate the coordination of humanitarian assistance, support the Resident Coordinators, Humanitarian Coordinators and agency heads, and coordinate resource mobilization efforts at the regional level. He will set up an office in Nairobi with a complement of three Professionals, two internationally recruited General Service staff, one Security Officer, and three locally recruited staff. The total estimated cost of the Office of the Representative of the Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Adviser for the Great Lakes Region is approximately US$ 3 million for the biennium 1998-1999.

(Signed) Kofi A. ANNAN

139

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 15:18:43 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 321 97.12.29 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 321 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday-Monday 25-29 December 1997)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila gives more details of forthcoming reshuffle DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila said a recently-announced cabinet reshuffle was aimed at giving the government "greater impetus so that it performs better". He told a news conference last Wednesday the reshuffle, due to take place on 3 January, was not a reflection of weakness in the present cabinet, but a way of benefiting from the experience gained over the past seven months. "Our government is a transition government whose mission is to lead the country to democracy," he added. Kabila also urged supporters of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko to return and invest in the country. Kisangani declared disaster zone The DRC government on Thursday declared the flood-hit town of Kisangani a disaster area, DRC radio reported from Bunia. A large section of the town was under water after the Congo and Tshopo rivers burst their banks. The government appealed for help from humanitarian organisations. UNICEF announced last week it was airlifting US $57,000 worth of relief supplies from Kinshasa to assist an estimated 10,000 victims of the flooding. UGANDA/KENYA: Food security adversely affected by floods According to a DHA-Geneva report, flooding in Uganda has left an estimated 100 people dead and a further 150,000 displaced. Many others are critically injured and thousands of acres of food and cash crops have been washed away. The Ugandan government has appealed for

140

funds to purchase seeds of fast early maturing crops and the necessary farm tools. In neighbouring Kenya, an estimated 300,000 people have been displaced or affected by floods in northern, eastern and coastal parts of the country. The report said excessive rainfall had resulted in stunted crops such as maize and beans and difficulty in harvesting mature crops. KENYA: Kenyans go to the polls Kenyans began voting today (Monday) in presidential and parliamentary elections amid appeals for peace and acceptance of the result by religious leaders and the Electoral Commission. President Daniel arap Moi, who has ruled for 19 years, is seeking a final fiveyear term. According to CNN, no violence has been reported but there were problems with the delivery of ballot papers in some constituencies. Mystery disease may be anthrax Kenyan health officials are investigating the possibility that an anthrax epidemic is responsible for the deaths of some 250 people in the semi-arid North Eastern Province over the past two weeks. The 'Daily Nation' reported on Saturday that Kenyan health ministry director James Mwanzia said the deaths of hundreds of camels, goats and sheep in the same area exhibiting similar symptoms to those in humans - that is bleeding through the body orifices - was leading the investigation towards a possible link between the human and livestock deaths. Anthrax is a fatal viral disease that can be transferred from an infected carcass to a victim through even a slight crack in the skin. RWANDA: Kagame vows Hutu rebels will be defeated Addressing a press conference on the deteriorating security situation in northwest Rwanda, Vice President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame stressed the army had the capacity to contain the Hutu rebel insurgency and there was "no cause for panic or undue concern." Kagame said the rebels were bent on the "continuation of the genocide" but would be defeated by a "concerted effort" involving the military and a "sensitised" population, Rwandan state radio reported on Wednesday. According to AFP, asked if his government would hold talks with the Hutu rebels, Kagame said he had "never seen any political agenda" from the rebels, adding: "We have to fight them until they give up this genocide agenda." BURUNDI: Minister reiterates country will defend itself against Tanzania Defence Minister Firmin Sinzoyiheba has reiterated that Burundi has no intention of going to war with Tanzania, but if Dar es Salaam continues its "provocations" the army has "taken measures and has the means" to defend the country's territorial integrity. Addressing a news conference on Friday, reported by Burundi radio, the minister added that Burundi had invited the UN and OAU to come and see the situation for themselves. "We have nothing to hide", he said. He believed the situation had now calmed down, with Tanzanians again crossing the border to come to markets in Burundi. "These may be encouraging signs for us," he stated.

141

No formal notification of Tanzania summit Speaking about a proposed summit on Burundi, due to be held in Tanzania next month, Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama said the Burundian authorities had not been formally notified. In an interview with Burundi radio on Friday, he described this as "most irregular", adding his country should be involved in proceedings "which affect its destiny". He again stressed Burundi's conviction that given the tense situation on the border with Tanzania, the peace process should be relaunched in a neutral country. GREAT LAKES: Ugandan MPs warn of regional rifts over rebel activity A report by four Ugandan MPs who visited Burundi earlier this month claims Ugandan, Rwandan and Burundian rebels are being supported by Sudan and are operating in Tanzania, the 'EastAfrican' weekly reported today. The report, which has been presented to President Yoweri Museveni, raises questions about the security implications for the region. The 'EastAfrican' said the report could cause a shift in allegiances among regional states which imposed sanctions against Burundi. There was evidence of sanctions-busting traceable to Tanzania, the MP's report said and asked the question: "Are regional leaders observing the rules they themselves put up?" SUDAN: Khartoum calls for dialogue with Washington Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said in a press statement on Wednesday that Khartoum was willing to hold talks with the USA. "The Sudanese government does not intend to close the door of dialogue with the United States despite the existing problems resulting from Washington's persistent heavy stick policy aimed at bullying Sudan and imposing US concepts on the Sudanese people," he said, according to AFP. "There is no outlet to Washington from this impasse other than resorting to serious and frank dialogue with Sudan," Ismail added. Nairobi, 29 December 1997, 12:10 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

142

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 14:02:17 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 322 for 30 Dec 97.12.30 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 322 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 30 December 1997)

KENYA: "Logistical problems" mar general elections Administrative hitches continued to plague Kenya's general elections today (Tuesday) after voting was extended for those unable to vote yesterday (Monday). The election commission admitted that ballot papers and boxes had still not arrived in some of the polling stations where voting had been extended by an extra day because of Monday's chaos, news agencies reported. The commission estimated that around one quarter of the more than 12,000 polling stations across the country had opened hours late or not at all yesterday. The elections commission said vote counting in constituencies where there had been no problems had begun this morning. Opposition leaders have alleged that the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) was manipulating the voting, and said they had no confidence in the commission. KANU has also protested over the organisation's handling of the elections. The commission blamed the delays on "logistical problems". Over 200 die from malaria In northeast Kenya, malaria has killed at least 217 people over the last two weeks, 48 of them in the space of a day, according to press reports. AFP quoted a medical officer in North Eastern province as saying hundreds of people were suffering from the disease along the Uaso Nyiro river. He claimed the situation had deteriorated due to an ongoing nurses' strike in the country.

143

BURUNDI: Bujumbura hospitals overstretched by malaria outbreak An outbreak of malaria has caused overcrowding in Bujumbura's hospitals and medical services are stretched, Burundi radio reported yesterday. It quoted the director of the Prince Louis Rwagasore clinic, Dr Tharcisse Nzeyimana, as saying the disease coincided with the rainy season which began in October. Meanwhile, the director of Burundi's pharmaceutical company ONAPHA denied spreading rumours on a shortage of anti-malarial drugs. Nestor Ntibateganya said the company had adequate quantities of chloroquine and quinine, but admitted fansidar was in short supply. The current outbreak of malaria had increased consumption three-fold, he added. UGANDA: Religious leaders asked to join anti-cholera fight The Ugandan government has appealed to religious leaders to incorporate an anti-cholera message in their sermons in a campaign against the epidemic which has so far killed more than 142 people out of over 1,500 cases reported. According to a statement by the ministry of health, cholera cases continue to rise and so far in Kampala and Mpigi alone, over 1,000 patients had been treated in a period of two weeks, the 'New Vision' reported on Monday. TANZANIA: Death tolls rise from flooding and cholera Flooding claimed at least 20 lives in Tanzania on Wednesday, the Kiswahili newspaper 'Mzalendo' reported on Sunday. The latest casualties brought to over 200 the number of people said to have died as a result of the torrential rains across the country, AFP said. Flooding has also caused extensive damage to trunk roads, cutting off Dar es Salaam from the northern Lake Victoria town of Mwanza, the western Lake Tangyanika town of Kigoma and the southern Indian Ocean port of Mtwara. The Tanzania Railways Corporation has also suspended train services along the central railway line to Mwanza, Tabora and Kigoma, leaving over 20,000 passengers stranded, the news agency reported. In a separate development, Tanzanian state radio reported on Monday that 21 cholera patients have died in Zanzibar hospitals and health centres over the past week. RWANDA: Mudende survivors relocated to new camp Congolese Tutsi survivors of the Mudende refugee camp massacre earlier this month are being transferred to a new site in northeastern Rwanda, close to the Ugandan border, agencies report. So far, some 12,000 refugees out of an estimated total of 15,000 have been relocated to Kibali camp in the Byumba region, "and we only need a couple of days to complete the operation," a UNHCR spokeswoman in Kigali said on Monday. The army has stressed it has the capacity to protect the camp, situated on a hill less than 30 km from the Ugandan border, against attack by hardline Hutu rebels. "The Rwandese government has expressed its willingness to shelter and assist the refugees for as long as necessary because of the ongoing conflict in DRC," the UNHCR spokeswoman said. The refugees fled the Masisi area to Rwanda in 1995.

144

Meanwhile, the private Rwandan News Agency quoted Ugandan media reports saying that 220 Rwandan Tutsis have crossed into southwestern Uganda to escape Hutu militia raids in the north of the country. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Offices of private newspaper wrecked Soldiers ransacked the offices of the private 'Elima' daily in Kinshasa last week after occupying its premises for over two months, the newspaper's owners said on Saturday, according to AFP. Chief Executive Thy Rene Essolomwa said the soldiers "illegally sold the newspaper's cars, furniture and all the printing equipment". They then began tearing down the doors and windows. The human rights organisation, Reporters sans frontieres (RSF), said the military had given no reason for their action. National reconstruction conference slated for next month The DRC government is to hold a national reconstruction conference beginning 24 January, PANA news agency reported. It quoted National Reconstruction Minister Etienne-Richard Mbaya as saying on Friday that Congolese nationals employed abroad by the UN, as well as UNDP experts, had been invited to attend. Cabinet ministers would take it in turns to discuss their respective sectors. Soldiers court martialled in Bukavu A military court in Bukavu has found several soldiers guilty of "inciting acts in violation of military duties and discipline", DRC radio reported on Sunday. It said two soldiers were sentenced to death for "breaking the law and attempted murder". Two others received 20 years hard labour. CAR President visits The president of Central African Republic, Ange-Felix Patasse, arrived in Kinshasa yesterday on a one-day visit to DRC. Congolese officials said discussions with President Laurent-Desire Kabila centred on cooperation between the two neighbouring countries. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: 5,000 guns confiscated in disarmament drive A disarmament operation has netted 5,000 weapons across the country, Congo-Brazzaville's official radio reported yesterday. Radio Liberte, monitored by AFP in Kinshasa, said the sweep was conducted "through cooperation or by force" with the arms recovered from "civilians or gangs of fantasising politicians." The station did not specify how many, if any, casualties resulted from the disarmament drive, which began in mid-December and was undertaken by the army and police. "The forces of public order must take any measures necessary to put an end to the few pockets of resistance," the radio added.

145

SUDAN: Pledge to normalise ties with Egypt A high-ranking Egyptian delegation ended a visit to Khartoum yesterday with both sides pledging to remove obstacles to the normalisation of bilateral relations. Sudanese radio said Egyptian Presidency Minister Omar Sulayman held talks with President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday during which he delivered a message from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. According to AFP, ties between the two countries have improved of late. It quoted the magazine 'Al-Wassat' last week as saying Sudan had extradited 12 wanted Egyptian militants to Cairo. Nairobi, 30 December 1997, 11:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

146

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 14:02:17 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 322 for 30 Dec 97.12.30 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 322 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 30 December 1997)

KENYA: "Logistical problems" mar general elections Administrative hitches continued to plague Kenya's general elections today (Tuesday) after voting was extended for those unable to vote yesterday (Monday). The election commission admitted that ballot papers and boxes had still not arrived in some of the polling stations where voting had been extended by an extra day because of Monday's chaos, news agencies reported. The commission estimated that around one quarter of the more than 12,000 polling stations across the country had opened hours late or not at all yesterday. The elections commission said vote counting in constituencies where there had been no problems had begun this morning. Opposition leaders have alleged that the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) was manipulating the voting, and said they had no confidence in the commission. KANU has also protested over the organisation's handling of the elections. The commission blamed the delays on "logistical problems". Over 200 die from malaria In northeast Kenya, malaria has killed at least 217 people over the last two weeks, 48 of them in the space of a day, according to press reports. AFP quoted a medical officer in North Eastern province as saying hundreds of people were suffering from the disease along the Uaso Nyiro river. He claimed the situation had deteriorated due to an ongoing nurses' strike in the country.

147

BURUNDI: Bujumbura hospitals overstretched by malaria outbreak An outbreak of malaria has caused overcrowding in Bujumbura's hospitals and medical services are stretched, Burundi radio reported yesterday. It quoted the director of the Prince Louis Rwagasore clinic, Dr Tharcisse Nzeyimana, as saying the disease coincided with the rainy season which began in October. Meanwhile, the director of Burundi's pharmaceutical company ONAPHA denied spreading rumours on a shortage of anti-malarial drugs. Nestor Ntibateganya said the company had adequate quantities of chloroquine and quinine, but admitted fansidar was in short supply. The current outbreak of malaria had increased consumption three-fold, he added. UGANDA: Religious leaders asked to join anti-cholera fight The Ugandan government has appealed to religious leaders to incorporate an anti-cholera message in their sermons in a campaign against the epidemic which has so far killed more than 142 people out of over 1,500 cases reported. According to a statement by the ministry of health, cholera cases continue to rise and so far in Kampala and Mpigi alone, over 1,000 patients had been treated in a period of two weeks, the 'New Vision' reported on Monday. TANZANIA: Death tolls rise from flooding and cholera Flooding claimed at least 20 lives in Tanzania on Wednesday, the Kiswahili newspaper 'Mzalendo' reported on Sunday. The latest casualties brought to over 200 the number of people said to have died as a result of the torrential rains across the country, AFP said. Flooding has also caused extensive damage to trunk roads, cutting off Dar es Salaam from the northern Lake Victoria town of Mwanza, the western Lake Tangyanika town of Kigoma and the southern Indian Ocean port of Mtwara. The Tanzania Railways Corporation has also suspended train services along the central railway line to Mwanza, Tabora and Kigoma, leaving over 20,000 passengers stranded, the news agency reported. In a separate development, Tanzanian state radio reported on Monday that 21 cholera patients have died in Zanzibar hospitals and health centres over the past week. RWANDA: Mudende survivors relocated to new camp Congolese Tutsi survivors of the Mudende refugee camp massacre earlier this month are being transferred to a new site in northeastern Rwanda, close to the Ugandan border, agencies report. So far, some 12,000 refugees out of an estimated total of 15,000 have been relocated to Kibali camp in the Byumba region, "and we only need a couple of days to complete the operation," a UNHCR spokeswoman in Kigali said on Monday. The army has stressed it has the capacity to protect the camp, situated on a hill less than 30 km from the Ugandan border, against attack by hardline Hutu rebels. "The Rwandese government has expressed its willingness to shelter and assist the refugees for as long as necessary because of the ongoing conflict in DRC," the UNHCR spokeswoman said. The refugees fled the Masisi area to Rwanda in 1995.

148

Meanwhile, the private Rwandan News Agency quoted Ugandan media reports saying that 220 Rwandan Tutsis have crossed into southwestern Uganda to escape Hutu militia raids in the north of the country. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Offices of private newspaper wrecked Soldiers ransacked the offices of the private 'Elima' daily in Kinshasa last week after occupying its premises for over two months, the newspaper's owners said on Saturday, according to AFP. Chief Executive Thy Rene Essolomwa said the soldiers "illegally sold the newspaper's cars, furniture and all the printing equipment". They then began tearing down the doors and windows. The human rights organisation, Reporters sans frontieres (RSF), said the military had given no reason for their action. National reconstruction conference slated for next month The DRC government is to hold a national reconstruction conference beginning 24 January, PANA news agency reported. It quoted National Reconstruction Minister Etienne-Richard Mbaya as saying on Friday that Congolese nationals employed abroad by the UN, as well as UNDP experts, had been invited to attend. Cabinet ministers would take it in turns to discuss their respective sectors. Soldiers court martialled in Bukavu A military court in Bukavu has found several soldiers guilty of "inciting acts in violation of military duties and discipline", DRC radio reported on Sunday. It said two soldiers were sentenced to death for "breaking the law and attempted murder". Two others received 20 years hard labour. CAR President visits The president of Central African Republic, Ange-Felix Patasse, arrived in Kinshasa yesterday on a one-day visit to DRC. Congolese officials said discussions with President Laurent-Desire Kabila centred on cooperation between the two neighbouring countries. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: 5,000 guns confiscated in disarmament drive A disarmament operation has netted 5,000 weapons across the country, Congo-Brazzaville's official radio reported yesterday. Radio Liberte, monitored by AFP in Kinshasa, said the sweep was conducted "through cooperation or by force" with the arms recovered from "civilians or gangs of fantasising politicians." The station did not specify how many, if any, casualties resulted from the disarmament drive, which began in mid-December and was undertaken by the army and police. "The forces of public order must take any measures necessary to put an end to the few pockets of resistance," the radio added.

149

SUDAN: Pledge to normalise ties with Egypt A high-ranking Egyptian delegation ended a visit to Khartoum yesterday with both sides pledging to remove obstacles to the normalisation of bilateral relations. Sudanese radio said Egyptian Presidency Minister Omar Sulayman held talks with President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday during which he delivered a message from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. According to AFP, ties between the two countries have improved of late. It quoted the magazine 'Al-Wassat' last week as saying Sudan had extradited 12 wanted Egyptian militants to Cairo. Nairobi, 30 December 1997, 11:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

150

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 13:43:28 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: Update 323 for 31 December 97.12.31 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 323 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 31 December 1997)

KENYA: Moi takes early lead in chaotic elections Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has taken an early lead in presidential elections but analysts say it is too early to identify a trend in the results, news agencies reported today. The ruling KANU party is also leading in the parliamentary poll. The chaotic general elections have sparked intense controversy with politicians of all stripes trading allegations of rigging and unanimously condemning the performance of the country's electoral commission. The secretary-general of the Social Democratic Party of presidential contender Charity Ngilu said yesterday the party would not accept the election results because of the "serious anomalies" surrounding the voting. Meanwhile, according to CNN, at least five people died yesterday in political violence in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru. RWANDA: Genocide suspect freed in US UN spokesman Fred Eckhard yesterday (Tuesday) reacted to the release of a genocide suspect by a court in Texas, USA. He said no comments would be made on the internal workings of a judicial system but it was hoped the suspect, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, would eventually be brought to justice. Ntakirutimana was freed two weeks ago by a federal magistrate in Texas who said an extradition agreement between the US and the UN war crimes tribunals was unconstitutional. Ntakirutimana, a 73 year-old pastor who has spent 14 months in a Texas jail, is accused of ordering the killing of Tutsis hiding in a church during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. He arrived in the US in December 1994 and was arrested some 20 months later. The State Department expressed regret over the magistrate's decision, saying the issue

151

was not closed. "We are on a sound legal footing here," spokesman James Foley said yesterday, according to AFP. Students protest against international "support" for genocide perpetrators Thousands of students from Butare University in southern Rwanda took to the town's streets yesterday in protest at what they said was international support for genocide perpetrators. According to Rwandan radio, about 3,000 students demonstrated peacefully against "European countries and international organisations that supply weapons to those responsible for genocide". A similar demonstration was held in the northern town of Ruhengeri by IBUKA, an organisation which cares for genocide survivors. Rebels attack agricultural institute About 250 rebels attacked an agricultural research institute in Kinigi commune, Ruhengeri prefecture, on Sunday, Rwandan radio reported yesterday. It said they tried to take 3.5 tonnes of potatoes but were repulsed by government forces. A captured rebel said some civilians were taken hostage but others joined in voluntarily, the radio added. TANZANIA: Minister denies rebels operating from Tanzania Tanzania has denied reports that rebel groups are operating from its territory. Tanzanian radio quoted Deputy Interior Minister Sigela Nswima as saying his country had never given sanctuary to any rebel group. He accused Burundi of circulating the reports to "seek sympathy" from the international community. The 'EastAfrican' weekly on Monday said a group of Ugandan parliamentarians, who recently visited Burundi, concluded that rebels from Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda were receiving support from Sudan and operating from Tanzania. Nswima dismissed the allegations as "mere propaganda aimed at misleading the international community". Meanwhile in Uganda, two people were killed and another abducted by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels over the weekend in the western Bundibugyo district, the 'New Vision' reported yesterday. The army recovered the decapitated head of one of the victims, the paper said. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Patasse denies CAR rear base for attacking DRC Central African Republic President Ange-Felix Patasse yesterday denied his country was being used as a rear base by former Zairean officials to attack DRC. Patasse, who was on a one-day visit to Kinshasa yesterday, told DRC television the allegations were "just rumours". "We will never agree to people attacking the DRC from our country," he said. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Party dissidents move to dismiss Lissouba Ousted president Pascal Lissouba is to be dismissed from the leadership of his Union panafricaine pour la democratie sociale (UPADS) party, Brazzaville's official Radio Liberte

152

said yesterday. A dissident wing of the UPADS, led by Martin Mberi, a former Lissouba aide now serving in the new government of Denis Sassou Nguesso, has convened a party conference in the southern city of Pointe-Noire to formally sack Lissouba, AFP reported. Mberi, current minister of transport and the merchant navy, was himself thrown out of the UPADS by the party's exiled secretariat in November on a charge of treason. Last week, former Brazzaville mayor Bernard Kolelas, the last prime minister under Lissouba, was also sacked from his own party's leadership by dissidents. France to back Brazzaville in negotiations with donors France's new ambassador to Brazzaville said yesterday Paris was "prepared to back Congo" in a renewed dialogue with international lenders. Ambassador Herve Bolot, who presented his credentials on Monday as the new French envoy, told AFP in Kinshasa by telephone that "Congo has every interest in resuming dialogue with the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank." Congo's structural adjustment accord with the IMF and the World Bank was derailed by the four-month civil war, which erupted in June. The EU has said it will not resume aid until democracy is restored. SUDAN: Turabi willing to meet with exiled opposition Sudan's Islamic leader Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi is willing to meet with the exiled opposition, according to a political reconciliation group spokesman quoted by AFP. An envoy from the Popular Organisation for National Dialogue (POND) said Turabi, the powerful speaker of parliament, had announced that: "I am ready to meet anybody, including (former premier) Sadiq al-Mahdi who is bound to me with intellectual and family ties." Exiled northern political leaders, based mainly in Egypt and Eritrea, have formed an alliance with southern rebels who have fought successive Khartoum regimes over alleged Islamic domination of the country and the marginalisation of the underdeveloped south.

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: There will be no IRIN update tomorrow, New Year's Day. The next update will be issued on Friday 2 January 1998. Nairobi, 31 December 1997, 10:45 gmt [ENDS]

153

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 16:01:51 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 1-98 19 Dec 1997-1 Jan 98 98.1.2

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 1-98 covering the period 19 Dec 1997-1 Jan 1998

RWANDA: Army kills 50 rebels after fresh attack on refugees At least 50 Hutu rebels were killed by the Rwandan army after they attacked a transit centre at Nkamira, Gisenyi in northeast Rwanda on 18 December, news organisations reported. The centre was housing some 16,000 survivors of the earlier 10 December Mudende refugee camp massacre. Rwandan state radio quoted an army spokesman as saying 30 Tutsi civilians, two refugees and two soldiers were also killed in clashes at Nkamira and around a nearby military camp at Bigogwe. The government urged people to remain calm and cooperate with the armed forces in trying to track down those responsible for the recent spate of attacks. UNHCR meanwhile said 16 trucks carrying survivors of the Mudende attack arrived safely in Bymuba prefecture after agreement was reached with the authorities on a new site at Gihembe on 22 December. More trucks were due to follow. The new camp is intended to offer better security for about 12,000-15,000 mainly Tutsi refugees from the Masisi area of eastern DRC. Two human rights groups - Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Human

154

Rights Leagues - called on the UN to thoroughly investigate the Mudende massacre. They said the Rwandan government should also look into why the army had failed to protect the refugees. Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame vowed to defeat Hutu rebels in the country, stressing the army had the capacity to contain the insurgency. UN, US react to release of genocide suspect UN spokesman Fred Eckhard on 30 December reacted to the release of a genocide suspect by a court in Texas, USA. He said no comments would be made on the internal workings of a judicial system but it was hoped the suspect, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, would eventually be brought to justice. Ntakirutimana was freed about two weeks ago by a federal magistrate in Texas who said an extradition agreement between the US and the UN war crimes tribunals was unconstitutional. Ntakirutimana, a 73 year-old pastor who spent 14 months in a Texas jail, is accused of ordering the killing of Tutsis hiding in a church during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. He arrived in the US in December 1994 and was arrested some 20 months later. The State Department expressed regret over the magistrate's decision, saying the issue was not closed. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Aid workers pulled out of Baraka Aid workers pulled out of Baraka in eastern DRC on 22 December as reports reached them of an infiltration of the town by Mai-Mai rebels. Humanitarian sources told IRIN the situation was further complicated by a landslide on the road between Baraka and the town of Uvira which they were trying to reach. Sources in the area confirmed that gunshots were heard around Baraka. UNHCR decided to delay the latest group of Congolese returnees who were due to arrive from Kigoma, Tanzania and land for the first time directly at the newlyrehabilitated port at Baraka. UN human rights team held up again The UN human rights investigation team withdrew from Mbandaka and Wendji in northwestern DRC after large protest demonstrations by local people. Referring to the latest delays in the work of the mission, UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt said on 18 December the next few days would be "critical for establishing some kind of definite solution to this impasse." In a report released on 18 December, Human Rights Watch described the situation in DRC as "dangerous for the average Congolese". Patasse denies CAR rear base for attacking DRC Central African Republic President Ange-Felix Patasse, on a one-day visit to Kinshasa on 30 December, denied his country was being used as a rear base by former Zairean officials to attack DRC. Patasse told DRC television the allegations were "just rumours". "We will never agree to people attacking the DRC from our country," he said.

155

Kabila gives details of forthcoming reshuffle DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila said a recently-announced cabinet reshuffle was aimed at giving the government "greater impetus so that it performs better". He told a news conference on 24 December the reshuffle, due to take place on 3 January, was not a reflection of weakness in the present cabinet, but a way of benefiting from the experience gained over the past seven months. "Our government is a transition government whose mission is to lead the country to democracy," he added. Kabila also urged supporters of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko to return and invest in the country. Kisangani declared disaster zone The DRC government on 25 December declared the flood-hit town of Kisangani a disaster area, DRC radio reported from Bunia. A large section of the town was under water after the Congo and Tshopo rivers burst their banks. The government appealed for help from humanitarian organisations. UNICEF announced it was airlifting US $57,000 worth of relief supplies from Kinshasa to assist an estimated 10,000 victims of the flooding. The town has been without power and drinking water due to the floods. UGANDA/KENYA: Food security adversely affected by floods According to a DHA-Geneva report, flooding in Uganda has left an estimated 100 people dead and a further 150,000 displaced. Many others are critically injured and thousands of acres of food and cash crops have been washed away. The Ugandan government has appealed for funds to purchase seeds of fast early maturing crops and the necessary farm tools. In neighbouring Kenya, an estimated 300,000 people have been displaced or affected by floods in northern, eastern and coastal parts of the country. The report said excessive rainfall had resulted in stunted crops such as maize and beans and difficulty in harvesting mature crops. KENYA: Moi takes early lead in chaotic elections Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi took an early lead in presidential elections held on 29 December, but analysts said it was too early to identify a trend in the results, news agencies reported. The ruling KANU party also led in the parliamentary poll. The chaotic general elections sparked intense controversy with politicians of all stripes trading allegations of rigging and unanimously condemning the performance of the country's electoral commission. At least five people died on 30 December in political violence in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru. Mystery disease may be anthrax Kenyan health officials investigated the possibility that an anthrax epidemic was responsible for the deaths of some 250 people in the semi-arid North Eastern Province over the past two weeks. The 'Daily Nation' reported on 27 December that Kenyan health ministry director James Mwanzia said the deaths of hundreds of camels, goats and sheep in the same area

156

exhibiting similar symptoms to those in humans - that is bleeding through the body orifices was leading the investigation towards a possible link between the human and livestock deaths. BURUNDI: Bujumbura hospitals overstretched by malaria outbreak An outbreak of malaria in Burundi caused overcrowding in Bujumbura's hospitals and medical services were stretched, Burundi radio reported on 29 December. It quoted the director of the Prince Louis Rwagasore clinic, Dr Tharcisse Nzeyimana, as saying the disease coincided with the rainy season which began in October. Meanwhile, the director of Burundi's pharmaceutical company ONAPHA denied spreading rumours of a shortage of anti-malarial drugs. Nestor Ntibateganya said the company had adequate quantities of chloroquine and quinine, but admitted fansidar was in short supply. The current outbreak of malaria had increased consumption three-fold, he added. UN envoy calls for sanctions review A UN envoy to Burundi on 22 December called for an urgent review of economic sanctions against the country in recognition of the government's efforts to improve security and human rights there, AFP reported. "The time has come for serious consideration of the usefulness of economic sanctions," the agency quoted UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burundi, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, as saying. Following a recent visit to Burundi, he also said both Tutsis and Hutus were victims of violence and that in a war situation, it was very difficult to improve human rights. TANZANIA: Minister denies rebels operating from Tanzania Tanzania denied reports that rebel groups were operating from its territory. Tanzanian radio quoted Deputy Interior Minister Sigela Nswima as saying his country had never given sanctuary to any rebel group. He accused Burundi of circulating the reports to "seek sympathy" from the international community. The 'EastAfrican' weekly on 22 December said a group of Ugandan parliamentarians, who recently visited Burundi, concluded that rebels from Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda were receiving support from Sudan and operating from Tanzania. Nswima dismissed the allegations as "mere propaganda aimed at misleading the international community". The Ugandan MPs also warned of rifts developing in the region over rebel activity. GREAT LAKES: Sahnoun calls for all-inclusive approach to regional problems Mohamed Sahnoun, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Africa, has called for a comprehensive approach to the problems in the Great Lakes region, the UN said in a statement from its New York headquarters on 22 December. In an interview with UN Radio, Sahnoun noted that Burundi and Rwanda were among the most densely-populated countries in the world, placing great stress on scarce resources. "People feel insecure and this is one of the reasons why they fight each other or why they align themselves into ethnic or tribal groups," he said.

157

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Party dissidents move to dismiss Lissouba A dissident wing of ousted president Pascal Lissouba's Union panafricaine pour la democratie sociale (UPADS) party moved to dismiss him from the party leadership, Brazzaville's official Radio Liberte said on 30 December. The dissidents, led by Martin Mberi, a former Lissouba aide now serving in the new government of Denis Sassou Nguesso, convened a party conference in the southern city of Pointe-Noire to formally sack Lissouba. Former premier Bernard Kolelas was earlier stripped of his position as head of the MCDDI party. France to back Brazzaville in negotiations with donors France's new ambassador to Brazzaville said Paris was "prepared to back Congo" in a renewed dialogue with international lenders. Ambassador Herve Bolot, who presented his credentials on 29 December, told AFP in Kinshasa by telephone that "Congo has every interest in resuming dialogue with the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank." Congo's structural adjustment accord with the IMF and the World Bank was derailed by the four-month civil war, which erupted in June. The EU has said it will not resume aid until democracy is restored. Meanwhile the Congolese authorities netted 5,000 weapons in a countrywide disarmament operation over the past week. SUDAN: About 80,000 affected by new outbrek of river blindness Some 80,000 people have lost their sight due to a new outbreak of river blindness in Sudan, AFP reported a Sudanese health official as saying. The agency said Leila Abulfutuh was quoted in the 'Al Rai Al Akher' newspaper on 21 December as saying that 95 percent of Raga town's 400,000 inhabitants had contracted the disease and some 20 percent, around 80,000 people, were already blind. Raga is situated on a river of the same name in Bahr Al Ghazal, some 75 km from Sudan's border with Central Africa Republic. Abulfutuh said the Sudanese health ministry and WHO were cooperating to fight the disease. ANGOLA: UNITA orders halt to work of NGOs in Jamba Angola's former rebel movement UNITA has ordered a halt to the work of non-governmental organisations at its jungle stronghold in southeastern Jamba, AFP quoted sources close to the movement as saying on 23 December. UNITA took the step after the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said the area around Jamba was mined, and charged that UNITA was impeding the work of humanitarian organisations. Nairobi, 2 January 1998 [ENDS]

158

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 17:40:36 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: Update 324 for 2 January 98.1.2 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 324 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 2 January 1998) BURUNDI: Over 200 die in rebel attack At least 100 civilians were killed when Hutu rebels were driven off by government troops after a dawn attack on Bujumbura airport, state radio reported yesterday (Thursday). A military spokesman said the rebels had killed indiscriminately as they retreated through the village of Rukaramu, west of the airport. According to the radio's version of events, a large group of insurgents attacked the airport, 10 km from Bujumbura, early Thursday morning. Over 100 rebels and four soldiers were killed in the clash, with the airport suffering only minor damage. However, aid workers in Bujumbura, quoting reliable sources, told IRIN the rebels - at least 1,000-strong - had managed to overrun the army garrison at the airport. In an intense battle in which heavy mortar fire was heard, the rebels were repulsed after the arrival of army reinforcements. Rukaramu was caught in the crossfire as the rebels fled towards the Congolese border, the sources said. According to CNN, the villagers are mostly Hutu. Airport remains closed The roads out of Bujumbura to Cibitoke and the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were sealed yesterday. The airport remains closed. An informed humanitarian source, contacted by IRIN, speculated the rebels planned the attack as a show of force ahead of the arrival in Bujumbura next week of Berhanu Dinka, the UN's regional humanitarian advisor for the Great Lakes. Government says former Rwandan army soldiers joined rebel raid

159

A defence military spokesman told state radio that uniforms and documents found on the dead rebels proved that some were ex-Rwandan army. "I believe that this morning's attackers represent collaboration between the Burundian genocidal terrorists of the CNDD-Palipehutu and Rwandan militiamen and ex-FAR soldiers. This was quite clear," the spokesman said. He noted that ex-Rwandan army identity cards and regimental insignia had been recovered. TANZANIA: Mkapa denies support for Burundi rebels President Benjamin Mkapa has again denied allegations by the Burundi government that Tanzania is assisting anti-Bujumbura rebels, Tanzanian state radio said yesterday. In a New Year's message, Mkapa said the allegations made last week were "rubbish and baseless", the radio reported. He also stressed that Tanzania respected regional sanctions imposed on Burundi last year. He said Tanzanian transporters were not violating the embargo but were carrying exempted humanitarian goods into Burundi. KENYA: Moi leading election race Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi is certain of re-election, according to results reported today (Friday) by KTN television. The results from 170 of the 210 constituencies gave Moi 39.5 percent of the vote against 32.5 percent for his nearest rival, Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party and a former vice president. Moi had more than 25 percent of the vote in six provinces, overcoming a stipulation that a first-round winner must win a minimum of 25 percent of the vote in at least five of Kenya's eight provinces. In the parliamentary elections, with 182 constituencies counted, the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) was neck-and-neck with the combined opposition, AFP reported. Opposition vow not to accept Moi win Four leading opposition parties announced yesterday they would not accept a Moi victory. At a joint press conference, presidential candidates Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party and Raila Odinga of the National Development Party accused the ruling party of rigging, the private 'Daily Nation' reported. The statement was signed by Michael Wamalwa of FordKenya and endorsed by the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of presidential aspirant, Charity Ngilu. Government warns opposition against "lawlessness" A government statement broadcast on state radio yesterday said the government would not tolerate "any acts of intimidation or provocation" by those who "ignore the wishes of Kenyans." The statement said that "any lawlessness will be dealt with swiftly." RWANDA: Kagame warns against civilian collaboration with rebels Vice President and Minister of Defence Paul Kagame has warned villagers in northwestern Rwanda not to collaborate with Hutu extremists operating in the area, AFP quoted Rwandan state radio as reporting on Thursday. "The first consequence, which you are already suffering,

160

is a lack of food. You're not growing crops, you have nothing left to eat," Kagame said on a visit to Ruhengeri, the scene of heavy fighting between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-dominated army. Referring to charges that the army has carried out reprisals against the civilian population, Kagame admitted that some soldiers had made mistakes, but had been severely punished. Rebels accused of killing 24 The Rwandan authorities on Wednesday blamed Hutu militiamen for the weekend killing of 12 people in an attack on the town of Nyakabanda, in the central Gitarama prefecture. The victims included two members of the former Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) who were helping to protect the town, news agencies reported. On Christmas Day, rebels killed 12 people - including two former soldiers and their families - in Gitarama's Gitumba Sector. SUDAN: Khartoum proposes regional reconciliation The Sudanese government will work towards national reconciliation, normalise relations with Egypt and mend fences with Uganda and Eritrea, President Omar al-Beshir vowed in a New Year's message. Beshir said that an end to Sudan's civil war and the endorsement of a permanent constitution would "guarantee the durability of the national reconciliation," AFP reported. Beshir said he was pleased with "successive and fast developments" in Sudan's relations with Egypt. "What is happening now is a genuine expression of the will of the two leaderships and peoples on the two halves of the (Nile) valley," Beshir said. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Sassou Nguesso wants Lissouba to go on trial Congolese leader Denis Sassou Nguesso promised on Wednesday that leaders of the ousted regime of Pascal Lissouba would be put on trial for causing 15,000 deaths in five years. In a radio broadcast, monitored in Kinshasa by AFP, Sassou Nguesso said: "Our compatriots implicated in the division of the nation and citizens who endangered the constitution of the state do not deserve the pardon of the people." Nairobi, 2 January 1998, 14:20 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

161

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 17:40:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 325 for 3-5 Jan 98.1.5 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 325 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 3-5 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Thousands flee airport area Some 7,000 people have fled the Rukaramu area around Bujumbura airport amid mopping-up operations by the security forces following a rebel attack last week, AFP reported. It quoted army spokesman Colonel Sinarinzi Mamert as saying on Saturday the airport had reopened. The fleeing civilians were said to be seeking protection from military bases at Mpanda and Maramuya. Sinarinzi said the death toll from the attack on New Year's Eve, put at 200 including rebels and civilians, could be much higher. Informed sources, quoted by AFP, said the rebels had retreated to Rukaramu after the attack on the airport and a nearby military camp. Sinarinzi added that many of the rebel attackers, estimated at 1,000, were still hiding out in the area. Buyoya calls for international condemnation of attack President Pierre Buyoya yesterday (Sunday) called for world condemnation of the attack. Speaking at the funeral of 80 civilian victims, he said the international community should "renounce its traditional lethargy whenever there are criminal acts attributed to terrorist groups". It was "heartbreaking" to see rebel leaders moving freely in other countries, he said. Buyoya added that bodies from the attack were still being discovered in the bush. France and the OAU have condemned the massacre, with France urging Burundi's neighbours to help it curb the violence.

162

Finance Minister resigns Finance Minister Gerard Niyibigira has stepped down due to poor health, Burundi radio reported on Friday. His replacement was named as Astere Girukwigomba. UGANDA: MPs' visit to Burundi not sanctioned by government The Ugandan foreign ministry has stressed a recent visit to Burundi by a group of Ugandan parliamentarians was not sanctioned by the authorities and its findings did not reflect government views. A report issued by the MPs accused Sudan and Tanzania of supporting and harbouring rebel movements from Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. It also said Tanzania was a major culprit in busting the regional sanctions on Burundi. The allegation was strongly denied by Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa in a New Year address. In its statement, the Ugandan foreign ministry emphasised its "unwavering support" for the Arusha initiative regarding Burundi and the mediation of former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Army chief sacked President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed Uganda's army commander Major-General Mugisha Muntu, state-run radio reported yesterday. No reasons were given for the sacking. AFP reported local observers as saying Museveni was trying to improve army morale. Former minister of state for defence, Jeje Ogondo, was appointed to replace Muntu. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila reshuffles cabinet President Laurent-Desire Kabila reshuffled his cabinet on Saturday, bringing in former Katanga governor Gaetan Kakudji as Minister of State for Internal Affairs. Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo was moved to the justice portfolio. Pierre-Victor Mpoyo becomes Minister of State for Economy and Petrol. The two state minister posts did not exist in the previous government. Justice Minister Celestin Lwangi was appointed International Cooperation Minister. Finance Minister Mawampanga Mwananga becomes Agriculture Minister, and Tala Ngai comes into the cabinet as the new finance minister. Other changes include Agriculture Minister Paul Bandoma who takes the commerce portfolio and International Cooperation Minister Thomas Kanza who becomes Labour and Social Security Minister. The new cabinet includes three new faces, but no minister was dismissed. DRC radio pointed out the reshuffled team contains two ministers of state, 21 ministers and six deputy ministers. MSF concerned over situation in Kisangani camp MSF has expressed concern over the situation at Kapalata camp in Kisangani following a visit there last month. It described the set-up as a closed military re-education camp for Mai-Mai warriors, holding about 4,000 people. Some 300 children were badly malnourished and no medicines were available, MSF said. Other people were suffering from diarrhoea. MSF said it had been granted permission by the local authorities to set up a cholera camp, as cholera and dysentery were rife. Thirty-five people had died, it said. UNICEF, meanwhile, reported a total of 211 deaths from cholera in the town of Kisangani.

163

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: National reconciliation conference due to open More than 800 representatives of Congo's political parties and civilian society were due to meet in Brazzaville today (Monday) for a national reconciliation meeting. The forum was arranged by new leader General Denis Sassou Nguesso, after some five months of civil war. The meeting is aimed at discussing the framework for a new constitution and reconstruction programme. Unrest in Pointe Noire Radio France Internationale reported skirmishes in Congo's second city of Pointe Noire on Friday following a police clampdown on Cobra militia members, which were loyal to Sassou Nguesso during the war. Three militiamen were reported killed. The Cobras are being put on trains back to Brazzaville in keeping with the new authorities' bid to dismantle the militias. Pointe Noire has been experiencing some security problems, RFI said, and Angolan troops are still around maintaining a "reassuring presence". According to the radio, they are guarding the airport and port area. RWANDA: Ex-FAR officer gunned down Military sources said a former Rwandan government military officer, Major Modeste Rwabukwisi, was killed by the security forces last Thursday in southwest Cyangugu province. According to the Rwanda News Agency (RNA), Rwabukwisi joined Hutu rebels preparing to invade Rwanda from eastern DRC in the wake of the 1994 genocide. He was shot dead in Gafunzo on the shore of Lake Kivu while attempting to flee to DRC. A dozen other militiamen were either killed or captured, the news agency added. Local rights group slams US release of genocide suspect A local human rights umbrella group, Collectif des ligues et associations des droits de l'homme (CLADHO), has expressed shock over the release of a genocide suspect in the US, RNA reported. CLADHO chairman Josue Kayijaho said the suspect, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, was a ringleader in the massacre of over 100,000 people who fled to his church during the genocide seeking sanctuary from the killers. Well-informed sources told RNA there were powerful lobbies in the US which had brought about Ntakirutimana's release. MSF calls for safe zones MSF has called for setting up safe zones in northwest Rwanda and the North Kivu area of eastern DRC. In a statement, it said civilians and refugees were trapped in an ongoing war between government forces and armed rebel groups. Humanitarian assistance in Rwanda's Gisenyi and Ruhengeri prefectures and in North Kivu had been reduced to almost zero because of lack of access. MSF urged the international community to acknowledge the state of war in these areas and find secure areas for the population, either by setting up safe havens or selecting a third country for the people.

164

SUDAN: Eritrea, Uganda accused of planning offensive Sudan has accused Eritrea and Uganda of planning a two-pronged offensive against Khartoum, AFP reported. First Vice-President Zubair Mohammad Saleh told a daily newspaper at the weekend his country was preparing to counter the offensives, after both Eritrea and Uganda had "concentrated their troops" on the border with Sudan. Another Sudanese daily 'Al-Rai alAam' reported that increased security measures had been put in place around the town of Kassala in anticipation of an Eritrean attack. KENYA: Moi sworn in as president President Daniel arap Moi was sworn in for another five-year term today, after he was officially declared the winner in presidential polls held on 29 December. The ruling party KANU was also declared to have an absolute majority in parliament. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Moi denied opposition accusations that the elections were rigged. He said the government would have many priorities to tackle. Nairobi, 5 January 1998, 14:35 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

165

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 16:56:29 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 326 for 6 Jan 98.1.6 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 326 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 6 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Rebels strike again Rebels launched a second attack on a military position near Bujumbura airport early today (Tuesday). According to humanitarian sources, the attack took place in the village of Maramvya, just north of the airport, to where some 3,000 survivors of last week's massacre in Rukaramu had fled. A Burundi army spokesman said 13 rebels were killed and two soldiers injured. There was no loss of civilian life, he added. Upon hearing gunshots, hundreds of people fled to neighbouring villages, news reports said. Malaria reported among massacre survivors Survivors of the Rukaramu massacre have also been arriving at various points in Bujumbura, such as the Holiday Club, where they are said to be camping out under a scorching sun. Burundi radio reported that malaria was spreading among the displaced people and they were badly in need of medical equipment and drugs. Medecins sans Frontieres had started preparing shelters, it said. CNDD denies involvement in attack The rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) denied it was responsible for the massacre, Reuters said. It quoted CNDD's Brussels-based spokesman Jerome Ndiho as blaming the army for the killings. Ndiho also claimed 280 soldiers had perished. CNDD said its armed wing led a surprise attack on a military garrison at Gakumba near Bujumbura airport on New Year's Eve, while simultaneously attacking a military position at the airport itself.

166

The attack was strictly limited to military targets and aimed at preventing the arrival of a consignment of weapons for the army, it added. It warned airlines of the "great risk" they ran if they broke a regional embargo by transporting arms to Burundi. UN humanitarian adviser arrives in Bujumbura The UN's Great Lakes regional humanitarian adviser, Berhanu Dinka, arrived in Bujumbura yesterday, Burundi radio reported. He will meet top officials to discuss the situation in the country. Meanwhile, the OAU has sent a three-man mission to Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania to help find a solution to Burundi's political crisis, PANA news agency reported. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Ministers given deadline to return stolen property President Laurent-Desire Kabila has moved to end corruption in the country. According to state-run radio yesterday (Monday), he told ministers who illegally took private property, to return it or face dismissal. The ministers have until tomorrow (Wednesday) to heed his demands. The newly reshuffled cabinet is due to be sworn in tomorrow "so the ministers have been given 48 hours", the radio said. News reports point out that members of his administration have been accused of confiscating other people's belongings, including houses and cars. UGANDA: Museveni reshuffles armed forces As part of an ongoing reshuffle in the armed forces, the government is planning to retire some 800 officers, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported yesterday. President Yoweri Museveni had changed the top army leadership, replacing army chief Major General Mugisha Muntu with Major General Jeje Odongo and chief-of-staff Brigadier Chefe Ali with Brigadier James Kazini who becomes acting COS. Sources said Chefe Ali was likely to go to DRC as Uganda's ambassador to strengthen ties between the two countries, the newspaper reported. More changes were expected, according to top military officials. AFP said the move was intended to modernise the armed forces, cut military spending and focus operations on fighting rebel insurgencies in the north and west of the country. New defence minister appointed Museveni also appointed his brother, Major Salim Saleh, as the country's defence minister, military sources said today, quoted by AFP. Saleh was previously Museveni's adviser on military affairs in the north. He replaces Amama Mbabazi who was moved to the president's office as minister of state for political affairs. RWANDA: ICTR expected to deliver verdicts early this year The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is expected to deliver its first verdicts within the next three months, the 'EastAfrican' weekly reported yesterday. Sentences will be delivered on the trials of former mayor of Taba Jean-Paul Akayesu, former Interahamwe chief

167

Georges Rutaganda, former prefect of Kibuye Clement Kayishema and Kigali businessman Obed Ruzindana. Under the ICTR's rules, prison terms will be served either in Rwanda or another country which has agreed to accept convicts, according to UN rules. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: National reconciliation meeting opens Congolese leader Denis Sassou-Nguesso opened a national reconciliation forum in Brazzaville yesterday, saying it was time for unity and reconstruction. However, he added that this would have no value without "the condemnation of acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the ousted regime". The forum, comprising about 1,000 representatives of political parties and civilian society, is intended to discuss a new constitution and reconstruction programme for the country devastated by five months of civil war. Ousted premier Bernard Kolelas told Radio France Internationale the meeting was a "farce". The aim, he said, was "to gather together faithful henchmen, people who will applaud enthusiastically the reinstatement of the one-party system". SUDAN: Bashir to visit Egypt Preparations are underway to fix a date for a forthcoming visit to Egypt by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Sudanese radio quoted Egyptian diplomatic sources as saying the visit was a move towards the normalisation of relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, Sudanese opposition parties have warned Cairo against improving ties with Sudan. "It would be dangerous to trust the promises of the Sudanese regime concerning cooperation with Egypt on security matters," a member of the Ummah party told AFP yesterday. Nairobi, 6 January 1998, 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

168

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 16:49:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 327 for 7 Jan 98.1.7 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 327 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 7 January 1998)

RWANDA: Rebels threaten to decapitate victims Rebels, calling themselves the Rwandan Liberation Army, have killed 14 people in the central western town of Nyabikenke. AFP quoted local officials as saying Monday's raid took the form of a four-pronged attack. The dead included two local administrators, one of whom was beheaded. The rebels, armed with guns and knives, looted parts of the town before leaving pamphlets warning that "all those we fight will be beheaded". In nearby Nyakabanda, at least 26 people were killed yesterday (Tuesday) in a pre-dawn attack. In Butare, southern Rwanda, 24 genocide suspects recently released from detention, were killed last month, Rwandan radio reported. They had been freed in keeping with a government decision to release the sick, elderly and minors in a bid to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Four soldiers and five civilians had been jailed in connection with the killings, the radio added. Refugees facing food shortages Tutsi refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are facing serious food shortages at their new camp in Byumba prefecture, according to Rwandan media reports. Some 15,000 survivors were transferred after last month's massacre in Mudende camp where they had been sheltering. One refugee is said to have died of starvation. However a UNHCR official, quoted by the Rwanda News Agency (RNA), said the refugees were receiving adequate rations and it was impossible for them to starve to death. RNA reported that food shortages in the camp were thought to be due to the fact that refugees were exchanging their rations for other, more costly, goods.

169

France to resume legal action against genocide suspect A court in France has ruled that legal action can resume against a Rwandan priest accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide, news reports said. Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka fled to France in the wake of the genocide where he was arrested in connection with the mass killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. France's supreme court overturned a ruling by a lower court that French courts did not have jurisdiction over the priest. BURUNDI: Hundreds still fleeing rebel attacks Hundreds more people are fleeing rebel attacks in Bujumbura. Burundi radio said survivors of last week's Rukaramu massacre who fled to Maramvya - just north of the city - and were attacked again yesterday, are now fleeing to Bujumbura's northern suburb of Kinama. The radio said administration and security officials had, however, advised them to move from Kinama to nearby Mubone. Human rights group blames CNDD for killings The Burundi human rights league, ITEKA, blamed the killings on the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), Burundi radio reported. ITEKA said that since CNDD had acknowledged responsibility for the attack on the Gakumba military post, near Rukaramu, "therefore it is obviously them who slaughtered the people of Rukaramu, the two events being linked". The organisation urged the Burundi government to make every effort to protect civilians. Food deliveries hampered by floods The closure of roads and railway lines in parts of Kenya and Tanzania due to flooding has hampered the delivery of food relief supplies to Burundi and Rwanda, WFP said. The southern corridor running from Dar es Salaam is closed and the capacity of the northern axis from Mombasa has been seriously curtailed. Relief stocks of cereals in Burundi are almost depleted. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Soldiers executed in Bukavu Two soldiers were executed in Bukavu yesterday for "criminal conspiracy and armed robbery", DRC radio reported. They had been sentenced earlier by a military court in the town. The public execution was witnessed by a large crowd of residents and the local authorities. Floods receding in Kisangani Humanitarian sources report that floodwater is receding in Kisangani and limited running water has been restored to a large part of the town. The restoration of electricity will take some two months as the installations have to be overhauled. Several small villages along the Congo river, such as Isangi, are still under water. Meanwhile, cases of bloody diarrhoea have

170

been reported, in addition to the cholera epidemic sweeping Kisangani. Two people are said to have died. Displaced people without assistance due to weather, insecurity According to WFP, humanitarian agencies are banned from the area around Goma. As a result, an estimated 30,000 displaced Congolese in the Masisi area have been without food assistance since early November. Rain and insecurity have impeded access to the High Plateaux in the Uvira region, affecting some 35,000 people who are without assistance. Repatriation from Tanzania on course UNHCR says its operation to repatriate some 50,000 DRC refugees from Tanzania by June is still on course. The operation resumed on Friday, when 766 refugees were repatriated by boat across Lake Tanganyika. A second sailing, with about 700 refugees on board, took place on Monday. UGANDA: More DRC refugees arrive UNHCR reported a new influx of refugees from eastern DRC into Uganda via Kisoro. It said a group of 314 mostly Tutsi Congolese had arrived over the past two weeks and had been transferred to the Nakivale camp. Another group of 200 is waiting to be transferred. The refugees say they are fleeing insecurity and attacks by ex-FAR and Interahamwe in North Kivu. Senior official gunned down in Kitgum In the northern Kitgum area, rebels believed to belong to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), killed a senior official and two of his bodyguards. Resident District Commissioner Charles Oryem Ogura was gunned down yesterday when rebels sprayed his car with bullets, the stateowned 'New Vision' reported. President Yoweri Museveni reshuffled his armed forces this week in a bid to strengthen the fight against the rebels. KENYA: Rift Valley Fever killing people in northeast The mystery disease in northeastern Kenya, which caused some 300 deaths, has been identified as Rift Valley Fever (RVF), according to press reports. The World Health Organisation said however the virus, detected at the National Institute of Virology in South Africa, may not be the only cause of death as some victims showed no evidence of RVF infection. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and primarily affects domestic animals such as cows, sheep and goats. Humans can be infected by contact with blood or body fluids from affected animals.

171

State nurses sacked, health services decentralised The Kenyan authorities yesterday sacked all state nurses and laboratory technicians, who have been on strike for better pay since November. In addition, health services were decentralised. According to the 'Daily Nation', the move affects some 30,000 nurses who will now have to seek re-employment from their respective hospitals and not the health ministry. SUDAN: Rebels surrendering, authorities say Large numbers of rebel forces are said to have surrendered to the authorities at Abyei in West Kordofan State, according to Sudanese radio. First Vice-President General Zubayr Muhammad Salih also announced an airlift of food and medicines from Khartoum to rebel defectors and civilians at Wau in Bahr el-Ghazal state. Meanwhile, the Egyptian authorities stated Egypt has "very special relations" with Sudan. Egyptian presidential adviser, Dr Usamah al-Baz, quoted by Egyptian radio, said his country would welcome a move by Khartoum to normalise ties. ANGOLA: Congolese army chief visiting The armed forces chief of Congo-Brazzaville arrived in Luanda yesterday on a three-day visit, Angolan television reported. General Yves Mutano Mongonot was due to meet his Angolan counterpart and visit army, navy and air force headquarters. On arrival, he told reporters the visit was aimed at boosting bilateral military relations. His country had just emerged from war, he said, and Angola's experience was "invaluable" for the restructuring of the Congolese army. Nairobi, 7 January 1998, 13:50 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

172

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 16:54:12 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 328 for 8 Jan 98.1.8 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 328 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 8 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Bujumbura residents urged to stay calm The authorities in Burundi have urged residents of Bujumbura not to panic following a wave of rebel attacks near the city. Defence ministry spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Isaie Nibizi, speaking on Burundi radio, said residents should remain vigilant, but said the security forces were able to protect them. "The city is very well guarded," he said. In addition, the suburbs were being patrolled. According to the radio, he expressed the belief that the rebels were on a campaign to spread confusion and the population should not play into their hands. The radio added a total of 15 rebels were killed and three soldiers wounded in Tuesday's attack on Maramvya village, days after a massacre in nearby Rukaramu left at least 200 people dead. Hundreds of villagers, who fled Maramvya for the northern suburb of Kinama, were transferred to Mubone village where they were under the protection of the security forces, Burundi's Netpress news agency said. The authorities were afraid that rebels would infiltrate the displaced people in Kinama, formerly a Hutu rebel stronghold, in order to attack Bujumbura. Thousands in need of assistance The administrator of Mutimbuzi commune near Bujumbura has said thousands of people are in urgent need of assistance after fleeing rebel attacks. In an interview with AFP, Jean Baptiste Gatabaruke described their situation as "catastrophic", saying there was not enough help for them. UNHCR said the attacks had caused some 8,000 people to flee their homes. Gatabaruke estimated the numbers at "nearly 15,000".

173

Ogata condemns violence UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata yesterday (Wednesday) condemned the escalating violence in Burundi, saying the attacks were aimed at destabilising areas where thousands of people had returned and were trying to restart their lives. "The current cycle of violence severely jeopardises returnees' security and the refugees' ability to return," she said in a statement. A humanitarian assessment team was unable to reach Maramvya yesterday, but met several wounded villagers along the road. CNDD calls for international probe The rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), held responsible for the killings by the Burundi authorities, yesterday called for an international enquiry to "determine the responsibilities of the army and thus clear the fighters of the FDD (Forces pour la defense de la democratie) of the unspeakable slander directed against them." AFP quoted CNDD's leader Leonard Nyangoma as saying the probe should be approved by both sides in the Burundi conflict. Foreign minister hails OAU visit Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama has described the arrival of an OAU delegation in Bujumbura as important. The mission is aimed at resolving the problems between Burundi and Tanzania, and its members are also due to visit other parts of the country. Speaking on Burundi radio, Rukingama said the team would return to Addis Ababa "not with mere rumours, but with first-hand information which cannot fail to have a positive impact on the OAU's perception of Burundi". RWANDA: 52 reported dead in rebel attack The death toll in Tuesday's rebel attack in the central town of Nyakabanda has gone up to 52, the Rwanda News Agency reported today (Thursday). Most of the victims were said to be administrative officers and civilians, including seven children. The death toll had previously been put at 26. RNA added that fighting between rebels and the armed forces continued Tuesday night. It said there had been "many" attackers. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Cabinet sworn in President Laurent-Desire Kabila's cabinet was sworn in yesterday after some ministers returned illegally-acquired property, in keeping with a deadline set by the president. Reuters quoted presidency sources as saying at least 10 ministers were obliged to move house prior to the ceremony to comply with Kabila's ultimatum. Others had to hand back cars, taken after the overthrow of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko.

174

Gecamines terminates international tender DRC's state mining company Gecamines announced last week it had terminated an international tender awarded to the America Mineral Fields Inc. (AMF) by the-then rebel Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire. The tender, for mining a huge copper-cobalt project at the Kolwezi mine in Katanga province, was ended because Gecamines said it had expected substantial up-front payments. Analysts, quoted by Reuters, said one of the reasons for the move was a desire for additional funds. "What appears to have happened is that the government has reopened tenders because it hopes to get a better deal," one analyst said. Many international companies had rushed to secure deals with Kabila's rebels during the civil war last year. Soldiers ransack offices of another publication Soldiers have occupied the premises of 'Le Moniteur de l'economie' and taken away equipment, the magazine said in statement yesterday. According to AFP, the business magazine, recalling a similar ransacking last month of the 'Elima' newspaper premises, said: "Arbitrary acts of the sort we are deploring, seriously threaten freedom of the press, the foundation of democracy." Zambian delegation visiting A Zambian delegation, led by Defence Minister Chitalu Sampa, arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday for talks aimed at boosting relations between the two countries. DRC television quoted Sampa as saying his government hoped to resolve amicably any problems. One of the issues to be resolved, he said, includes hundreds of ex-FAZ soldiers who took refuge in Zambia. DRC State Minister for the Interior Gaetan Kakudji said relations would be strengthened in the fields of security and cross-border trade. SUDAN: Pro-government southern factions unite forces Pro-government factions in southern Sudan, members of the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF), have agreed to unite their forces within the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF). According to Suna news agency, former rebel leader Riak Machar, who was charged with forming a committee to oversee the unification of the forces, said the move would boost the peace process by "activating the military aspect of the Khartoum peace agreement". KENYA: Union tells government to reinstate nurses The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) yesterday gave the government three days to rescind its decision to sack striking state nurses and to begin talks on the issue, Kenyan television reported. The organisation's deputy secretary-general, Boniface Munyao, said COTU was ready to mediate between the two sides, and would negotiate on behalf of the nurses. Some 30,000 nurses were laid off as a result of the government measure.

175

ANGOLA: Russia planning arms sales, newspaper says Russia is planning to resume arms sales to Angola, according to the South African 'Star' daily. It cited a Russian newspaper as saying Angola was looking to buy modern weapons and superfluous Russian army property. Angola had apparently held talks with Russia about replenishing and repairing its fleet of MiG-23 planes, which numbered 55 in the late 1980s. Russia was a major arms supplier to Angola during its war against UNITA rebel forces. Angola pledges military cooperation with Congo Angola meanwhile said it would cooperate militarily with Congo-Brazzaville. Reuters quoted Angolan army spokesman Brigadier Jose Manuel Jota as saying Angola's armed forces were already supporting the Congolese "but we now have an official training programme". Congo's military chief General Yves Motando-Mongo is due to return home today from visiting Angolan military bases. Jota admitted there were still Angolan troops in Congo, but could not say how many. Angolan forces helped Congolese leader Denis Sassou Nguesso in the country's recent civil war. UN troops to go Most UN troops are due to be pulled out of Angola by the end of this month. The troops had been overseeing a 1994 peace accord between the government and the ex-rebel UNITA movement. Reuters quoted UN spokesman in Luanda, Moktar Gueye, as saying the intention was to leave 500 soldiers in Angola for the protection of UN staff working in the country. Nairobi, 8 January 1998, 13:55 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

176

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 16:35:38 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 329 for 9 Jan 98.1.9 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 329 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 9 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Spiral of violence continues Rebels carried out more attacks near Bujumbura overnight Wednesday, killing a number of people. Burundi radio said rebels raided the town of Kinama in Mubimbi commune, 27 km northeast of the city, "killing people and looting several houses". The rebels had apparently divided up into three groups before launching the attack to prevent any intervention by soldiers at the Kinama military post. However, residents on night patrol were able to alert the soldiers, the radio said. Four attackers and one soldier were killed. In another incident the same night, nine people were killed and five wounded in an attack on the village of Mubone, AFP reported. Survivors of last week's Rukaramu massacre, fled to the village of Maramvya only to come under attack again there. Some of them then moved on to Mubone. Medical workers, quoted by AFP, said more than 300 people had died in the wave of violence unleashed over the New Year. Displaced villagers returning home A joint UN-NGO mission to the villages of Rukaramu and Maramvya yesterday (Thursday) was told by the governor of Bujumbura Rurale that displaced villagers were now returning to their homes. Measures are in place to assist the population. People from the troubled provinces of Bubanza and Cibitoke, who had found refuge in Rukaramu and Maramvya, were being kept in Mubone from where they would be returned to their home areas. The mission further observed that people were returning voluntarily to their homes in the two villages. Attempts to visit Mubone were denied by the military who said special authorisation was required from the interior ministry.

177

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila envoy to meet exiles An envoy of President Laurent-Desire Kabila is to meet in Brussels with exiled members of the ousted Zairean regime, in a bid to persuade them to return home. Kabila's communication adviser, Dominic Sakombi Inongo, will hold talks with exiles after the president last month urged them to come back and take part in national reconstruction, AFP said. However, those who stole state belongings have been told to return them. Kisangani authorities urged to close Kapalata camp International NGOs and the UN have petitioned the local authorities in Kisangani to close the Kapalata camp because it is unhealthy. Humanitarian sources say the only cases of cholera and bloody diarrhoea in Kisangani are in the camp and there have been no civilian casualties. As of yesterday, 229 people had died of cholera, but the number of new cases was decreasing, UNICEF said. RWANDA/TANZANIA: Expelled Rwandans allowed to return to sort out affairs in Tanzania Border officials from Rwanda and Tanzania have recommended the establishment of a commission to investigate claims by refugees forcefully repatriated from the northwestern Tanzanian region of Kagera, PANA news agency reported. The proposal followed a meeting in Ngara on Wednesday between officials from Kagera and Kibungo in Rwanda. Late last year, the Tanzanian authorities expelled thousands of Rwandan refugees, including old-caseload refugees. The refugees had complained they were not allowed to pack their belongings or move with their cattle. It was agreed the refugees could return to Kagera to sort out their affairs before 30 March and the Tanzanian authorities would reconsider the cases of Rwandans who had applied for Tanzanian citizenship, PANA reported. SUDAN: Thousands more rebels reportedly surrendering The number of southern rebels surrendering to the government is on the increase, according to Khartoum media reports. Sudanese radio yesterday reported that thousands of fighters had "broken away" from the rebels in Bahr el-Ghazal, parts of Equatoria, the Nuba mountains and Unity state. 'Al Gamhouria' newspaper quoted army spokesman General Abdul Rahman Siral Khetim, who described the defections as "an historic turnabout". ANGOLA: Soldiers killed by Cabinda separatists Separatists in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda said their forces killed 24 Angolan government troops in fighting last week. In a statement, a faction of the Frente de Libertacao do Enclava de Cabinda (FLEC), said there had been a series of clashes over the week. An army attack in Belize, northern Cabinda, was repulsed, the statement said. FLEC lost six fighters, including three during fighting near Lake Massabi on the border with Congo-Brazzaville. AFP noted that the Luanda government announced a new offensive against the rebels early last month.

178

GREAT LAKES: IFRC launches appeal The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched a 1998 emergency appeal seeking US$ 15.3 million for the Great Lakes region. In a press release, it said some 850,000 people in the region were in need of assistance. The victims of conflict were now being outpaced by the victims of disaster, disease and socio-economic dislocation, the release said. Nairobi, 9 January 1998, 13:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

179

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 15:56:44 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 2-98 2 Jan-8 Jan 98.1.9

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 2-98 covering the period 2 Jan-8 Jan 1998 BURUNDI: Rebels strike twice near airport Rebels launched a second attack on a military position near Bujumbura airport early on Tuesday, news organisations reported. According to humanitarian sources, the attack took place in the village of Maramvya, just north of the airport. Previously, some 7,000 people had fled the Rukaramu area around the airport following a first rebel attack on New Year's Eve. Army spokesman Colonel Sinarinzi Mamert was quoted by AFP as saying the death toll from that attack, initially put at 200 including both civilians and rebels, could in fact be much higher. AFP quoted the administrator of Mutimbizi commune near the capital as saying thousands of people were in need of assistance after fleeing the attacks. Jean Baptiste Gatabaruke said "nearly 15,000" had fled their homes and were in a "catastrophic" situation. UNHCR put the figure at nearer 8,000. Burundi radio reported survivors were also have to deal with an outbreak of malaria. CNDD denies massacre charges, calls for international probe

180

The rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) denied government allegations it was responsible for any massacre of civilians. Reuters quoted CNDD's Brusselsbased spokesman Jerome Ndiho as blaming the army for killings which followed the surprise New Year's Eve attack on the military garrison at Gakumba near Bujumbura airport. He said the attack was strictly limited to military targets and aimed at preventing the arrival of a consignment of weapons for the army. CNDD warned airlines of the "great risk" they ran if they broke a regional embargo by transporting arms to Burundi. Later in the week, CNDD called for an international enquiry to "determine the responsibilities of the army and thus clear the fighters of the FDD (Forces pour la defense de la democratie) of the unspeakable slander directed against them." Meanwhile, President Pierre Buyoya on Sunday called for world condemnation of the New Year's Eve attack. Speaking at the funerals of some 80 victims, he said the international community should abandon its "traditional lethargy". Bujumbura residents urged to stay calm The authorities in Burundi urged residents of Bujumbura not to panic following the attacks. Defence ministry spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Isaie Nibizi, speaking on Burundi radio, said residents should remain vigilant, but said the security forces were able to protect them. "The city is very well guarded," he said. In addition, the suburbs were being patrolled. According to the radio, he expressed the belief that the rebels were on a campaign to spread confusion and the population should not play into their hands. The radio added a total of 15 rebels were killed and three soldiers wounded in Tuesday's attack on Maramvya village. Ogata condemns violence UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata on Wednesday condemned the escalating violence in Burundi, saying the attacks were aimed at destabilising areas where thousands of people had returned and were trying to restart their lives. "The current cycle of violence severely jeopardises returnees' security and the refugees' ability to return," she said in a statement. The UN's Great Lakes regional humanitarian adviser, Berhanu Dinka, arrived in Bujumbura on Monday for talks with top officials on the situation in the country. The OAU has also sent a three-man mission to Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania to help find a solution to Burundi's political crisis. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Ministers told to return stolen goods President Laurent-Desire Kabila moved to end corruption in the country. State-run radio reported on Monday the president had told ministers who illegally took private property, to return it or face dismissal. His demand came a few days after he reshuffled his cabinet, bringing in former Katanga governor Gaetan Kakudji as Minister of State for Internal Affairs. Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo was moved to the justice portfolio. Pierre-Victor Mpoyo becomes Minister of State for Economy and Petrol. The two state minister posts did not exist in the previous government. Justice Minister Celestin Lwangi was appointed International Cooperation Minister. Finance Minister Mawampanga Mwana Nanga becomes Agriculture Minister, and Tala Ngai comes into the cabinet as the new finance minister. Other changes include Agriculture Minister Paul Bandoma who takes the commerce portfolio and

181

International Cooperation Minister Thomas Kanza who becomes Labour and Social Security Minister. The new cabinet includes three new faces, but no minister was dismissed. DRC radio pointed out the reshuffled team contains two ministers of state, 21 ministers and six deputy ministers. The new cabinet was sworn in on Wednesday and its members given 48 hours to comply with Kabila's request. Soldiers executed in Bukavu Two soldiers were executed in Bukavu on Tuesday for "criminal conspiracy and armed robbery", DRC radio reported. They had been sentenced earlier by a military court in the town. The public execution was witnessed by a large crowd of residents and the local authorities. MSF concerned over situation in Kisangani camp, flood waters recede MSF expressed concern over the situation at Kapalata camp in Kisangani following a visit there last month. It described the set-up as a closed military re-education camp for Mai-Mai warriors, holding about 4,000 people. Some 300 children were badly malnourished and no medicines were available, MSF said. MSF said it had been granted permission by the local authorities to set up a cholera camp, as cholera and dysentery were rife. UNICEF, meanwhile, reported a total of 211 deaths from cholera in the military camp. Humanitarian sources reported that flood waters were receding in Kisangani and limited running water had been restored to a large part of the town. The restoration of electricity will take some two months as the installations have to be overhauled. Several small villages along the Congo river, such as Isangi, are still under water. Meanwhile, cases of bloody diarrhoea have been reported. Two people are said to have died. Displaced people without assistance due to weather, insecurity According to WFP, humanitarian agencies are banned from the area around Goma. As a result, an estimated 30,000 displaced Congolese in the Masisi area have been without food assistance since early November. Rain and insecurity have impeded access to the High Plateaux in the Uvira region, affecting some 35,000 people who are without assistance. Repatriation from Tanzania on course UNHCR said its operation to repatriate some 50,000 DRC refugees from Tanzania by June was still on course. The operation resumed last Friday, when 766 refugees were repatriated by boat across Lake Tanganyika. A second sailing, with about 700 refugees on board, took place on Monday. Gecamines terminates international tender DRC's state mining company Gecamines announced last week it had terminated an international tender awarded to the America Mineral Fields Inc. (AMF) by the-then rebel

182

Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire. The tender, for mining a huge copper-cobalt project at the Kolwezi mine in Katanga province, was ended because Gecamines said it had expected substantial up-front payments. Analysts, quoted by Reuters, said one of the reasons for the move was a desire for additional funds. "What appears to have happened is that the government has reopened tenders because it hopes to get a better deal," one analyst said. Many international companies had rushed to secure deals with Kabila's rebels during the civil war last year. Soldiers ransack offices of another publication Soldiers occupied the premises of 'Le Moniteur de l'economie' and taken away equipment, the magazine said in a statement on Wednesday. According to AFP, the business magazine, recalling a similar ransacking last month of the 'Elima' newspaper premises, said: "Arbitrary acts of the sort we are deploring, seriously threaten freedom of the press, the foundation of democracy." RWANDA: 52 reported dead in rebel attack The death toll from a rebel attack on Tuesday in the central town of Nyakabanda rose to 52, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Most of the victims were said to be administrative officers and civilians,including seven children. The death toll had previously been put at 26. In another attack, rebels calling themselves the Rwandan Liberation Army, killed 14 people in the central western town of Nyabikenke. AFP quoted local officials as saying Monday's raid took the form of a four-pronged attack.The dead included two local administrators, one of whom was beheaded. The rebels, armed with guns and knives, looted parts of the town before leaving pamphlets warning that "all those we fight will be beheaded". Ex-FAR officer gunned down Military sources said a former Rwandan army officer, Major Modeste Rwabukwise, was killed by security forces last week in southwest Cyangugu province. The Rwanda News Agency (RNA) said Rwabukusi joined Hutu rebels preparing to invade Rwanda from eastern DRC following the 1994 genocide. He was reportedly shot dead in Gafunzo on the shore of Lake Kivu while attempting to flee to DRC. Refugees facing food shortages Tutsi refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are facing serious food shortages at their new camp in Byumba prefecture, according to Rwandan media reports. Some 15,000 survivors were transferred after last month's massacre in Mudende camp where they had been sheltering. One refugee is said to have died of starvation. However a UNHCR official, quoted by the Rwanda News Agency (RNA), said the refugees were receiving adequate rations and it was impossible for them to starve to death. RNA reported that food shortages in the camp were thought to be due to the fact that refugees were exchanging their rations for other, more costly, goods.

183

France to resume legal action against genocide suspect A court in France ruled that legal action can resume against a Rwandan priest accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide, news reports said. Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka fled to France in the wake of the genocide where he was arrested in connection with the mass killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. France's supreme court overturned a ruling by a lower court that French courts did not have jurisdiction over the priest. Meanwhile, the 'EastAfrican' newspaper reported that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was expected to deliver its first verdicts within the next three months. Sentences will be delivered on the trials of former mayor of Taba Jean-Paul Akayesu, former Interahamwe chief Georges Rutaganda, former prefect of Kibuye Clement Kayishema and Kigali businessman Obed Ruzindana. Under the ICTR's rules, prison terms will be served either in Rwanda or another country which has agreed to accept convicts, according to UN rules. UGANDA: Museveni reshuffles armed forces As part of an ongoing reshuffle in the armed forces, the government is planning to retire some 800 officers, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported this week. President Yoweri Museveni had changed the top army leadership, replacing army chief Major General Mugisha Muntu with Major General Jeje Odongo and chief-of-staff Brigadier Chefe Ali with Brigadier James Kazini who becomes acting COS. Sources said Chefe Ali was likely to go to DRC as Uganda's ambassador to strengthen ties between the two countries, the newspaper reported. More changes were expected, according to top military officials. AFP said the move was intended to modernise the armed forces, cut military spending and focus operations on fighting rebel insurgencies in the north and west of the country. New defence minister appointed Museveni also appointed his brother, Major Salim Saleh, as the country's defence minister, military sources said today, quoted by AFP. Saleh was previously Museveni's adviser on military affairs in the north. He replaces Amama Mbabazi who was moved to the president's office as minister of state for political affairs. KENYA: Moi sworn in as president President Daniel arap Moi was sworn in for another five-year term on Monday after he was officially declared the winner in presidential polls held on 29 December. Rift Valley Fever killing people in northeast The mystery disease in northeastern Kenya, which caused some 300 deaths, has been identified as Rift Valley Fever (RVF), according to press reports. The World Health

184

Organisation said however the virus, detected at the National Institute of Virology in South Africa, may not be the only cause of death as some victims showed no evidence of RVF infection. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and primarily affects domestic animals such as cows, sheep and goats. Humans can be infected by contact with blood or body fluids from affected animals. State nurses sacked, health services decentralised The Kenyan authorities on Tuesday sacked all state nurses and laboratory technicians, who have been on strike for better pay since November. In addition, health services were decentralised. According to the 'Daily Nation', the move affects some 30,000 nurses who will now have to seek re-employment from their respective hospitals and not the health ministry. On Wednesday the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) gave the government three days to rescind its decision. ANGOLA: Russia planning arms sales, newspaper says Russia is planning to resume arms sales to Angola, according to the South African 'Star' daily. It cited a Russian newspaper as saying Angola was looking to buy modern weapons and superfluous Russian army property. Angola had apparently held talks with Russia about replenishing and repairing its fleet of MiG-23 planes, which numbered 55 in the late 1980s. Russia was a major arms supplier to Angola during its war against UNITA rebel forces. Angola pledges military cooperation with Congo Angola, meanwhile, said it would cooperate militarily with Congo-Brazzaville. Reuters quoted Angolan army spokesman Brigadier Jose Manuel Jota as saying Angola's armed forces were already supporting the Congolese "but we now have an official training programme". Jota admitted there were still Angolan troops in Congo, but could not say how many. Angolan forces helped Congolese leader Denis Sassou Nguesso in the country's recent civil war. UN troops to go Most UN troops are due to be pulled out of Angola by the end of this month. The troops had been overseeing a 1994 peace accord between the government and the ex-rebel UNITA movement. Reuters quoted UN spokesman in Luanda, Moktar Gueye, as saying the intention was to leave 500 soldiers in Angola for the protection of UN staff working in the country. Nairobi, 9 January 1998, 13:00 gmt [ENDS]

185

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 17:39:46 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 330 for 10-12 Jan 98.1.12 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 330 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 10-12 January 1998) BURUNDI: Government says rebels creating confusion The Burundi government on Friday rejected charges by the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) that it was responsible for the New Year's massacre at Rukaramu. Speaking on Burundi radio, Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama accused the rebels of "attempting to create confusion". He said the rebels attacked innocent people with hoes, machetes and other traditional weapons and appealed to the international community "not to be abused by those killers who are trying to conceal the genocide they started in 1993". According to the Burundi Netpress news agency, the situation in Bujumbura was now calm and the rebels were moving away towards Bubanza province. US envoy due to visit country US envoy Howard Wolpe is due to arrive in Bujumbura this Friday, where he will spend the weekend trying to move the peace process along. State Department spokesman James Foley, quoted by AFP, said Washington believed only a political settlement would bring about lasting peace in Burundi. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's ambassador to the OAU, who led a recent delegation to Burundi, was quoted by Burundi radio as saying "noteworthy progress" had been made towards peace talks. The radio added that he also called for the lifting of sanctions. South Africa to investigate alleged arms sales to Burundi rebels The South African government is to launch an investigation into the alleged supply of arms to rebels in Burundi, PANA news agency reported. It said the human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, claimed individuals in South Africa had been supplying arms and military assistance to the CNDD. According to the report, South Africa's railway organisation

186

Spoornet admitted that arms were frequently transported in their trains to Tanzania for use by the rebels in Burundi. UGANDA: Burundi envoy refused accreditation Uganda has refused to accredit Burundi's prospective ambassador to the country in line with regional sanctions against Bujumbura, the 'EastAfrican' weekly reported today (Monday). It cited Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rebecca Kadaga as saying: "We agreed to make life difficult for the Burundi government, so how can we allow their ambassador to present his credentials?" The envoy, Edouard Kadigiri, has been in Uganda since August. RWANDA: Fresh military reshuffle announced In Rwanda's second military reshuffle in a month, Colonel Kayumba Nyamwasa has been appointed army chief of staff. Nyamwasa was army commander in the troubled northwest and replaces Colonel Samuel Kanyemera, state radio reported on Saturday. Brigade 221 which Nyamwasa headed has been divided, with separate commands based in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri prefectures. Colonel Emmanuel Habyarimana, an officer in the former Hutu-dominated government army was appointed minister of state in the ministry of defence, a newly-created post. He was serving as secretary-general in the ministry. The radio gave no explanation for the reshuffle. Detention without charge for genocide suspects until 1999 Rwanda's transitional parliament has voted to allow genocide suspects to be detained without charge until the end of 1999. Parliament speaker Joseph Sebaranzi told AFP the recently passed bill applies to anyone arrested before 31 December, 1997. Under the previous law, those detainees for whom a case was not made by the end of last year would have been released. Some 130,000 genocide suspects are held in overcrowded detention facilities across the country. Museveni calls for justice before reconciliation Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told university students in the southern Rwandan town of Butare yesterday that convicted leaders of the genocide "should be hanged" and "the sooner the better". Museveni, ending a two-day visit to Rwanda, urged justice before reconciliation. During his visit to the country, he met Rwandan leaders and discussed security issues in the region, including the political situation in Burundi, news agencies reported. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Forum expected to recommend genocide charges against Lissouba A national reconciliation forum underway in Brazzaville is expected to recommend "genocide charges" against former president Pascal Lissouba, AFP quoted Congolese officials as saying. The forum, which has been extended until Wednesday, will also advise on the length of a proposed transition period before the government of President Denis Sassou Nguesso hands over to an elected civilian authority. Meanwhile, Gabonese radio reported that Sassou

187

Nguesso had expressed concern over insecurity in Pointe-Noire due, he said, to the fact that the former regime had been distributing arms there over a long period. Former premier Bernard Kolelas denied accusations by Sassou Nguesso that he was buying arms in South Africa and planning to take power by force. Mystery disease kills 74 A mystery disease which causes diarrhoea has killed 74 people in Pointe-Noire, where 243 cases have been reported since November, Congolese radio said on Saturday. Health ministry officials and local medical authorities were trying to determine the cause of the disease. Meanwhile, a UNICEF-sponsored emergency vaccination campaign began today in Brazzaville and its surroundings to minimise the threat of a measles epidemic. The six-week campaign aims to immunise some 250,000 children. EAST AFRICA: EU bans fish imports The European Union has banned fish imports from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique because of an outbreak of cholera in the region. News reports said the measure was expected to send fish prices plummeting, affecting local communities and national revenues. Fish Exporters' Association sources expressed surprise over the move, saying none of the 2,000 fish samples tested randomly in Belgium last month contained the cholera virus, the 'EastAfrican' reported. KENYA: 'Rift Valley fever' death toll reaches 350 A haemorrhagic disease, suspected to be Rift Valley fever, claimed 21 more lives over the weekend in the northeast districts of Garissa and Wajir. According to the 'Daily Nation', more than 350 people have died in the outbreak since December. ANGOLA: Deadline agreed for end of peace process A new timetable has been agreed for the completion of the Angolan peace process by the end of February. The agreement followed a telephone conversation on Friday between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. The two men also discussed the conditions for their next face-to-face meeting, news agencies reported. Deputy Minister Without Portfolio Higino Carneiro told Angolan TV "there are good prospects" that outstanding items in the peace process will be implemented by the 28 February deadline. According to UNITA radio, Savimbi and dos Santos also discussed the need to expand the mandate of the UN's Angola mission "until the process of national reconciliation had become irreversible and peace had been consolidated." Employees of security firm expelled The Angolan government has ordered the expulsion of 72 employees of a subsidiary of the British security firm DSL, accusing them of unspecified "illegal activities," the country's

188

interior ministry said on Friday. The firm had won a short-term contract from 1990 to 1992 to set up a local subsidiary to protect the offices and diamond fields of the Angolan state diamond company ENDIAMA. The nationality of those being expelled was not given, AFP reported. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN mission makes no progress The UN human rights investigation team to the DRC has made no progress in restarting their mission. Spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN the team "is hoping to have consultations with the government soon" to discuss conditions for the resumption of field work. The mission was withdrawn from Mbandaka on 15 December on security grounds, "and more importantly threats to the independence of the investigation", Diaz said today. SUDAN: Sudanese Islamic leader to visit Egypt - newspaper AFP quoted a pro-government and pro-Islamic newspaper as saying Sudanese Islamic leader Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi would visit Egypt this Wednesday in another sign of improving ties between the two Arab-African neighbours. The 'Alwan' newspaper said the visit by Turabi, who is also speaker of Sudan's parliament, would coincide with a meeting of the Arab Parliamentary Union in the southern resort of Luxor. AFP said there was no official confirmation of the report. The meeting has been called to denounce terrorism after the 17 November massacre in Luxor of 58 holiday makers and four Egyptians by Islamic militants. The report came one day after Egypt said high-level ministerial talks would open in Cairo today on normalising relations between the two countries. Government says its forces repelled Eritrean attack Sudanese army troops and popular defence forces have repelled a surprise attack by Eritrean soldiers on a Sudanese border post, national media organisations reported on Friday. They quoted a local official as saying that the Sudanese forces "stood up courageously to a surprise assault by Eritrean troops" who suffered "heavy casualties". Khartoum, which accuses Eritrean forces of assisting the Sudanese opposition, has charged repeatedly in recent weeks that Eritrea was amassing troops along the border. Meanwhile, last week AFP quoted an official statement as saying six factions in south Sudan which made peace with the government last year had agreed to unify all troops under the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF). The statement from former rebel leader Riak Machar, now chairman of the South Sudan Coordination Council, came as press reports spoke of defections from the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to government ranks. Unification of the former factions' troops would leave two armed organisations - the army and the SSDF - in the south and would make it easier for officials "to bring lawbreakers to accountability," Machar said. Nairobi, 12 January 1998, 14:15 gmt

189

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 17:01:41 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 331 for 13 Jan 98.1.13 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 331 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 13 January 1998)

RWANDA: France denies authorising arms exports during genocide France yesterday (Monday) denied it had authorised arms exports to Rwanda which continued until end May 1994, over a month after the start of the genocide. A spokesman for the foreign ministry, Yves Doutriaux, said France stopped authorising arms exports before the UN imposed a weapons ban on 17 May 1994. He was reacting to a report in the daily 'Le Figaro' alleging the continuation of French arms sales to Rwanda after the start of the genocide. The paper quoted then-president Francois Mitterrand as telling close aides that "in such countries, genocide is not too important". It claimed that on 30 May 1994 "an aircraft transporting arms for the Rwandan armed forces worth US $942,680 landed in Zaire". In July, another plane carrying arms for the former Rwandan regime reportedly landed in Goma. At least 18 rebels killed by army Military sources said the Rwandan army killed 18 rebels in northwest Gisenyi prefecture over the weekend, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported. Spokesman Major Emmanuel Ndahiro said the rebels attacked Nyamyumba commune on Saturday and tried to torch the local administrative offices. The rebels were killed after the army intervened and extinguished the fire. Army operations were still continuing in the area, RNA reported. Rwandan radio said the attack involved "thousands" of rebels, 40 of whom were killed by the security forces. AFP quoted Rwandan officials as saying 35 civilians and at least 18 rebels had been killed since the beginning of the year.

190

Nine nuns reportedly killed by rebels RNA also said 18 people were killed in Gisenyi's Rwerere commune last Thursday at Busasamana on the Congolese border. The dead included nine nuns, six Rwandans and three Congolese who were attacked by militiamen armed with machetes and guns, according to local officials. Kagame spokesman says Gitarama violence not local Commenting on recent attacks in the central Gitarama prefecture, a spokesman for VicePresident Paul Kagame told IRIN these were not generated locally. Jean-Paul Kimonyo said the incidents were a spillover from the situation in Gisenyi. "There is support from some elements of the civilian population, but this is not always voluntary, it is often by force," he said. "What's important is to get the people of Rwanda to understand that the plans of the genocidal forces won't work." Kimonyo added it was too simplistic to see events purely as a Hutu-Tutsi conflict. "Most of the country is peaceful and this is the basis on which the situation should be assessed," he said. BURUNDI: Army kills 53 rebels The defence ministry said 53 rebels were killed during an "intensive military campaign" over the weekend in the hills surrounding Bujumbura. According to Burundi radio, two soldiers also lost their lives in the military operation conducted in Nyambuye commune. The rebels were said to have gathered there after launching a New Year's attack on Bujumbura airport, and subsequent raids in Rukaramu and Maramvya villages. The main Bujumbura to Bugarama road, closed for security reasons on Sunday, was reopened yesterday. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Ex-Zaire minister commits suicide An information minister and spokesman in the government of former Zairean president Mobutu Sese Seko has committed suicide in Kinshasa, according to BBC radio. Relatives of Boguo Makeli said he had suffered financial problems over the past few months. Makeli continued to live in Kinshasa after the rebel forces of Laurent-Desire Kabila overthrew the Mobutu government last May. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Transition period to take three years The national reconciliation forum underway in Brazzaville yesterday set a three-year transition period to restore democracy. However, participants agreed the timescale could be "flexible" depending on conditions at the time. The session also decided to recommend legal steps against "people implicated in genocide and other crimes against humanity", AFP reported. A resolution, issued by participants, however did not explicitly name ousted president Pascal Lissouba. The current leader Denis Sassou Nguesso has also called on militiamen loyal to Lissouba, who are hiding out in the southwest Niari region, to hand over their weapons. He guaranteed nothing would happen to them if they surrendered.

191

ANGOLA: Separatists accuse army of massacre Separatists in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda have accused the army of massacring 21 people in a church last Thursday, AFP reported. In a statement, the FAC faction of the Frente de Libertacao do Enclava de Cabinda (FLEC), said the incident occurred in the village of CaiKutene near the DRC border and was aimed at terrorising civilians in areas under separatist control. Government ministers meet Savimbi Territorial Administration Manager Faustino Muteka and his deputy General Higino Carneiro met UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi in Bailundo yesterday for talks on the peace process. They also discussed a proposed face-to-face meeting between Savimbi and President Eduardo dos Santos. Carneiro told Angolan television a UNITA delegation was due to arrive in Luanda on Friday, adding there had been some progress during the talks. KENYA: Floods continue to cause havoc Floods in Kenya, caused by incessant heavy rain, continue to create havoc in many parts of the country. The situation is further complicated by the outbreak of a disease, thought to be Rift Valley Fever, which has killed 350 people and tens of thousands of livestock in recent weeks. A major relief operation, based in the northeastern Kenyan town of Garissa, is underway for northern Kenya and Somalia. Some of the medical and food needs are being met by UN agencies and NGOs as well as the Kenyan government. WFP is operating about 35 flights a day in and out of Garissa, aiming to supply about 200 mt of food to 500,000 people per day in both countries. While the Kenya operation has had a good response from donors, WFP said funds were still required for the Somalia operation. TANZANIA: Political tension intensifies in Zanzibar Zanzibari President Salmin Amour claimed yesterday there was an external plot to destabilise the islands and resolving Zanzibar's problems would depend on the people's cooperation. Sixteen members of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party were arrested last month, accused of trying to overthrow the government. Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who visited Zanzibar recently, has warned that political tension there could plunge it into civil conflict. CUF disputes the outcome of 1995 elections - in which it campaigned for greater autonomy - saying the polls were rigged. Zanzibar united with mainland Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Nairobi, 13 January 1998, 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

192

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 17:24:36 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 333 for 15 Jan 98.1.15 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 333 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 15 January 1998) RWANDA: General Dallaire to testify at Rwanda tribunal The UN Secretary-General has waived the diplomatic immunity of Major-General Romeo Dallaire, paving the way for him to appear as a witness before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the UN's Central News service reported yesterday (Wednesday). Dallaire, the former Force Commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), has been summoned to appear as a witness for the defence in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Dallaire's immunity waiver is limited to the charges made against the accused. UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said the immunity was waived because the ICTR was a tribunal set up by the Security Council with which the UN was required to work. Akayesu, a former mayor in Rwanda's Taba commune, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Major arrested for negligence over Mudende attack A senior army officer has been charged with negligence over the Hutu rebel attack on the Mudende refugee camp last month which left more than 300 people dead. Army spokesman Major Emmanuel Ndahiro told Reuters the officer, with the rank of major, will face a court martial along with other troops involved in the incident. "The feeling (in the army leadership) is that this man failed to appreciate the seriousness of the situation at the time of attack," Ndahiro said. Prisoners released for "showing good will" A group of Hutu prisoners, who gave themselves up to the local authorities rather than accompany Hutu rebels who had freed them, have been released for "showing good will", AFP

193

quoted officials as saying on Wednesday. The 34 ex-inmates at Nyamyumba, in northwest Gisenyi prefecture, returned to the jail after a rebel raid at the weekend sprang some 30 other prisoners. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Conference gives Sassou Nguesso three-year term Congo-Brazzaville leader General Denis Sassou Nguesso secured overwhelming support yesterday from participants at a reconciliation forum to remain in power for three years until elections are held, AFP said. Winding up the conference on the country's transition to democracy, Sassou Nguesso said no-one should do anything to "put unity in peril" and asked "forgiveness in the name of a reconciled nation" from victims of the four-month civil war. Meeting for ten days in Brazzaville, the conference agreed on a political programme to be overseen by a 75-member national transitional council to be chaired by former minister of education, Justin Koumba. The forum, attended by 1,420 delegates from political parties, public institutions and professional groups and associations, also agreed to set up trials for alleged war criminals. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Mobutu generals rearrested after custody release According to Radio France Internationale, three former Zairean generals allegedly involved in a plot to kill DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila, were yesterday re-arrested by South African security agents immediately after they were released by a Pretoria court. The three men, Kpama Baramoto, Mudima Mavua and Ngbale Nzimbiwere, had been charged with entering the country illegally. They had been detained since December. Zimbabwean arms firm official arrested An official from Zimbabwe's state arms manufacturer was detained for a week in the DRC this month in a mix-up over sample uniforms, Harare's private 'Financial Gazette' reported today (Thursday). Zimbabwean Defence Minister Moven Mahachi confirmed the incident, Reuters said. Sources told the paper that customs officials in Lubumbashi thought army uniform samples the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) official was carrying were similar to those worn by anti-Kabila rebels. During the war to oust Mobutu, Zimbabwe supplied Kabila's forces with uniforms, the paper reported. ZDI says it has signed deals worth US $106 million with the DRC government. The two countries signed a bilateral trade agreement last October and a number of Zimbabwean companies have announced investment deals worth over US $29 million. Zambia/DRC sign cooperation agreements Zambia and DRC have signed a package of communication and transport agreements, Zambian state radio, monitored by the BBC, reported yesterday. At a meeting of the Zambia-DRC Joint Permanent Commission, the two countries agreed to set up the first direct bilateral telecommunication services and to tarmac their common roads. An agreement is also expected on the regulation of lake and river services. Other areas of cooperation include trade, the environment, education, sports, and culture.

194

Rains slow UNHCR repatriation programme Despite weather-related transport difficulties, UNHCR has repatriated 2,109 DRC refugees from Tanzania to Uvira in three operations since the beginning of the year. The state of the road has, however, prevented the ferrying of returnees to Baraka. BURUNDI: Army begins mopping-up operations in Bujumbura Rurale The Burundian army killed 72 Hutu rebels and lost four of its own men at the end of three days of fighting in Bujumbura Rurale, Agence Burundaise de Presse said yesterday. Army spokesman Lt-Col Nibizi Isaie added there had been no civilian deaths and villagers in the Nyambuye zone had been evacuated and would be resettled after mopping-up operations. SUDAN: Army claims rebels surrendering The Sudanese army claimed on Wednesday that 150 rebels had surrendered to government troops in East Equatoria province in the south of the country. Army spokesman General Abdul Rahman Sir al-Khatim said he expected more rebels to give up in the coming days, AFP reported. The announcement comes on top of persistent government reports of the surrender of large numbers of Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Bahr al-Ghazal region further north. The latest report said more than 10,000 civilians and armed men had flocked into Bahr al-Ghazal from rebel areas, with the government appealing for relief supplies to help the new arrivals. However, Wednesday's announcement was the first report of rebels defecting in Equatoria in the southernmost part of Sudan, AFP said. KENYA: IFRC calls for greater support to combat haemorrhagic disease outbreak According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, efforts to contain the outbreak of what is thought to be Rift Valley Fever in Kenya's flood-stricken Northeastern Province and southern Somalia are being hampered by limited logistical resources. IFRC warned in a statement today that the disease continues to spread, and it believes the region may be faced by a new and more virulent strain of the fever which has so far claimed more than 450 lives in the two countries. "We are focusing on prevention and control but without proper surveillance to follow up on disease reports from outlying areas we are hampered," the statement said. IFRC points out: "we are unsure precisely what we are dealing with ... We are seeing some strange phenomena and there may be something else out there." ACT launches flood appeal The NGO consortium Action for Churches Together (ACT) has launched a US $239,000 flood relief and rehabilitation appeal for Kenya. The appeal is based on an assessment mission that visited the northeastern Tana River area in late December. The planned response comprises an immediate intervention to provide emergency relief followed by a three-month rehabilitation programme to assist targeted families.

195

Nairobi, 15 January 1998 15:25 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

196

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 13:39:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 3-98 9-15 Jan 98.1.16 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 3-98 covering the period 9-15 Jan 1998

BURUNDI: Government says rebels creating confusion as violence continues As violence continued in Burundi, the government last Friday rejected charges by the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) that it was responsible for the New Year's massacre at Rukaramu. Speaking on Burundi radio, Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama accused the rebels of "attempting to create confusion". He said the rebels attacked innocent people with hoes, machetes and other traditional weapons and appealed to the international community "not to be abused by those killers who are trying to conceal the genocide they started in 1993". The opposition FRODEBU party condemned the Rukaramu killings, saying the government was unable to provide security for its citizens. The army conducted mopping-up operations in Bujumbura Rurale during the week, killing 72 Hutu rebels and losing four soldiers, the Agence burundaise de presse reported. Army spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi said there had been no civilian deaths. On Sunday, civilians died in a rebel attack at Rumonge in the southern Bururi province.

197

US envoy due to visit country US envoy Howard Wolpe was due to arrive in Bujumbura this week, for talks to try and move the peace process along. State Department spokesman James Foley, quoted by AFP, said Washington believed only a political settlement would bring about lasting peace in Burundi. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's ambassador to the OAU, who led a recent delegation to Burundi, was quoted by Burundi radio as saying "noteworthy progress" had been made towards peace talks. The radio added that he also called for the lifting of sanctions. President Pierre Buyoya on Monday reiterated he was ready to participate in the peace process but insisted it should be held in "neutral territory and with a neutral team". The government, he said, deserved to be consulted over the peace process, rather than being treated "simply as a faction". South Africa to investigate alleged arms sales to Burundi rebels The South African government said it would launch an investigation into the alleged supply of arms to rebels in Burundi, PANA news agency reported. It said the human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, claimed individuals in South Africa had been supplying arms and military assistance to the CNDD. According to the report, South Africa's railway organisation Spoornet admitted that arms were frequently transported in their trains to Tanzania for use by the rebels in Burundi. RWANDA: France denies authorising arms exports during genocide France on Monday denied it had authorised arms exports to Rwanda which continued until end May 1994, over a month after the start of the genocide. A spokesman for the foreign ministry, Yves Doutriaux, said France stopped authorising arms exports before the UN imposed a weapons ban on 17 May 1994. He was reacting to a report in the daily 'Le Figaro' alleging the continuation of French arms sales to Rwanda after the start of the genocide. The paper quoted then-president Francois Mitterrand as telling close aides that "in such countries, genocide is not too important". It claimed that on 30 May 1994 "an aircraft transporting arms for the Rwandan armed forces worth US $942,680 landed in Zaire". In July, another plane carrying arms for the former Rwandan regime reportedly landed in Goma. Army kills 24 rebels in Ruhengeri The Rwandan army killed 24 armed insurgents on Tuesday in northwestern Ruhengeri prefecture, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported. The army, tipped off by local residents, intercepted a "large group" of rebels and clashes ensued in the villages of Bisate in Kinigi Commune and Shingiro in neighbouring Mukingo Commune. "Operations to flush criminals out of Ruhengeri are continuing," army spokesman Major Emmanuel Ndahiro told RNA. Over the weekend, at least 18 rebels were killed in neighbouring Gisenyi prefecture and nine nuns were killed by insurgents last Thursday, local officials said. A 1,000-strong rebel force freed dozens of genocide suspects from a prison in Gisenyi's Nyamyumba commune at the weekend. Some of them returned voluntarily to the jail, and were freed by the authorities for "showing goodwill".

198

General Dallaire to testify at Rwanda tribunal The UN Secretary-General has waived the diplomatic immunity of Major-General Romeo Dallaire, paving the way for him to appear as a witness before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the UN's Central News service reported on Wednesday. Dallaire, the former Force Commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), has been summoned to appear as a witness for the defence in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Cholera deaths rise to 231 in Kisangani Cholera has killed 231 people in military training camps outside Kisangani and infected 1,235 people - 80 percent of them children - UNICEF reported on Wednesday. There have been 66 cases of dysentery which have claimed nine lives. Unhygienic conditions exacerbated by the rains have led to other illnesses including malaria and skin diseases. The majority of cases are from the Kapalata camp, located some six km from Kisangani. The camp was reportedly sheltering up to 4,000 children, mainly ex-Mai-Mai, who arrived from Goma and Bukavu under a re-education programme. Flooding threatens Kinshasa The governor of Kinshasa on Tuesday told residents to stay at home after torrential rain flooded some districts of the city. Heavy rain began early on Tuesday morning adding pressure to the already swollen waters of the Congo river which has burst its banks in several port cities up river from Kinshasa. Experts say the Congo River is the highest it has been for at least five years, Reuters reported. The town of Kalemie in the southeast has been cut off from the rest of the country since December when a bridge was swept away. Heavy flooding has also affected the town of Mbandaka around 600 km upstream from Kinshasa, after the Congo burst its banks there, state radio said. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Conference gives Sassou Nguesso three-year term Congo-Brazzaville leader General Denis Sassou Nguesso secured overwhelming support from participants at a reconciliation forum to remain in power for three years until elections are held, AFP said. Winding up the conference on the country's transition to democracy, Sassou Nguesso said no-one should do anything to "put unity in peril" and asked "forgiveness in the name of a reconciled nation" from victims of the four-month civil war. Meeting for ten days in Brazzaville, the conference agreed on a political programme to be overseen by a 75-member national transitional council to be chaired by former minister of education, Justin Koumba. The forum, attended by 1,420 delegates from political parties, public institutions and professional groups and associations, also agreed to set up trials for alleged war criminals. ANGOLA: Timetable agreed for accomplishment of peace agreement UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi was due to meet with President Eduardo dos Santos this week in a step towards bringing Angola's peace process to a close. According to a timetable agreed

199

by both sides on Tuesday, the reinstatement of government administration is to conclude on 27 January and the demobilisation of UNITA forces and the retirement of its senior generals by 28 January, UNITA radio reported. Highlights of the agreement include: UNITA free to operate throughout the country from 4 February; Savimbi's special status to be publicly announced 9 February; UNITA leadership scheduled to return to Luanda on 28 February. KENYA: IFRC calls for greater support to combat disease According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, efforts to contain the outbreak of what is thought to be Rift Valley Fever in Kenya's flood-stricken Northeastern Province and southern Somalia are being hampered by limited logistical resources. IFRC warned in a statement on Thursday that the disease continues to spread, and it believes the region may be faced by a new and more virulent strain of the fever which has so far claimed more than 450 lives in the two countries. "We are focusing on prevention and control but without proper surveillance to follow up on disease reports from outlying areas we are hampered," the statement said. IFRC points out: "we are unsure precisely what we are dealing with ... We are seeing some strange phenomena and there may be something else out there." Meanwhile, floods in Kenya, caused by incessant heavy rain, continued to create havoc in many parts of the country. A major relief operation, based in the northeastern Kenyan town of Garissa, is underway for northern Kenya and Somalia. TANZANIA: Political tension intensifies in Zanzibar Zanzibari President Salmin Amour claimed on Monday there was an external plot to destabilise the islands and said resolving Zanzibar's problems would depend on the people's cooperation. Sixteen members of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party were arrested last month, accused of trying to overthrow the government. Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who visited Zanzibar recently, has warned that political tension there could plunge it into civil conflict. CUF disputes the outcome of 1995 elections - in which it campaigned for greater autonomy - saying the polls were rigged. Zanzibar united with mainland Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Nairobi, 16 January 1998 [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

200

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 17:47:53 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 334 for 16 Jan 98.1.16 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 334 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 16 January 1998) RWANDA: UN says Rwanda on the verge of new wave of killings The UN has warned that Rwanda may be on the threshold of a new wave of violence after thousands of killings in recent months, particularly in the northwest of the country. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Rwanda Omar Bakhet, interviewed by the BBC, said "the situation is very precarious." The army chief of staff Colonel Kayumba Nyamwasa, stressed the army has the means and the will to crush the insurgency. "We will kill until they (Hutu militias) lose their appetite for war." Inter-agency mission to visit northwest An inter-agency assessment mission departs this weekend for Rwanda's troubled Ruhengeri and Gisenyi prefectures. The mission is expected to last for two weeks, humanitarian sources told IRIN. Participants are DHA, WFP, MSF, Concern and the UN Human Rights Field Office. Kagame to visit Brussels for talks with EU Rwandan Vice President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame is due to make an official visit to Brussels next week where he will meet EU officials and Belgian government leaders. The 21 January visit signals growing cooperation between the EU and Kigali, AFP said. The EU is Rwanda's biggest donor.

201

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: DHA calls for urgent action to assist recovery A DHA report on Congo-Brazzaville released this month warns that "the country appears delicately poised between what might be called a post-emergency and a pre-recovery phase. It is feared that unless action is taken to assist in the move towards a state of normality, the country could revert to a state of dire humanitarian need." According to an Oxfam census, close to 70 percent of residents who fled Brazzaville have returned. Sassou Nguesso rejects promotion Congo-Brazzaville leader General Denis Sassou Nguesso has declined an offer of promotion to the rank of marshal as a reward "for ending tyranny" in his country, Radio Congo reported yesterday (Thursday). The radio, monitored in Kinshasa by AFP, said the proposal was made during a national reconciliation conference which this week endorsed his political transition plan. BURUNDI: CNDD calls for political solution to civil war Burundi's main Hutu rebel group urged the country's Tutsi-led government yesterday to accept a peace plan but said international sanctions should remain to maintain pressure on Bujumbura. "A military victory does not interest us...we want a political solution and that's why we continue to say we're ready to negotiate," Jerome Ndiho, Belgium-based spokesman for the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) said at a news conference. He described regional sanctions as "necessary". "To say that the embargo hits the most impoverished, that's wrong, the embargo hits...the army, the government. The great majority are not hit by the embargo," he said. Gunmen kill two in bus ambush At least two civilians were killed in Burundi when gunmen opened fire on a bus just outside Bujumbura, Reuters reported. Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mamert Sinarinzi said the attack occurred last night at the Gatumba bridge. Meanwhile, US special envoy to the Great Lakes region Howard Wolpe was due in the Burundian capital for talks with political leaders today. KENYA: FAO calls for urgent response to Rift Valley fever FAO called yesterday for an urgent response to an epidemic of Rift Valley fever, one of the deadly diseases raging in flood-swept northeast Kenya and south Somalia, AFP reported from Rome. The UN agency said it had sent an expert to Nairobi who is to investigate the situation on the ground and help the local authorities try to eradicate the disease. Kenyan members of parliament from the affected region demanded urgent government action at a press conference on Wednesday.

202

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Government and mining companies sign agreement Kinshasa has signed a "pre-agreement" with international mining companies creating a consortium to revive production, AFP quoted official sources as saying yesterday. Present at the meeting were representatives from more than 20 mining companies. Repatriation to Baraka begins Some 800 DRC refugees were repatriated today (Friday) by boat from Kigoma to Baraka in eastern DRC. The operation marks the first direct refugee return to the town, and was facilitated by the building of a port at Baraka by UNHCR. Approximately 85 percent of the returnee caseload in Tanzania are from the difficult-to-reach Baraka and Fizi areas. ANGOLA: Ex-Mobutu soldiers arrested Border guards in northern Angola have rounded up 196 ex-soldiers of the defeated Zairean army, Angolan authorities announced today. The former soldiers had entered Malanje province which borders the DRC and were heading north when they were arrested in Uige province, AFP reported. Regional security committee warns against doing business with UNITA The Inter-State Defence and Security Committee of the Southern African Development Community has warned UNITA suppliers they risk "both their lives and property", Zambian radio said today. The ad hoc committee met in Zimbabwe to discuss cross-border criminal activities, a Zambian defence ministry communique said. SUDAN/EGYPT: Ministers meet to promote economic cooperation River traffic along the Nile between Egypt and Sudan is to resume from 30 January after a four-year interruption, AFP reported Sudanese External Trade Minister Osman al-Hadi Ibrahim as saying yesterday. The Sudanese minister, who arrived in Cairo Wednesday, held meetings with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmad Goweili on promoting economic cooperation. Goweili announced the formation of two joint committees, one including top officials of the two countries' trade ministries and the other grouping businessmen, to study investment projects. Kerubino appointed deputy chairman of SSCC Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday appointed Kerubino Kwanyin, the commander of pro-government militias in Bahr al-Ghazal state, as deputy chairman of the South Sudan Coordination Council, state radio said. Kwanyin, who founded the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), recently persuaded thousands of rebels in his state to defect from the SPLA and join government ranks.

203

Nairobi, 16 January 1998 14:45 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

204

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 17:10:25 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 335 for 17-19 Jan 98.1.19 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 335 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 17-19 January 1998) RWANDA: Interahamwe kill 35 in Gisenyi attack Interahamwe militia today (Monday) killed 35 people when they ambushed a bus carrying workers of the Rwanda Breweries Company in Gisenyi. The Rwanda News Agency said the attackers attempted to separate the employees along ethnic lines, but upon being discovered they opened fire indiscriminately and set the bus alight. Security forces were combing the area looking for possible survivors. Four soldiers get death sentence for killing commander Four Rwandan soldiers were sentenced to death on Friday after their appeals were overturned by a military court in Gitarama. They were charged with killing their commanding officer, Captain Theoneste Hategekimana, last year in the Gitarama-Kibuye region. The four were appealing life sentences handed down last November, but Friday's hearing ruled the sentences were insufficient punishment and issued the death penalty. Hategekimana was a member of the former Rwandan army, but was integrated into the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). Another soldier was publicly executed on Saturday in Ruhengeri to deter crime among the military, Rwandan radio reported. The soldier confessed to killing a veterinary surgeon in Kigombe commune in order to steal his motorbike, the radio said. Mental health service to be overhauled Rwanda is to overhaul its mental health service to help survivors of the 1994 genocide come to terms with the trauma, AFP reported. It quoted a health ministry official, Logan Ndahiro, as

205

saying many patients were suffering from psychosomatic conditions without being aware of the fact. Since 1995, the national traumology centre in Kigali has been training "social agents" to identify the most serious cases throughout the country and try and treat them. Private airline launched A private airline was launched in Rwanda last week aimed at easing air links for the landlocked country. Rwanda Airlines, owned by businessman Charles Ngarambe, signified an "unprecedented step" in breaking the country's isolation, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Ngarambe said the company had a BAC 78-seater jet which he would use to undercut other airlines operating in the region. BURUNDI: More rebel attacks north of Bujumbura Heavy weapons' fire rocked areas north of Bujumbura over the weekend. Burundi radio said rebels attacked the areas of Gasenyi, Gikungu and Gihosha on Sunday morning. Seven rebels were reported killed as the army repulsed the attack. Three soldiers and a civilian were injured, the radio added. Hundreds of people fled into the surrounding countryside. Local people said the attack had been expected "because so many offences had been committed in the area over the past few days". According to Burundian officials, the situation later returned to normal as the rebels retreated into the hills. Army spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi, speaking on Radio France Internationale, said the fighting followed a rebel attack on a military post at Gikongo. He described the incident as minor, lasting some 30 minutes. AFP said about 500 people had sought refuge in the Johnson and Le Gentil camps, five km north of Bujumbura. Government to attend peace talks Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama said the Burundi government would attend a forthcoming meeting in Arusha, Tanzania to discuss the peace process in his country. The delegation would ask for lifting the sanctions on Burundi, as well as discussing troubled relations with Tanzania. According to Rwandan radio, the meeting is due to be held this week. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira on Saturday met visiting US presidential envoy, Howard Wolpe. KENYA: Flood death, disease toll rises The death toll from torrential rain and floods reached at least 86 on Saturday, Kenyan television reported. Deputy Police Commissioner Geoffrey Mwathe said over 2,300 families in the northeastern Garissa area were displaced after the Tana river burst its banks. He also warned of a potential locust invasion, after large swarms were sighted on the KenyanEthiopian border. WHO, in a press release on Friday, said Rift Valley fever which was reported in Northeastern Province, had now appeared in other parts of the country and neighbouring Somalia. In Kenya, parts of Eastern, Rift Valley, Central and Coast provinces are affected, including some national parks. Some 300 people have died of the disease in Kenya

206

and WHO reports a similar number of deaths in Somalia. Malaria and cholera are not playing as great a role in the number of deaths as had been previously reported, but famine has been a significant cause of death. Chaos as part of Nairobi-Mombasa road washed away The main Nairobi-Mombasa road, a lifeline for regional transport, was impassable over the weekend as rains washed away a crucial bridge. According to Kenyan press reports, a 30 km jam built up on both sides of the bridge and hundreds of trucks bringing goods to and from Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda were bogged down in mud. By today, the highway was partially reopened after engineers repaired a section of the affected area. TANZANIA: Minister warns of famine threat Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Paul Kimiti on Friday warned of the potential threat of famine due to heavy rains which had increased the numbers of vermin and insects attacking food crops. He told a donor meeting in Dar es Salaam food availability would be greatly reduced. Armyworms, rodents and locusts were destroying thousands of hectares of land across the country, he said. In Singida area alone, some 24,000 hectares had been affected. Worst-hit areas included Singida, Dodoma, Tabora, Lindi, Mtwara, Mbeya, Tanga and Morogoro. UGANDA: 340 die from cholera The state-owned 'New Vision' said yesterday (Sunday) at least 340 people had died from cholera since the first cases were reported last month. Another 6,574 people were said to be suffering from the disease in some 21 of Uganda's 43 administrative districts. Rebels attack Kitgum refugee camp NGO sources reported a rebel attack on the Acholpii refugee camp in the northern Kitgum district on Friday. The dawn attack, by members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), occurred after two groups of rebels entered the area and began looting shops. Three refugees were wounded, one seriously. The same camp was attacked in July 1996 when 110 refugees were brutally killed. The sources point out that heightened rebel activity in the Kitgum district is seriously hampering humanitarian activities. UNHCR confirmed the latest attack on the camp which houses some 18,000 Sudanese refugees and described the incident as "unacceptable". Since late December, some 400 refugees from Rwanda and DRC, have arrived in Uganda's Kisoro district which borders the two countries. UNHCR said there were a total of 27,600 registered Rwandan and Congolese refugees in the area, plus a further 3,000 "unofficial" refugees whom it was assisting on a humanitarian basis.

207

Rebels regrouping in DRC On Friday, the 'New Vision' reported over 1,000 rebels from the West Nile Bank Front were regrouping with rebels from other countries in a national park in eastern DRC. It cited security sources who said officials in Kampala had urged the DRC authorities to investigate the massing of rebels at Garamba national park. SPLA deserters, ex-FAZ and ex-FAR members are said to be among the 5,000-strong group. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Tshisekedi rally barred Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi was prevented from holding a public meeting on Saturday after police blocked all access to the offices of his Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party. AFP said party members had been urged to rally in front of the building. On Friday, Minister of State for Internal Affairs Gaetan Kakudji warned that the ban on political parties remained in force and violators would be brought before a military court. Lumumba assassins to be pardoned President Laurent-Desire Kabila announced on Saturday he would pardon those responsible for the murder of Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first post-independence prime minister. However, they would first have to come foward and ask for forgiveness, he said in speech to mark the 37th anniversary of Lumumba's assassination. Ex-Zaire diamond miners forced home from Angola Over 9,000 diamond miners who left the former Zaire for work in Angola have fled home following attacks by the Angolan army and former rebel group UNITA. News reports quoted the prospectors as saying they had come under constant attack by both sides in the Angolan conflict. AFP said the ex-Zaire diamond miners - many of whom left in the 1970s and who marketed part of their produce in Kinshasa through networks established between UNITA and the Mobutu regime - had been caught up in a regional shift of alliances. SUDAN: Rebels report clash with government forces Sudanese rebels say their forces have clashed with government troops southeast of Kassala in eastern Sudan. According to opposition radio, the attack occurred on 10 January. Three people died and a military vehicle was destroyed. The opposition National Democratic Alliance stressed its capability to inflict a "crushing defeat" on the Khartoum regime, the radio said. Nairobi, 19 January 1998, 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

208

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 18:32:54 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 336 for 20 Jan 98.1.20 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 336 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 20 January 1998) BURUNDI: More fighting reported near Bujumbura Humanitarian sources told IRIN today (Tuesday) that at least one civilian was killed in a rebel attack on a military position near the capital Bujumbura on Sunday. AFP reported that three rebels were killed in the attack and three soldiers injured. On Monday, it said, fighting was reported at Tenga, 20 km northeast of the capital. No further details were immediately available. Meanwhile, UN sources say that on the night of Saturday 17 January and Sunday 18 January, sporadic shooting in Gihosha-Gikongo, an area adjacent to the Kamenge zone on the outskirts of Bujumbura, prompted the population of the quarter - estimated at 400 households by local authorities - to flee their homes. It would appear that some people attempted to return on Sunday, and it is feared that some of them may have been caught in further fierce exchanges of firing that broke out in the Gihosha/Kamenge area before dawn. CNDD say they will go to Arusha A representative of Burundi's rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) movement said today his organisation would be present - at least at the margins - of a seminar opening in Arusha, northern Tanzania tomorrow on "Conflict Resolution in Africa". Innocent Nimpagaritse, CNDD representative in East Africa, told a press conference in Nairobi his movement would take the opportunity to lobby regional and international organisations, but said there were currently no talks taking place between CNDD and the government of Major Pierre Buyoya and none planned. "We are waiting for them to come back to negotiate ... if they do not come back, we will continue to try and force them back," he said.

209

The conference, which is sponsored by the Nyerere Foundation, brings together representatives of the United Nations, regional governments, and numerous international institutions. AFP reported that the government in Bujumbura would take part in the conference despite its poor relations with Tanzania. It quoted officials as saying President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda would open the seminar and Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa would deliver the closing address. Tanzanian founding president Julius Nyerere, who is mediating in the Burundi conflict, will deliver a keynote speech at the conference. Diplomatic sources contacted by IRIN today said they were not aware of any particular development on the Burundi peace process which may emerge at the Arusha meeting, but one diplomat told IRIN there did appear to be an "opportunity" given the collection of attendees at the event. A Burundian diplomatic source said he hoped "some contacts may take place outside the main conference room" to move the Burundian talks forward. Arusha is still acceptable to Bujumbura as the venue for the first formal round of talks between the Burundian government and other political parties, he said. Addis Ababa has been proposed by Bujumbura as a future venue for negotiations, the source added. The recent fighting near Bujumbura "does not change anything", he said. UGANDA: Museveni to host regional economic summit Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is hosting a two-day 13-nation summit on Africa's economic future on Friday and Saturday this week. Jim Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, is expected in Kampala on Thursday. Countries invited are: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The meeting will address the following topics: Leader's own vision for Africa's future; Investing in infrastructure; Promoting regional integration and trade; Using existing and building new human and institutional capacity; Maintaining ODA flows; Conflict prevention management and resolution RWANDA: Two people killed in Gisenyi rebel ambush Two people were killed and six wounded in a rebel ambush yesterday on a taxi in Kanama commune, 15 km east of Gisenyi. A second ambush was foiled when soldiers arrived on the scene, local media sources told IRIN today. The attack, on the Gisenyi-Ruhengeri road, occurred on the same day that 35 employers of the Bralirwa beer company were killed when their vehicle was stopped by rebels in Nyamyumba commune. Rubavu, Kanama and Nyamyumba are the centre of rebel activity in the northwest, local analysts say. Kagame says insecurity limited to northwest Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame said in an interview published today in the Belgian daily 'Le Soir' that the situation in Gisenyi was "still problematic", AFP reported. He added: "We find ourselves between warfare and a sort of low-level conflict, but we must remember that these troubles are limited to the regions of the northwest and that the rest of the country is calm." Kagame began a four-day official visit to Brussels on Monday.

210

KENYA: FAO says Rift Valley Fever an international disaster FAO has categorised the outbreak of the haemorrhagic disease Rift Valley Fever as an international disaster, according to the BBC. The UN agency fears that infected mosquitos and animals may spread the disease across national borders. It is already estimated to have killed more than 400 people in flood-swept northeastern Kenya and southern Somalia. Cases of a less virulent form of the disease have been reported this week in Rift Valley province, a humanitarian source told IRIN today. An MSF-Belgium spokeswoman said she was concerned by "the outbreak of the disease in areas not affected by floods." Locust invasion feared According to Kenyan police reports, locust swarms are believed to be massing along the northern border with Ethiopia, the 'Daily Nation' said today. The paper added that conditions are "fertile" for a locust invasion. Meanwhile, the country-wide death toll in flood-related incidents has risen to 94, KBC radio reported yesterday. ANGOLA: UNITA wants security arrangements revised A UNITA delegation called today for a revision of security arrangements for the planned meeting between their party leader Jonas Savimbi and President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The UNITA delegation, in Luanda to prepare for the talks, rejected the provision of two bodyguards to each UNITA official, AFP reported. Police discover UNITA arms caches Angolan police have discovered arms and ammunition caches linked to UNITA at Milunga in the northern Uije province, press reports said Monday. Among the weapons seized were RPG-7 rocket-launchers and mortars. UNITA recently handed Milunga back to government forces in line with the 1994 peace accord. TANZANIA: Washington writes off US $15 million debt The United States has written off US $15.1 million of the US $20.13 million Tanzania owes to its Export-Import (EXIM) Bank. The US Information Service said in a statement on Monday that the United States also agreed to reschedule the remaining debt and arrears at low interest rates under an agreement signed between the two governments. "Further substantial reduction of Tanzania's debt will be determined by the country's full implementation of all external debt agreements signed with other foreign creditors," the statement added. Cholera kills 57 in Mwanza Fifty-seven people out of 651 infected with cholera have died since the beginning of January in Mwanza province. According to the provincial authorities, regular health checks are to be

211

instituted in schools and the sale of food banned in their vicinity. Eateries and hotels are to be inspected daily, Tanzanian radio said yesterday. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: EU ready to support reconstruction programme The EU is ready to renew cooperation with Brazzaville on infrastructural projects, following last week's national conference which agreed a political transition programme. According to AFP, EU representative Frederik Baron said yesterday Brussels's support would commence once security was reestablished and the government presented a programme for national reconstruction. An EU mission is currently in Brazzaville to evaluate the work of humanitarian organisations and their funding needs. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Rains threaten Bukavu-Uvira road Torrential rain has caused landslides on the Bukavu-Uvira road and there are fears that continued storms could block the route, humanitarian sources report. Prices have already doubled in Uvira due to the difficulty in transporting goods along the traditional Dar es Salaam-Kigoma-Uvira supply line. Importers are now exploring the Mombasa-Uganda-Goma link. Meanwhile, the railway bridge from Kalemie to Kindu has collapsed which has forced UNICEF to find an alternative route to ferry supplies. TANZANIA/GREAT LAKES: Refugee figures update According to UN sources, the total assisted refugee population in Tanzania stood at 346,703 as of 31 December, 1997. The following is a breakdown by location and country of origin. Lugufu Camp in Kigoma Congolese, 30,522; Nyaragusu camp in Kasulu District Kigoma Region, Congolese 44,341; Mtabila 1&2 in Kasulu District, Kigoma Region, Burundians 53,985; Muyovosi camp in Kasuluy District, Kigoma Region, Burundians 28,037; Mtendeli camp in Kibondo District, Kigoma Region, Burundians 29,897; Kanembwa camp in Kibondo District Kigoma Region, Burundians 16,081; Nduta camp in Kibondo District, Kigoma Region, Burundians, 31,150; Mkugwa camp in Kibondo District, Kigoma Region, Mixed marriages 1,286. Lukole camp in Ngara District Kagera region, Burundians, 107,348; Mwisa camp in Karagwe District Kagera Region, Rwandese 52; Mkuyu camp in Handeni District, Tanga Region, Somalis 3,000; Kigwa camp in Tabora Rural District, Tabora Region, 1,004. NOTICE: IRIN's fortnightly information exchange meetings will resume tomorrow (Wednesday, 21 January) at 9.00 a.m. at IRIN's offices in Gigiri. Nairobi, 20 January 1998, 15:00 gmt

212

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 17:19:16 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 337 for 21 Jan 98.1.21 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 337 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 21 January 1998) RWANDA: Demonstrators in Gisenyi protest rebel attacks Demonstrators marched in the northwestern town of Gisenyi today (Wednesday) to protest against Hutu rebel attacks and to bury the remaining victims of Monday's bus ambush which killed 35 people. The unreclaimed bodies had been burnt beyond recognition. Humanitarian sources in Gisenyi told IRIN today that the situation in the town was "calm, but the population is still in shock." They however said a woman had been stoned to death by a mob earlier this week after she was heard to say "something insensitive" about the bus killings. Kagame calls for EU aid Rwandan Vice President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame yesterday (Tuesday) called for EU aid to Kigali, AFP reported. "We are told we must resolve our problems before we can get aid, but we need this aid to resolve them," he told the European Parliament's development and cooperation committee. "The best way to help us is by refusing to get involved in our problems but getting involved in our solutions," he said. Kagame added that he agreed with the EU on the need to establish democracy and respect for human rights in Rwanda and stressed that "economic aid will contribute" to this. Pretoria wants international community to help end killings The South African government yesterday called on the international community to help bring the escalating violence in Rwanda to an end. A foreign ministry statement condemned recent rebel attacks. It also urged "national reconciliation and the construction of a functioning democratic system in Rwanda," the South African news agency reported.

213

WFP introduces food barges for Kibuye WFP is using food barges to help supply 15,000 refugees in Kibuye in western Rwanda, thereby avoiding dangerous cross-country routes. Since last December, 817 tonnes of food has been moved by road from Uganda into the Democratic Republic of Congo and then floated across Lake Kivu to Kibuye, AFP reported. TANZANIA: Museveni reiterates call to execute genocide perpetrators Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has again called for those guilty of genocide in Rwanda to be put to death. Addressing the opening session of an international seminar on conflict resolution in Arusha today, he said: "The crime was capital, the punishment must be. Either the international community or the Rwandan government must do it ... or the families (of the victims) will do it." Museveni also called for even-handed and early intervention in potential crises, but said such action had to be "consistent and not ad-hoc". "You cannot do something about one dictator and nothing about another," he said. Senior regional diplomats attending the meeting told IRIN that while both the Burundi government and rebel representatives were present, direct talks were not expected. "We are expecting the usual lobbying," one diplomat said. 17 Zanzibar opposition leaders on hunger strike Seventeen members of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) facing treason charges have gone on hunger strike. According to AFP, the state-owned 'Daily News' said the opposition politicians declared their hunger strike on Monday when they appeared in a magistrate's court on the island of Zanzibar. The magistrate adjourned their case for a fourth time, until 3 February. The 17, charged with having conspired in November to overthrow the government of Zanzibar President Salmin Amour, said their hunger strike was to protest against "delaying tactics" over the handling of their case. BURUNDI: Mopping-up operations around Bujumbura A military spokesman said yesterday the security situation in the hills surrounding Bujumbura had improved and the security forces were conducting mopping-up operations there. Colonel Isaie Nibizi told the Agence burundaise de presse (ABP) only "small, scattered groups" of rebels remained there after they launched attacks just north of the city over the weekend. He said the insurgents were now trying to reach the Kibira national park in northeast Burundi. Nibizi added no civilians had died in the recent clashes, and residents who had fled to the Bujumbura suburbs were being protected by the security forces. In further violence, 33 people died in a rebel attack on the southern town of Rumonge on Monday. Military sources said 20 of the victims were rebels, the rest being civilians and one soldier.

214

KENYA: Flood situation easing in Garissa area Humanitarian sources told IRIN the flood situation in Garissa town itself was easing. Floodwaters in the area have receded as there has been no rain for about a week. Floodwater is still affecting some of the Daadab refugee camps, particularly Ifo, but UN workers there say there is no problem in delivering food to the refugees. One of the major problems caused by the recent flooding is that displaced people are coming to the camps in search of humanitarian assistance. Aid workers say it is difficult to screen them for genuine refugees. The main Thika to Garissa road is still cut off by floodwater and it is feared the current dry spell is only a lull. More heavy rain means the situation can change overnight. Warning of more disruption to come Kenya's National Disaster Coordinating Committee (NDCC), meeting yesterday under the chairmanship of President Daniel arap Moi, warned of more disruption to economic activities in the country, Kenyan television reported. Forecasts estimated the current adverse weather pattern could continue until the middle of the year, and therefore the government set up a 24hour operational centre within the Office of the President to strengthen the NDCC. The government estimated that some 300,000 Kenyans were in dire need of food, medicine, shelter and repairs to infrastructure. Poor 'long rains' forecast According to the Nairobi-based regional Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC), the "long rains" expected in March-May are likely to be poor in eastern Kenya and Somalia. A DMC official told IRIN today that western Kenya and parts of Uganda should, however, receive "near normal" rainfall. He stressed the forecast is based on El Nino conditions, and if warming of the Indian Ocean continues, it will "tend to moderate the El Nino impact." Currently, Kenya has received more rain in January than the entire January-March average. ANGOLA: UN says peace process advancing Talks are underway today between the government and a UNITA delegation to decide on operational details of the planned 400-strong security detail for UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. A spokeswoman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Angola (MONUA) told IRIN that although today's deadline for a decision may not be met, "in general we can say the peace process is advancing on major issues." The final demobilisation of UNITA troops is slated for 28 January, but delays have been encountered over logistical problems like the lack of forms. Some 7,800 UNITA "residual" forces have been registered, awaiting demobilisation. Eightyeight localities remain to be handed over to government administration by the end of the month, the spokeswoman said. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Opposition activist arrested Opposition leader Joseph Olenghankoy was arrested in Kinshasa yesterday, according to members of his Forces novatrices pour l'union et la solidarite (FONUS). News reports said he

215

was arrested after soldiers raided the party headquarters. The DRC authorities have made no comment on the incident. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Judge examines Lissouba's case against Elf A French judge began work Tuesday on a civil law suit brought against the French oil group Elf by Congo's ousted president Pascal Lissouba, who accuses the company of engineering his downfall. According to AFP, court sources said the judge will rule on the refusal of prosecutors to pick up Lissouba's original case, lodged 20 December, which accused Elf of "involvement in willful destruction by organised gangs, terrorist acts, involvement in wilful murder, involvement in murder and assassinations, associating with criminals." Nairobi, 21 January 1998 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

216

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 17:53:24 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 338 for 22 Jan 98.1.22 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 338 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 22 January 1998)

BURUNDI: 32 killed in northwest More clashes have been reported in Burundi as rebels killed 32 civilians in the northwest on Monday night. According to army spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi, quoted by AFP, the attack occurred at the village of Gitukura, some 100 km northwest of Bujumbura. He said the rebels emerged from the Kibira forest and "massacred the innocent civilians" after accusing them of collaborating with the security forces. Nibizi blamed the attack on the rebel Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU) and Rwandan Interahamwe militia. Government still committed to negotiations President Pierre Buyoya said yesterday (Wednesday), the rebels were too weak to take Bujumbura but his government was still committed to negotiations with them, Reuters reported. He told journalists there was "strong collaboration" between rebels from Burundi and Rwanda in the recent fighting around Bujumbura. Buyoya claimed Hutu rebels were killing Hutu civilians because the latter refused to cooperate with the insurgency. Innocent Nimpagaritse, Nairobi representative of the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), told a news conference on Tuesday there was no other solution but to continue fighting the Burundi authorities. "Our forces are still around the town (Bujumbura) and we will stay there because the CNDD has asked the putschist government to come to the negotiating table, but they have refused," he said. RWANDA: Tens of thousands demonstrate against "genocide" in Gisenyi Some 10,000 people took to the streets of Gisenyi yesterday (Wednesday) to protest against ongoing violence in the region, the Rwanda News Agency reported. It said they had come

217

from all over the country to bury the victims of Monday's rebel attack on a Rwandan Brewery bus in which at least 35 people were killed. "We condemn the ongoing genocide," read one of the banners. "Collaborators of terrorists should be arrested and punished," said another. RNA said the demonstrators were preceded by a convoy of 15 coffins carrying some of the victims. Life in Gisenyi came to a complete standstill with schools, public offices and businesses closed for the day. Rwanda's application to East African Cooperation accepted Rwanda has been cleared to join the East African Cooperation, Uganda's 'New Vision' reported yesterday. Following the go-ahead by a joint ministerial committee, Rwanda's application only awaits approval of the three heads of state, Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Eriya Kategaya said. State carrier renamed, partially privately-owned The national state carrier, Air Rwanda, has been renamed and will be owned by public and private shareholders both in Rwanda and abroad, according to Radio Rwanda. Alliance Air Rwanda will be 51 percent owned by the Rwandan state, with the rest controlled by South African Airways and Alliance Air, a company jointly owned by Uganda and Tanzania. An official of the new company said the aim was to improve regional cooperation and create a "strong and stable institution that would permit long-term planning". Last week a private airline, Rwanda Airlines, was launched. Its owner, businessman Charles Ngarambe, said it signified an "unprecedented step" in breaking the country's isolation. SUDAN: More rebel defections reported Some 1,600 Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels have defected to government ranks in East Equatoria province, the southern state's governor claimed yesterday. Abdallah Kafelo said the defections are "as a result of the peace agreement (of last April) which has met all demands of the southerners," AFP quoted the official SUNA news agency as reporting. The government has issued a string of reports in recent months of the surrender of large numbers of SPLA rebels. An SPLA source in Nairobi told IRIN today (Thursday) that "defections in war time are a normal phenomenon." He however disputed the "proportions the government claims" and said Khartoum was "trying to make propaganda". He reiterated the SPLA's rejection of the April agreement - accepted last year by six southern rebel groups - as "a surrender". Nairobi, 22 January 1998, 14:45 gmt [ENDS]

218

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 11:32:30 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 4-98 16-22 Jan 98.1.23 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 4-98 covering the period 16-22 Jan 1998 RWANDA: Interahamwe kill 35 in Gisenyi attack Interahamwe militia on Monday killed at least 35 people when they ambushed a bus carrying workers of the Rwanda Breweries Company in Gisenyi. The Rwanda News Agency said the attackers attempted to separate the employees along ethnic lines, but upon being discovered they opened fire indiscriminately and set the bus alight. Thousands protest against killings Some 10,000 people took to the streets of Gisenyi on Wednesday to protest against ongoing violence in the region, the Rwanda News Agency reported. It said they had come from all over the country to bury the victims of Monday's rebel attack. "We condemn the ongoing genocide," read one of the banners. "Collaborators of terrorists should be arrested and punished," said another. RNA said the demonstrators were preceded by a convoy of 15 coffins carrying some of the victims. Life in Gisenyi came to a complete standstill with schools, public offices and businesses closed for the day.

219

The UN meanwhile warned Rwanda may be on the verge of a new wave of violence after an upsurge of killings in the northwest. Omar Bakhet, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Kigali, interviewed by the BBC, described the situation as "very precarious". Kagame calls for EU aid Rwandan Vice President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame, on a visit to Belgium, called for EU aid to Kigali, AFP reported. "We are told we must resolve our problems before we can get aid, but we need this aid to resolve them," he told the European Parliament's development and cooperation committee on Tuesday. "The best way to help us is by refusing to get involved in our problems but getting involved in our solutions," he said. BURUNDI: More rebel attacks north of Bujumbura Heavy weapons' fire rocked areas north of Bujumbura over the weekend. Burundi radio said rebels attacked the areas of Gasenyi, Gikungu and Gihosha on Sunday morning. Seven rebels were reported killed as the army repulsed the attack. Three soldiers and a civilian were injured, the radio added. Hundreds of people fled into the surrounding countryside. Local people said the attack had been expected "because so many offences had been committed in the area over the past few days". Humanitarian sources said one civilian was killed, but according to the authorities no civilian lives were lost. Army spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi, speaking on Radio France Internationale, said the fighting followed a rebel attack on a military post at Gikongo. He described the incident as minor, lasting some 30 minutes. AFP said about 500 people had sought refuge in the Johnson and Le Gentil camps, five km north of Bujumbura. Over 60 die in upcountry violence In further violence, at least 33 people died in a rebel attack on the southern town of Rumonge on Monday. Twenty of the victims were rebels, the rest being civilians and one soldier, military sources said. On the same day, 32 civilians were killed by rebels in the northwest village of Gitukura, some 100 km northwest of Bujumbura. Military spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi blamed the killings on the rebel Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU). Buyoya pledges continued commitment to dialogue On Wednesday, President Pierre Buyoya told journalists the rebels were too weak to take Bujumbura but his government was still committed to negotiations, Reuters reported. Nairobi representative of the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), Innocent Nimpagaritse, however said there was no other solution but to continue fighting. Meanwhile, both sides in the Burundi conflict were represented at an international seminar on conflict resolution in the Tanzanian town of Arusha which opened on Wednesday. Direct talks were not expected, senior diplomats told IRIN.

220

KENYA: FAO says Rift Valley Fever an international disaster FAO categorised the outbreak of the haemorrhagic disease Rift Valley Fever as an international disaster, according to the BBC. The UN agency feared that infected mosquitos and animals may spread the disease across national borders. It is already estimated to have killed more than 400 people in flood-swept northeastern Kenya and southern Somalia. Humanitarian sources told IRIN the flood situation in Garissa town itself was easing. Floodwaters in the area have receded as there has been no rain for about a week. Floodwater is still affecting some of the Daadab refugee camps, particularly Ifo. One of the major problems caused by the recent flooding is that displaced people are coming to the camps in search of humanitarian assistance. Aid workers say it is difficult to screen them for genuine refugees. The main Thika to Garissa road is still cut off by floodwater and it is feared the current dry spell is only a lull. More heavy rain means the situation can change overnight. Chaos as part of Nairobi-Mombasa road washed away The main Nairobi-Mombasa road, a lifeline for regional transport, was impassable over the weekend as rains washed away a crucial bridge. According to Kenyan press reports, a 30 km jam built up on both sides of the bridge and hundreds of trucks bringing goods to and from Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda were bogged down in mud. By Monday, the highway was partially reopened after engineers repaired a section of the affected area. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Rains threaten Bukavu-Uvira road Torrential rain caused landslides on the Bukavu-Uvira road and there were fears that continued storms could block the route, humanitarian sources reported. Prices have already doubled in Uvira due to the difficulty in transporting goods along the traditional Dar es Salaam-KigomaUvira supply line. Importers are now exploring the Mombasa-Uganda-Goma link. Meanwhile, the railway bridge from Kalemie to Kindu collapsed, forcing UNICEF to find an alternative route to ferry supplies. Repatriation to Baraka begins Some 800 DRC refugees were repatriated by boat from Kigoma to Baraka in eastern DRC last Friday. The operation marked the first direct refugee return to the town, and was facilitated by the building of a port at Baraka by UNHCR. Approximately 85 percent of the returnee caseload in Tanzania are from the difficult-to-reach Baraka and Fizi areas. Tshisekedi rally barred Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi was prevented from holding a public meeting on Saturday after police blocked access to the offices of his Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party. AFP said party members had been urged to rally in front of the building. On Friday, Minister of State for Internal Affairs Gaetan Kakudji warned that the ban on political parties remained in force and violators would be brought before a military court.

221

UGANDA: Museveni to host regional economic summit Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was to host a two-day 13-nation summit on Africa's economic future this Friday and Saturday. Jim Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, was due in Kampala on Thursday. Countries invited were: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Eritrea and Ethiopia. 340 die from cholera The state-owned 'New Vision' said on Sunday at least 340 people had died from cholera since the first cases were reported last month. Another 6,574 people were said to be suffering from the disease in some 21 of Uganda's 43 administrative districts. Rebels attack Kitgum refugee camp NGO sources reported a rebel attack on the Acholpii refugee camp in the northern Kitgum district last Friday. The dawn attack, by members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), occurred after two groups of rebels entered the area and began looting shops. Three refugees were wounded, one seriously. The same camp was attacked in July 1996 when 110 refugees were brutally killed. The sources point out that heightened rebel activity in the Kitgum district is seriously hampering humanitarian activities. UNHCR confirmed the latest attack on the camp which houses some 18,000 Sudanese refugees and described the incident as "unacceptable". Since late December, some 400 refugees from Rwanda and DRC, have arrived in Uganda's Kisoro district which borders the two countries. UNHCR said there were a total of 27,600 registered Rwandan and Congolese refugees in the area, plus a further 3,000 "unofficial" refugees whom it was assisting on a humanitarian basis. TANZANIA: Minister warns of famine threat Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Paul Kimiti on Friday warned of the potential threat of famine due to heavy rains which had increased the numbers of vermin and insects attacking food crops. He told a donor meeting in Dar es Salaam food availability would be greatly reduced. Armyworms, rodents and locusts were destroying thousands of hectares of land across the country, he said. In Singida area alone, some 24,000 hectares had been affected. Worst-hit areas included Singida, Dodoma, Tabora, Lindi, Mtwara, Mbeya, Tanga and Morogoro. ANGOLA: UN says peace process advancing Talks began on Wednesday between the government and a UNITA delegation to decide on operational details of the planned 400-strong security force for UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. A spokeswoman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Angola (MONUA) told IRIN that

222

although Wednesday's deadline for a decision may not be met, "in general we can say the peace process is advancing on major issues." The final demobilisation of UNITA troops is slated for 28 January, but delays have been encountered over logistical problems like the lack of forms. Some 7,800 UNITA "residual" forces have been registered, awaiting demobilisation. Eighty-eight localities remain to be handed over to government administration by the end of the month, the spokeswoman said. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: DHA calls for urgent action to assist recovery A DHA report on Congo-Brazzaville released this month warns that "the country appears delicately poised between what might be called a post-emergency and a pre-recovery phase. It is feared that unless action is taken to assist in the move towards a state of normality, the country could revert to a state of dire humanitarian need." According to an Oxfam census, close to 70 percent of residents who fled Brazzaville have returned. SUDAN: More rebel defections reported Some 1,600 Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels have defected to government ranks in East Equatoria province, the southern state's governor claimed on Wednesday. Abdallah Kafelo said the defections are "as a result of the peace agreement (of last April) which has met all demands of the southerners," the official SUNA news agency reported, according to AFP. The government has issued a string of reports in recent months of the surrender of large numbers of SPLA rebels. An SPLA source in Nairobi told IRIN on Thursday that "defections in war time are a normal phenomenon." He however disputed the "proportions the government claims" and said Khartoum was "trying to make propaganda". Nairobi, 23 January 1998 [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

223

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 16:44:12 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 339 for 23 Jan 98.1.23 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 339 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 23 January 1998) ANGOLA: Pretoria condemns UNITA sanctions busting Pretoria yesterday condemned South African "opportunists" violating UN sanctions against UNITA, news agencies reported. A foreign ministry statement said those flouting the embargo "will have to face the consequence of their actions". The warning follows the forcing down by the Angolan Air Force on Tuesday of a private South African cargo plane flying materials to UNITA. According to the Angolan military, the DC-4 with eight people on board, was carrying supplies as well as diamond mining equipment to UNITA's Bailundo headquarters. The military command warned that aircraft breaking UN sanctions would face "drastic" interception measures. A source at the Johannesburg-based Institute for Security Studies told IRIN today (Friday) that "it has been known for some time" that South African business people were supplying UNITA. Among the goods ferried are ration packs and small arms, "flown out from smaller airfields in South Africa and Zambia." A spokeswoman for the UN Angolan peacekeeping mission (MONUA) told IRIN that it forwards all its reports of breaches of the embargo to the New York-based sanctions committee. She could not immediately comment on how many cases MONUA had recorded. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Troops riot over no pay in Matadi, Boma Soldiers rioted in two DRC port towns yesterday (Thursday) after senior officers allegedly embezzled their pay, Reuters quoted security sources as saying. Military police reinforcements were flown to the main Atlantic port of Matadi and Boma further west and brought the situation under control. Soldiers began shooting in the air on Wednesday evening in Matadi, 350 km west of Kinshasa, and looted businesses. The protests spread to Boma. Several officers are believed to have been arrested.

224

Diamond prospectors flee Angola Meningitis has broken out among DRC diamond miners returning home from Angola. Health Minister Jean-Baptiste Sondji told Reuters yesterday that at least 15 of the returnees had died. He said a medical team would be sent to vaccinate 70,000 people in the area around the diamond trading centre of Tembo, 400 km from Kinshasa, to contain the epidemic. He said several thousand miners had returned to the DRC after UNITA transferred control of the mines in Cuando Valley earlier this month to the government. Sondji said the miners were fleeing a government offensive to capture the diamond-rich Lunda province from UNITA. Aid workers however said the refugees had been expelled by UNITA. They made no mention of fighting, Reuters said. A MONUA spokeswoman also told IRIN there had been no clashes. She said the miners were economic migrants and had lost their jobs when the government took control of the mines. DRC state television said the returnees "lost everything on their way back home - money, diamonds and other belongings have been taken away. UNITA rebels are extorting money from them." BURUNDI: Kenya says sanctions may be reconsidered Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister Bonaya Godana said yesterday that Nairobi may reconsider sanctions against Burundi, state radio monitored by the BBC reported. Godana said sanctions were hurting Burundian citizens and were being abused. A delegation of the chambers of commerce of Comesa, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa countries, recently called for an end to the regional embargo after visiting Bujumbura. Foreign Minister urges end to sanctions Burundi Foreign Affairs Minister Luc Rukingama also called yesterday for an end to sanctions, which he described as "counter-productive." Speaking in Arusha at a three-day international workshop on resolving conflicts in Africa, Rukingama called for the lifting of the sanctions imposed after the military coup of 1996, AFP reported. However, Jean Minani, the exiled leader of the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) which was ousted from power by the coup, used the conference to call for strengthening the sanctions against Buyoya's "putschist regime." The Tanzania-based Minani said the situation in Burundi was "explosive" and called for the deployment of a peacekeeping force in the country. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Militia open fire in capital, soldiers intervene Militia fighters seeking integration into the army opened fire today outside a military base in Brazzaville, state-run radio said. It did not identify the militia force. Troops loyal to President Denis Sassou Nguesso rushed to the base in the Bacongo district of the capital, the radio said. Nairobi, 23 January 1998, 13:45 gmt

225

[ENDS]

226

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 17:51:43 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 340 for 24-26 Jan 98.1.26 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 340 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 24-26 January 1998)

RWANDA: 12 killed in weekend violence More violence in northwest Rwanda over the weekend claimed 12 lives, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Major Augustin Gashayija told the agency clashes broke out after 300-400 rebels launched an attack on Kinigi commune in Ruhengeri prefecture on Saturday morning. Two rebels, two soldiers and eight civilians were killed. The militiamen were reportedly armed with guns, grenades and traditional weapons. Gashayija indicated that the casualty toll among the rebels could be much higher. Ngeze attempts suicide Genocide suspect, Hassan Ngeze, standing trial in Arusha, tried to commit suicide on Saturday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) announced today. Ngeze, a former editor of the extremist Hutu publication 'Kangura', is being held at the ICTR's detention facilities and was found lying unconscious on the bed in his cell during a routine patrol. After urgent medical treatment, he regained consciousness and is reported to be in a stable condition. He admitted to swallowing a mixture of chemical agents, including detergent given to detainees to clean their own quarters. The Tribunal has taken immediate steps to further strengthen precautionary measures in the cells. Kagame suggests ways to curb prison overcrowding Vice-President Paul Kagame has proposed measures to solve the problem of overcrowding in Rwanda's jails. Addressing the Rwandan community in Brussels last week, he noted the

227

government was spending US $20 million per year to accommodate over 100,000 genocide suspects in the prisons. "We cannot continue to shoulder this burden and organisations assisting us are getting weary," he said. Kagame suggested putting on trial and executing the "masterminds". Second category criminals should be sentenced to "public work" and other criminals should be handed to "traditional courts" which would deal with the cases. Kagame added that these proposals would be submitted to a referendum, but did not say when it would be held. Elsewhere during the visit, Kagame acknowledged there was collaboration between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in tackling rebel insurgencies on the border between the two countries. He said the collaboration was working well, although "there is still a bit of a problem on the other side". DRC refugees evacuated from Gisenyi UNHCR last Thursday evacuated 164 Congolese Tutsi refugees by air from Gisenyi to Kigali because of continuing insecurity in the region. Many of them had been in Gisenyi hospital, recuperating from wounds sustained in the December rebel attack on Mudende refugee camp. The refugees were then trucked on to the Gihembe camp in Bymuba, northeast Rwanda. Dam under construction to save lake The Rwandan government is constructing a dam on Lake Muhazi in the east of the country to prevent it from drying up and causing environmental damage, RNA reported. Experts estimate that since 1970, the water level has been rapidly decreasing because the lake, which covers some 38,000 sq km, was being used to irrigate rice and sugar projects on the outskirts of Kigali. The dam project is being carried out with help from China at a cost of some US $330,000. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Repatriation of Rwandans suspended UNHCR has suspended its repatriation of Rwandans from Congo because it has received no requests for voluntary return, according to a spokeswoman quoted by AFP. There are an estimated 15,000 Rwandans in northern and central Congo. An EU official in charge of humanitarian aid told AFP: "The refugees do not want to go back to their country. They want the Congolese authorities to allow them to farm (in Congo)." BURUNDI: Regional meeting slated for Kampala Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama has announced that a regional foreign ministers' meeting on Burundi will be held in Kampala next month, according to Tanzanian radio. Speaking in Arusha where he attended an international seminar on conflict resolution, Rukingama said mediator Julius Nyerere would also take part in the Kampala meeting. Meanwhile, internal talks between different sides in the Burundi conflict are due to commence in Gitega on Wednesday. US special envoy Howard Wolpe is expected to attend the meeting between the government, opposition parties and special interest groups. A senior Burundi official, quoted

228

by the 'EastAfrican' weekly today (Monday) said: "(President) Buyoya seems determined to capitalise on the embarrassment caused to Dar es Salaam by revelations by Human Rights Watch that Tanzania has been supplying South African arms to rebel groups based in the country." In Arusha, Nyerere said the Burundi government was obstructing the peace process. In a closing speech to the conflict resolution meeting on Friday, he claimed he was being used as a scapegoat by the Burundi authorities who have accused him of bias. "It is difficult to openly speak of peace in Burundi. One is accused of treason," Nyerere added. TANZANIA: Hundreds in urgent need of assistance Hundreds of people in northwest Tanzania are in urgent need of food and shelter after floods swept away their homes and destroyed crops, Tanzanian radio, monitored by the BBC, reported. It quoted Kagera regional commissioner Mohammad Babu as saying Misenyi area in Bukoba district was worst-hit. A total of 752 houses in 22 villages had been swept away and some 5,000 families rendered homeless. Over 9,000 ha of food crops and about 900 km of roads had been destroyed. KENYA: 50 reported killed by cattle raiders A total of 50 people have been killed in continuing violence attributed by the government to cattle raiders in central Laikipia district. However, the opposition and church leaders accuse the government of not doing enough to stop the killings, which have been going on for about two weeks. The 'Daily Nation' today wrote that foreign missions had visited the area and expressed concern over the situation. Meanwhile, flood damage in Kenya has been estimated at 8 billion shillings, Kenyan television reported. A government official said reconstruction would take more than three years. UGANDA: World Bank to focus more on Africa African leaders, who met World Bank officials in Kampala last week, stressed the need to bring about economic prosperity through structural transformation of African economies. World Bank president James Wolfensohn told reporters after the two-day meeting that the Bank would focus more on Africa, although he told African countries to "take responsibility for their own mistakes". African leaders urged the World Bank to support a series of measures including credit support and infrastructral and human development. Reuters said however there was little sign of concrete agreement at the summit which grouped Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia, DRC, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Uganda, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Opposition figure jailed An academic, close to opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, was jailed for two years for "propagating false rumours", DRC television reported. Professor Kalele Kabila along with

229

journalist Jean-Francois Kabanda stood trial on Friday. Kabanda was accused of publishing "seditious documents" signed by Kalele in his capacity as exective secretary of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS). The UDPS described the sentences as "confirmation of the sham legal proceedings which were organised". ANGOLA: 10 people said dying daily in camp Malaria, yellow fever and diarrhoea are killing 10 people a day in the Boa Esperanca camp, some 50 km north of Luanda, camp officials said on Friday, according to AFP. The camp houses some 35,000 people displaced by fighting from their homes in the northern Bengo province. The camp reportedly lacks drinking water and the displaced people have to make do with the muddy waters of nearby River Dande. Nairobi, 26 January 1998, 14:45 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

230

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 17:30:01 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 341 for 27 Jan 98.1.27 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 341 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 27 January 1998)

RWANDA: Refugees must come home, official says The government has reiterated its desire that all Rwandan refugees should return home, the Rwanda News Agency reported. The chairman of the repatriation commission, Mr Kabayija, said the government would leave "no stone unturned" to ensure all refugees "whether innocent or not" returned to the country. RNA said he was reacting to reports that some 12,000 Rwandans in Congo-Brazzaville who refused to be repatriated. "The problem with these refugees is that the majority want to return, but there are ex-FAR groups intimidating them," he said. Blaming some aid agencies for "perpetuating" the refugee problem, he called on countries sheltering Rwandan refugees to "emulate the Gabonese authorities who used their country's resources to repatriate our nationals". Issue of Burundi, DRC refugees to be discussed AFP quoted Minister of Family and Women's Affairs Aloysia Inyumba as saying her government would soon hold round-table talks with UNHCR to discuss the situation of refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She said the refugees should be handled in a "more sustainable" way. "We have to be systematic in our decisions. One of the questions is how can refugees look after themselves." BURUNDI: PALIPEHUTU warns of imminent attack on Bujumbura The rebel group Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU) has warned foreigners to leave Bujumbura "before it's too late", saying its objective is to take the city. In a press release, the organisation claimed its armed wing, the Forces nationales de liberation

231

(FNL), was responsible for the New Year attack on Bujumbura airport. It said claims of responsibility by the other main rebel group, Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD), were false. In its statement, PALIPEHUTU said it had moved its headquarters from Cibitoke to Bujumbura. KENYA: Rift Valley killings continue The killings in Kenya's Rift Valley continued as a further three deaths were reported yesterday (Monday) and the sphere of violence extended into Molo constituency. Kenyan television said the clashes, in Njoro division of Molo, also resulted in the torching of 60 homes. The television described the attackers as "unidentified people", but reports in today's (Tuesday) 'Daily Nation' said the victims recognised some of their assailants. At least 50 people have been killed in violence in nearby Laikipia district. A police spokesman said 11 people been arrested in connection with the incidents. UGANDA: LRA rebels cross into Gulu The state-owned 'New Vision' yesterday reported a group of Lord's Resistance Army rebels had crossed into Gulu from bases in Sudan. According to the newspaper, the incursion follows reports that LRA leader Joseph Kony had ordered the fresh abduction of youths from the Acholi and Lang'o areas of the district. Museveni defends non-party system President Yoweri Museveni, speaking at a ceremony to mark his 12 years in power yesterday, defended his non-party system of government. In a speech broadcast over Ugandan radio, he recalled the "haemorrhage" suffered by his country under previous regimes. His government's first priority had been to ensure the security of citizens. He pointed out the danger of multipartyism being "hijacked by tribalism". DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Bread tax scrapped A three percent tax on the price of bread has been scrapped after warnings that it could lead to trouble in the country, AFP reported. The Federation of Enterprises of Congo said Finance Minister Ferdinand Tala-Ngai had decided to withdraw the tax, imposed by his predecessor Mawapanga Mwana Nanga. The Federation had contested the levy on the grounds it would have a punishing effect on a socially volatile sector. Mining deals cancelled The DRC government has cancelled mining research deals signed five months ago with 12 foreign companies, accusing them of "dragging their feet", Reuters reported yesterday. In a statement, the mines ministry announced that "exclusive research zones" granted to the companies "are retaken by the state". The statement also threatened to scrap preliminary agreements signed with other firms, giving them a 10 February deadline to start their field research work.

232

Health Minister visits Kapalata camp DRC Health Minister, Jean-Baptiste Sondji, today visited Kapalata camp in Kisangani, where cholera has killed 255 people to date. The outbreak was first reported in mid-December after the most severe cases were transferred to Kisangani general hospital. The camp is a reeducation and instruction camp for Mai-Mai and ex-FAZ, and was housing some 7,000 people, most of them teenagers. Humanitarian sources told IRIN the minister listened to aid organisations involved in caring for the cholera victims. Some 30 percent of inmates are also said to be suffering from severe malnutrition and there is a risk the cholera epidemic may spread to Kisangani itself, the sources pointed out. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Annan proposes new peacekeeping force UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday called for a UN peacekeeping force in CAR to take over from French-backed forces due to pull out soon. The current Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements (MISAB) was put in place in February 1997 to ensure adherence to the peace deal aimed at ending a series of army mutinies. "The only viable option for the maintenance of stability in the Central African Republic appears to be the establishment and deployment of another peacekeeping operation by the international community," Annan said, according to Reuters. GREAT LAKES: "Unprecedented" logistics steps taken Damage to roads and railway lines from excessive rains and floods in Tanzania and Kenya have led to "alarmingly low" food aid stock levels in Rwanda and Burundi, WFP said today. Planned distributions have had to be drastically reduced as deliveries have dwindled to about half of the targets. A key stretch of railway from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma is cut, while the Mombasa to Uganda railway line, also used by WFP, is cut in eastern Uganda. WFP is establishing a variety of alternative routes, including moving food for Burundi via Zambia and Lake Tanganyika, and from Kenya to Uganda, Tanzania and beyond via Lake Victoria. A WFP spokesperson told IRIN today the use of such "unprecedented" supply routes is "a sign of the critical point which the operation has reached." KENYA-SOMALIA: WFP appeals for US $12 million Meanwhile, WFP today announced that its operations for 1.1 million flood victims in Kenya and Somalia were threatened by a lack of funding. WFP has already spent most of the US $5.8 million received from donors so far in the operations which began in response to heavy rains battering the region since last October. A further US $12 million is needed to keep operations running until the end of March. WFP is operating a fleet of aircraft and boats which has so far delivered 4,500 mt of food, medicines, shelter and other supplies.

Note to Subscribers: DHA becomes OCHA

233

The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), as part of its reform, has officially become the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, assumed his functions in New York as head of OCHA in January 1998. He will be assisted by Mr Martin Griffiths, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Nairobi, 27 January 1998, 14:25 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

234

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 09:39:07 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: Documents distributed by IRIN 98.1.28 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] Reply-to: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] Great Lakes: Recent documents distributed by IRIN as of 28 Jan 98 This is a list of the last documents distributed on the irin-cea-extra mailing list, which carries extra documents separately from the IRIN-CEA Updates and Round-ups. You may request any of these documents from us by sending an e-mail or fax. It may take a few days for us to process your requests. Most items, if not all, are also archived on ReliefWeb . If you would like to try our automatic document retrieval system, send an e-mail to [email protected] with the message: HELP for instructions. Best regards, IRIN-CEA Nairobi

* Kenya-Somalia: WFP seeks $12 million for flood victims 98.1.27 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 17-26 Jan 98 98.1.26 * Kenya-Somalia: WHO on Rift Valley Fever 98.1.26 * Rwanda: ICTR press release - attempted suicide of Hassan Ngeze 98.1.26 * Rwanda: UNHCR evacuates refugees from northwest 98.1.23 * Congo: Information note on UNICEF's programme, 97.01.20 * Kenya: Kenya Floods, DHA Sitrep No. 4 98.1.20 * Kenya-Somalia: CDC on Rift Valley Fever 98.1.20 * Kenya-Somalia: FAO News - Rift Valley Fever Outbreak 98.1.15 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 10-16 Jan 98 98.1.20 * Kenya-Somalia: WHO Press Release on Rift Valley Fever 98.1.16 * Rwanda: ICTR Update 005 15 January 1998 98.1.15 * Sudan: OLS Weekly Update: 15 January 1998 98.1.15 * Kenya: UNHCR on flooded refugee camps 98.1.13 * DRC: UNICEF: Cholera strikes growing number of children 98.1.14 * DRC: ICRC denounces killing of employee in

235

Kinshasa 98.1.13 * DRC: Floods, DHA Geneva Sitrep No. 4 98.1.12 * Burundi: UNHCR Statement - Ogata condemns spiral of violence 98.1.7 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 20 Dec-Jan 2 98 98.1.6 * Congo: Update No.4 on ICRC activities in Congo-Brazzaville 98.1.5 * Uganda: Floods/Landslides: DHA - Geneva Situation Report No. 5 97.12.23 * Kenya: Floods - DHA - Geneva Situation Report No. 3 97.12.24 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 13-19 Dec 97 97.12.24 * DRC: UNICEF report on floods in Kisangani, 97.12.24 * Burundi: IMC Reports Deadly Outbreak of Shigellosis 97.12.19 * Kenya: WFP starts Christmas airdrops to flood victims 97.12.24 * Africa: UN SecretaryGeneral's representatives 97.12.24 * Rwanda: Human Rights Watch - FIDH urge Mudende investigation 97.12.19 * Great Lakes: Appeal for Active Peace 22 Dec 97 97.12.22 * Rwanda: Amnesty Intl: "The Dead Can No Longer Be Counted" 97.12.19 * Uganda: WFP appeals for $12.8 million 19 Dec 97 97.12.19 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 6-12 Dec 97 97.12.17 * Tanzania: Refugees International Report 15 Dec 97 97.12.15 * Uganda: UN DHA Floods Situation Report No. 3 12 Dec 97 97.12.12 * Rwanda: UNHCR condemns "barbaric" attack at Mudende 97.12.12 * Burundi: Human Rights Watch arms report 8 Dec 97 97.12.8 * Rwanda: Statement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights 97.12.8 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 22-28 Nov 97 97.12.5 * DRC: Victims of Deadly Alliances - Amnesty Intl 3 Dec 97 97.12.3 * RDC: Communique de presse de la Presidence de la Republique, 29.11.97 * Sudan: OLS Weekly Update: 04 December 1997 97.12.4 * Kenya: International Appeal 2 Dec. 1997 97.12.2 * Uganda: UN Floods Situation Report 2 Dec 97 97.12.2 * DRC: WHO report on Monkeypox 14 Nov 97 97.11.14 * RDC: Projet de l'UNICEF pour la reintegration sociale des enfants soldats, 3 dec 1997 * DRC: Oxfam Briefing on the Friends of Congo Meeting 97.12.2 * DRC: Human Rights Watch urges human rights - aid link 97.12.1 * Uganda: UN Floods Situation Report 28 Nov 97 97.11.28 * Sudan: OLS Weekly Update: 27 November 1997 97.11.28 * DRC: UN SecretaryGeneral postpones withdrawal of team 97.11.25 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 15-21 Nov 97 97.11.26 * Congo: ICRC Communication to the press 24 Nov 97 97.11.24 * Sudan: OLS Weekly Update: 19 November 1997 97.11.21 * Great Lakes: UNHCR Briefing 18 Nov 97 97.11.18 * Great Lakes: Amnesty International condemns forcible returns 97.11.19 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 8-14 Nov 97 97.11.19 * CONGOBRAZZAVILLE: WFP Press Release 97.11.19 * Burundi: UN Humanitarian Information Bulletin 1-7 Nov 97 97.11.14 * Sudan: OLS Weekly Update: 13 November 1997 97.11.13 * Uganda: ICRC Update on activities in Uganda 12 Nov 97 97.11.12 [ENDS]

236

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 17:41:45 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 342 for 28 Jan 98.1.28 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 342 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 28 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Defence minister killed in helicopter crash The Burundi authorities have confirmed the death of Defence Minister Firmin Sinzoyiheba in a helicopter crash today (Wednesday). Three other people were also reported killed. The crash reportedly occurred in bad weather as the minister was returning to Bujumbura from a reconciliation meeting in Gitega between various parties in the Burundi conflict. The helicopter went down in the Gihinga mountains in Muramvya province. Burundi leaders are due to hold an emergency meeting later today. The three-day reconciliation conference in Gitega was due to bring together various political players in Burundi, the Agence burundaise de presse (ABP) reported. President Pierre Buyoya was to open the meeting to be attended by the government, army, national assembly, trade unions and representatives of political parties. Regional observers, however, said little real progress was expected from the meeting. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: 21 people executed in Kinshasa Twenty-one people accused of murder and armed robbery were executed by firing squad at the Tshatshi military camp in Kinshasa yesterday, DRC radio reported today. It said the victims were both civilians and soldiers whose appeals were rejected by President LaurentDesire Kabila. News reports pointed out these were the first mass executions in the capital since Kabila took power. In a statement, the military tribunal which issued the sentences said the executions should be seen "as a solemn warning to any potential delinquent..." Kabila blames Mai-Mai for Kivu insecurity

237

Kabila met local leaders in Bukavu on Monday during which they discussed the security situation in South Kivu. DRC radio broadcasting from Bukavu reported Kabila as saying tension in the area had been exacerbated by the "Mai-Mai phenomenon". He described the Mai-Mai as a "rebel movement against the established power". Meningitis outbreak in Tembo Forty people died of meningitis between 16 and 19 January in the Tembo mining area of DRC's Bandundu province, according to the World Health Organisation. A total of 87 cases were registered in that period. WHO pointed out that since the beginning of January, some 9,000 Congolese diamond miners and their families returned to the area from the Angolan province of Lunda Norte after being expelled by the Angolan army and UNITA. Spanish nuns working in the region have reported the outbreak of a mysterious viral disease which has killed dozens of miners in Tembo. KENYA: Rift Valley violence escalates The Kenyan government has issued a statement condemning "acts of lawlessness and irresponsibility" in Rift Valley province where over 70 people have been killed in ethnic clashes. Police announced that the death toll in the Njoro-Molo area had risen to 22, while in nearby Laikipia 55 bodies had so far been recovered. According to the government statement, security forces had been despatched to the affected areas and the situation in Njoro, Molo and Elementeita districts was under control. Seventeen suspects had been arrested and one was shot dead while resisting arrest. KTN television said the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) however, criticised "laxity" in containing the clashes. Agriculture Minister warns of massive food shortfall Agriculture Minister Musalia Mudavadi said yesterday adverse weather conditions meant Kenya would register a shortfall of seven million bags (630,000 mt) of maize. A further 3.3 million bags (297,000 mt) of beans and one million bags (90,000 mt)of wheat would be lost. Over 300,000 families countrywide had been affected by the floods which washed away their homes and destroyed their crops. The minister added there had been an abnormally high incidence of livestock diseases as a result of the weather. Australia announced it would donate $Aus seven million to WFP for relief operations in Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. One million dollars will be used for Kenya, according to an Australian press release. RWANDA: Zimbabwe to train security forces Zimbabwe is to help train the Rwandan security forces, including the army and police, in accordance with a protocol signed between the two countries yesterday, AFP reported. Rwandan Minister of State for Defence Emmanuel Habyarimana, who is on a visit to Harare, said Zimbabwe would be seen as a pioneer in the process to restore peace and stability to Rwanda. Zimbabwe's Defence Minister Moven Mahachi said his country was assisting Rwanda because it wanted to see peace prevail there and in the region.

238

New airline starts operating in March Rwanda's new airline, Alliance Express, will start operating from 1 March, the Rwanda News Agency reported. The airline - a merger between the national carrier Air Rwanda and a regional carrier Alliance Air - will link Kigali with major regional cities, notably Entebbe, Nairobi, Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg. ANGOLA: MONUA mandate to be extended The UN Security Council yesterday voted to extend the mandate of UN peacekeepers in Angola by three months. The 2,000-strong observer mission, MONUA, was due to withdraw at the end of this month. Yesterday's resolution provides for retaining up to 1,045 troops within the mission. In a report to the Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan had described the situation in Angola as "precarious". The resolution called on the Angolan government and "in particular" the former rebel movement UNITA to comply with the provisions of a 1994 peace accord. ZAMBIA: Minister denies UNITA operating from Zambia Zambia today denied reports that UNITA forces have military bases in the country, PANA news agency reported. Foreign Minister Keli Walubita described the allegations as "baseless", saying they were disseminated by people "bent on destroying" the friendly relations between Zambia and Angola. Zambia, he added, was committed to the Angolan peace process. Burundian refugees arrive Forty-four Burundian refugees have arrived in Zambia's Mwinilunga area, according to Zambian state radio. It quoted local sources as saying more were expected by the end of the week. The refugees are being screened by government authorities. One refugee said he had travelled through DRC and Angola into Zambia. EAST AFRICA: Ministers to seek foreign help Ministers from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya will travel to Asia, Europe and the USA next week to seek aid and investment to rebuild the region's road network, Reuters reported. Tanzanian Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete told a news conference in Nairobi today the trip, under the umbrella of the East African Cooperation forum, would take in Japan, Belgium, the USA and Britain. Kikwete said repairing the regional road network was a priority for the three nations. Ogata to visit UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata will travel to Africa on 5 February where she will visit nine countries and meet African leaders. UNHCR said the main focus of the trip would be the Great Lakes region, and would include refugee and reintegration issues. The

239

countries to be visited are Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Congo-Brazzaville and Ethiopia. Nairobi, 28 January 1998, 14:40 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

240

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 17:17:44 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 343 for 29 Jan 98.1.29 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 343 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 29 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Four-day mourning period for minister's death The Burundi authorities have declared a four-day mourning period following the death of Defence Minister Firmin Sinzoyiheba in a helicopter crash yesterday (Wednesday). In a statement broadcast by Burundi radio, Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira said investigations into the accident, caused by bad weather, were underway. He urged Burundians to remain calm and called on the security forces to remain vigilant "so that the enemy does not take advantage". Sinzoyiheba was on his way to a reconciliation meeting in Gitega when the helicopter crashed in the Gihinga mountains. As a result, the meeting aimed at bringing together various sides in the Burundi conflict, was postponed for two weeks. Burundi radio said four other people on board the helicopter also perished. RWANDA: Japanese envoy criticised The Rwandan government yesterday criticised a statement by the Japanese ambassador in Kigali calling for negotiations with rebels in the northwest of the country. According to Rwandan radio, the government said in a statement that the rebels' agenda was to continue the genocide of 1994. "The government of Rwanda will unceasingly strive to bring them to account for the criminal deeds," the statement added, saying the ambassador should have supported such a move rather than calling for talks. Death sentences must be executed: prosecutor-general Prosecutor-General Simeon Rwagasore has said that in the context of Rwanda, death sentences must be carried out "so that Rwandans understand the life of a person cannot be trampled on".

241

"Killers have been pardoned throughout Rwanda's history," he said, in an interview with AFP. "Social and political conflicts have been settled using machetes and this has to change. One can always debate using the death penalty to serve as an example, but Rwanda is a unique case." According to AFP, quoting official figures, 108 people have so far been condemned to death at ongoing genocide trials in Rwanda. They have the right of appeal, but official sources told AFP it was likely some death sentences would be carried out in the near future. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: MSF urges action over Kapalata camp MSF has called for urgent action to deal with a cholera outbreak in the Kapalata camp near Kisangani. It said an average of 20 patients per day were transferred from the camp to an MSF treatment centre. Of these, 64 percent were malnourished and 45 percent severely malnourished. "Some of the patients are so malnourished that they look like skeletons," said Roland Bouwkamp, MSF head of mission in Kisangani. "Sometimes we cannot do anything more for these patients and they die within hours of admission as they are too malnourished and weak to survive." Congolese Health Minister Jean-Baptiste Sondji, who visited the camp earlier this week, promised its inmates would be transferred to a better site with access to clean drinking water, good sanitation and a supply of food. IMF team visiting Kinshasa The IMF has said it is willing to help the DRC government with monetary reform, but it will not resume any financing because of the country's debt arrears, AFP reported. Paul Akwa, the head of an IMF mission currently visiting Kinshasa, said his organisation wanted to assist DRC in implementing a reconstruction programme. KENYA: Government urged to take action over clashes As violent clashes continue to claim lives in Rift Valley province, diplomatic missions in Nairobi have called on the government to take "prompt, effective action" to end the unrest. In a press release issued yesterday, 21 missions expressed deep concern over ethnic clashes in the province which have caused at least 65 deaths. The violence invoked memories of the "politically motivated ethnic clashes of the early 1990s and more recent attacks at the Coast," the press release said. Kenya needed stability to meet the challenges "in revitalising an economy suffering from a variety of natural and manmade problems". The current violence was sending a "very negative message" to the rest of the world, the press release warned. Police Commissioner Duncan Wachira yesterday said 33 people had been arrested in connection with the violence in Njoro area of Rift Valley, primarily between Kikuyu and Kalenjin, and dismissed reports security forces had not been given clear instructions, according to KBC radio. President Daniel arap Moi today (Thursday) called for an end to the hostilities and accused the opposition of making "inflammatory remarks" which fuelled the conflict.

242

Sugar, coffee production to fall The agriculture ministry has warned Kenya's sugar and coffee production are set to fall this year due to poor weather and a collapsing infrastructure, KTN reported. Sugar production was estimated at 350,000 mt, down from 390,000 mt last year due mainly to the fact cane had not been collected owing to the poor state of roads. In addition, some of the cane collected has a low sugar content. Consumption is estimated at 560,000 mt. World Bank pledges help The World Bank today pledged to help Kenya overcome the effects of devastating floods, according to AFP. Its country director Harold Wackman told a news conference the Bank was ready to lend support to emergency programmes. However, he warned that any misuse of the funds would affect relations between Kenya and the Bank. Nairobi, 29 January 1998, 14:15 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

243

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 14:14:20 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 5-98 23-29 Jan 98.1.30 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 5-98 covering the period 23-29 Jan 1998 BURUNDI: Defence minister killed in helicopter crash Burundi's Defence Minister Firmin Sinzoyiheba was killed in a helicopter crash on Wednesday as he headed for a reconciliation meeting in Gitega with various parties to the country's conflict. Three other people were also killed in the crash. The helicopter went down in bad weather in the Gihinga mountains in Muramvya province. Four-day mourning period declared The Burundian authorities declared a four-day mourning period following Sinzoyiheba's death. In a statement, broadcast by Burundi radio, Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira said investigations into the cause of the accident were underway. He called on Burundians to remain calm and ordered the security services to remain vigilant "so that the enemy does not take advantage".

244

PALIPEHUTU warns of imminent attack on Bujumbura The rebel group Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU) has warned foreigners to leave Bujumbura "before it's too late", saying its objective is to take the city. In a press release, the organisation said its armed wing - the Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) was responsible for the New Year attack on the Bujumbura airport and claims by the other main rebel group - the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) - were false. Regional meeting slated for Kampala Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama announced that a regional foreign ministers' meeting on Burundi would be held in Kampala next month, according to Tanzanian radio. Speaking in Arusha where he attended an international seminar on conflict resolution, Rukingama said mediator Julius Nyerere would also take part in the Kampala meeting. In Arusha, Nyerere said the Burundi government was obstructing the peace process. In remarks at the end of the conflict resolution meeting last Friday, he claimed he was being used as a scapegoat by the Burundi authorities who have accused him of bias. RWANDA: Weekend violence claims more victims More violence in northwest Rwanda last weekend killed 12 people, the Rwandan News Agency reported. Major Augustin Gashayija told the agency clashes broke out after between 300-400 rebels launched an attack on Kinigi commune in Ruhengeri prefecture on Saturday morning. Two rebels, two soldiers and eight civilians were reportedly killed. Ngeze attempts suicide Genocide suspect, Hassan Ngeze, standing trial in Arusha, tried to commit suicide on Saturday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) announced. Ngeze, a former editor of the extremist Hutu publication 'Kangura', is being held at the ICTR's detention facilities and was found lying unconscious on the bed in his cell during a routine patrol. After urgent medical treatment, he regained consciousness and is reported to be in a stable condition. He admitted to swallowing a mixture of chemical agents, including detergent given to detainees to clean their own quarters. Kagame suggests ways to curb prison overcrowding Vice-President Paul Kagame has proposed measures to solve the problem of overcrowding in Rwanda's jails. Addressing the Rwandan community in Brussels last week, he noted the government was spending US $20 million per year to accommodate over 100,000 genocide suspects in the prisons. "We cannot continue to shoulder this burden and organisations assisting us are getting weary," he said. Kagame suggested putting on trial and executing the "masterminds". Second category criminals should be sentenced to "public work" and other criminals should be handed to "traditional courts" which would deal with the cases. Kagame

245

added that these proposals would be submitted to a referendum, but did not say when it would be held. DRC refugees evacuated from Gisenyi UNHCR last Thursday evacuated 164 Congolese Tutsi refugees by air from Gisenyi to Kigali because of continuing insecurity in the region. Many of them had been in Gisenyi hospital, recuperating from wounds sustained in the December rebel attack on Mudende refugee camp. The refugees were then trucked on to the Gihembe camp in Bymuba, northeast Rwanda. Refugees must come home, official says The government repeated its view that all Rwandan refugees should return home. The Rwandan News Agency (RNA) reported the chairman of the repatriation commission, Mr Kabayija, as saying the government would leave "no stone unturned" to ensure all refugees whether innocent or not returned to the country. Meanwhile, AFP quoted Social Affairs Minister Aloysia Inyumba as saying her government would soon hold round-table talks with UNHCR to discuss the situation of refugees from Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. Death sentences must be executed: prosecutor-general Prosecutor-General Simeon Rwagasore has said that in the context of Rwanda, death sentences must be carried out "so that Rwandans understand the life of a person cannot be trampled on". "Killers have been pardoned throughout Rwanda's history," he said, in an interview with AFP. "Social and political conflicts have been settled using machetes and this has to change. One can always debate using the death penalty to serve as an example, but Rwanda is a unique case." According to AFP, quoting official figures, 108 people have so far been condemned to death at ongoing genocide trials in Rwanda. They have the right of appeal, but official sources told AFP it was likely some death sentences would be carried out in the near future. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Troops riot over no pay in Matadi, Boma Soldiers rioted in two DRC port towns last Thursday after senior officers allegedly embezzled their pay, Reuters quoted security sources as saying. Military police reinforcements were flown to the main Atlantic port of Matadi and Boma further west and brought the situation under control. Soldiers began shooting in the air on Wednesday evening in Matadi, 350 km west of Kinshasa, and looted businesses. The protests spread to Boma. Several officers are believed to have been arrested. Diamond prospectors flee Angola Meningitis has broken out among DRC diamond miners returning home from Angola. Health Minister Jean-Baptiste Sondji told Reuters at least 15 of the returnees had died. He said a medical team would be sent to vaccinate 70,000 people in the area around the diamond trading centre of Tembo, 400 km from Kinshasa, to contain the epidemic. According to the World

246

Health Organisation, 40 people died of meningitis between 16 and 19 January in the Tembo mining area of DRC's Bandundu province. A total of 87 cases were registered in that period. Sondji said several thousand miners had returned to the DRC after UNITA transferred control of the mines in Cuando Valley earlier this month to the government. Sondji said the miners were fleeing a government offensive to capture the diamond-rich Lunda province from UNITA. Aid workers however said the refugees had been expelled by UNITA. Mining deals cancelled Reuters reported on Monday the DRC government had cancelled mining research deals signed five months ago with 12 foreign companies. In a statement the mines ministry announced that "exclusive research zones" granted to the companies "are retaken by the state". The statement also threatened to scrap preliminary agreements signed with other firms. 21 people executed in Kinshasa Twenty-one people accused of murder and armed robbery were executed by firing squad at the Tshatshi military camp in Kinshasa on Tuesday, DRC radio reported. It said the victims were both civilians and soldiers whose appeals were rejected by President Laurent-Desire Kabila. In a statement, the military tribunal which issued the sentences said the executions should be seen "as a solemn warning to any potential delinquent..." Kabila blames Mai-Mai for Kivu insecurity Kabila met local leaders in Bukavu on Monday during which they discussed the security situation in South Kivu. DRC radio broadcasting from Bukavu reported Kabila as saying tension in the area had been exacerbated by the "Mai-Mai phenomenon". MSF urges action over Kapalata camp MSF has called for urgent action to deal with a cholera outbreak in the Kapalata camp near Kisangani. It said an average of 20 patients per day were transferred from the camp to an MSF treatment centre. Of these, 64 percent were malnourished and 45 percent severely malnourished. Congolese Health Minister Jean-Baptiste Sondji visited the camp this week and promised inmates would be transferred to a better site with access to clean drinking water, good sanitation and a supply of food. IMF team visiting Kinshasa The IMF has said it is willing to help the DRC government with monetary reform, but it will not resume any financing because of the country's debt arrears, AFP reported. Paul Akwa, the head of an IMF mission currently visiting Kinshasa, said his organisation wanted to assist DRC in implementing a reconstruction programme. KENYA: Rift Valley violence escalates

247

The Kenyan government issued a statement condemning "acts of lawlessness and irresponsibility" in Rift Valley province where over 70 people are believed to have been killed in ethnic clashes. Meanwhile, 21 diplomatic missions in Nairobi urged the government to take "prompt and effective" action to end the unrest. The statement said the violence invoked memories of the "politically-motivated ethnic clashes of the early 1990s and more recent attacks at the Coast". It said the violence was sending a "very negative message" to the rest of the world and detracted from the country's ability to meet current economic challenges. Police Commissioner Duncan Wachira said on Wednesday 33 people had been arrested in connection with the violence, primarily between Kikuyu and Kalenjin, in the Njoro area and dismissed reports security forces had not been given clear instructions. On Thursday, President Daniel arap Moi called for an end to the hostilities and accused the opposition of making "inflammatory remarks" which fuelled the conflict. Sugar, coffee production to fall The agriculture ministry has warned Kenya's sugar and coffee production are set to fall this year due to poor weather and a collapsing infrastructure, KTN reported. Sugar production was estimated at 350,000 mt, down from 390,000 mt last year due mainly to the fact cane had not been collected owing to the poor state of roads. In addition, some of the cane collected has a low sugar content. Consumption is estimated at 560,000 mt. TANZANIA: Hundreds in urgent need of assistance Hundreds of people in northwest Tanzania are in urgent need of food and shelter after floods swept away their homes and destroyed crops, Tanzanian radio, monitored by the BBC, reported. It quoted Kagera regional commissioner Mohammad Babu as saying Misenyi area in Bukoba district was worst-affected. KENYA-SOMALIA: WFP appeals for US $12 million Meanwhile, WFP said on Tuesday its operations for 1.1 million flood victims in Kenya and Somalia were threatened by a lack of funding. WFP has already spent most of the US $5.8 million received from donors so far in the operations which began in response to heavy rains battering the region since last October. A further US $12 million is needed to keep operations running until the end of March, WFP said. Note to Subscribers: DHA becomes OCHA The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), as part of its reform, has officially become the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, assumed his functions in New York as head of OCHA in January 1998. He will be assisted by Mr Martin Griffiths, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

248

Nairobi, Friday 30 January [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

249

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 16:30:52 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 344 for 30 Jan 98.1.30 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 344 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 30 January 1998)

SUDAN: Army denies rebels control Wau The Sudanese army has denied rebel claims that they have taken Wau, the second largest town in southern Sudan. An army statement yesterday (Thursday) said troops had repelled a "desperate attack" by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on Wau, "teaching the traitors and agents a lesson they will not forget". However SPLA leader John Garang, in an interview with the BBC said fighting was still continuing 24 hours after his forces launched yesterday's dawn attack. According to Garang, a former ally Kerubino Kwanyan Bol, who earlier defected to the government, had now rejoined the SPLA and was commanding the attack on Wau. UGANDA: Rebel raids reported in north Rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have carried out a series of raids in northern Uganda, according to local press reports. The independent 'Monitor' paper said on Tuesday a group of rebels overran an army unit in Lira district, burned a school hospital and looted drugs. Earlier, they had attacked Agweng parish on the Lira-Kitgum road and abducted 30 people. Security sources, quoted by AFP, denied the situation in the region was serious, saying the attacks were due to a small groups of roving bandits. Rebels surrender to army The state-owned 'New Vision' said yesterday 68 rebels of the little-known Uganda National Rescue Front-2 had surrendered to the army over the last two weeks in the northwest Arua

250

district. The group has bases in southern Sudan, occasionally striking the West Nile region of northwest Uganda. It is a splinter from the West Nile Bank Front rebel group. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kakudji warns Burundi, Rwanda rebels Minister of State for Internal Affairs Gaetan Kakudji has accused rebels from Burundi and Rwanda of establishing rear bases in eastern DRC. Speaking on return to Kinshasa from a visit to Bukavu earlier this week, he said he had been on a "pacification mission". "We have decided to ensure there is no more war as in the past," Kakudji told reporters. "It is intolerable that these elements should export their war to our country". President Laurent-Desire Kabila, who was in Bukavu yesterday (Thursday), accused France and two aid agencies of aiding Mai-Mai rebels in eastern DRC. Traditional chiefs arrested The authorities in South Kivu on Tuesday arrested two traditional chiefs, Mwami Desire Kabare Rugemaninzi of Kabare and Mwami Pierre Ndatabaye Weza III of Ngweshe, accusing them of involvement with Mai-Mai rebels. Meanwhile, the brother of Kabila's former military adviser Masasu Nindaga has been sentenced to 20 years' hard labour by a military court. Justin Nindaga was found guilty of inciting mutiny last year among troops in Bukavu, AFP said, citing state radio. Masasu was himself arrested last November and charged with drug trafficking, although regional observers commented the arrest was due to rivalry within the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL). Kapalata camp to be closed The DRC authorities yesterday announced the Kapalata military camp in Kisangani would be closed after some 300 deaths from cholera. Health Minister Jean-Baptiste Sondji told Reuters, after visiting the camp, he personally took the decision to close it. The camp houses young Mai-Mai fighters who have been living there in cramped and unsanitary conditions. They will be transferred to an unfinished hospital building in Kisangani. Remaining refugees to be repatriated from Kinkole UNHCR is repatriating several hundred Congo-Brazzaville refugees remaining at the Kinkole camp outside Kinshasa. When the last refugees are moved to Brazzaville by mid-February, UNHCR plans to close down the Kinkole camp. The camp hosted some 10,000 refugees during last year's civil war in Congo-Brazzaville. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Sporadic shooting heard Sporadic shooting was heard overnight Wednesday and Thursday in Brazzaville, Reuters said in a report from Kinshasa. It said residents the gunfire on disgruntled former militia fighters seeking to be incorporated into the army.

251

BURUNDI: Bagaza trial postponed The trial of former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, due to open yesterday, has been postponed, AFP reported. Bagaza, leader of the pro-Tutsi Parti pour le redressement national (PARENA), is accused of plotting to kill President Pierre Buyoya. PARENA opposes any attempts to negotiate with Hutu rebel groups. KENYA: Rift Valley violence contained, police say Police commissioner Duncan Wachira yesterday said the violence in Njoro in Rift Valley province had been contained, with some 64 suspects under arrest. The 'Daily Nation' today (Friday) quoted the commissioner as saying the death toll in ethnic clashes had increased to 37. The newspaper reported that the violence was spreading to the Mau-Narok area of the province, with the latest discovery of two bodies there. Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner Nicholas Mberia described the scene as "devastating". "I am now fully aware there is a big problem in Mau Narok and I assure you the government will do everything possible to stamp out the violence," he said, according to the "Daily Nation'. Meanwhile, Kenya's reform lobby the National Convention Executive Council (NCEC) yesterday urged Kenyans to "arm and form village self-defence groups against aggression". US plane sends aid to northeast A military cargo plane, provided by the US, began an airlift of emergency relief supplies to northeast Kenya yesterday, according to a US embassy statement. The plane and a US military Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team were sent to Kenya following meetings last week between US and Kenyan officials. The C-130 plane will continue delivering emergency supplies to flood victims until next week. Nairobi, 30 January 1998, 13:35 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

252

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 02 Feb 1998 18:04:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 345 for 31 Jan-2 Feb 98.2.2 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 345 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 31 January-2 February 1998)

SUDAN: Rebels say they control Aweil Sudanese rebels on Sunday said they had captured another southern town, Aweil, in Bahr-elGhazal state, and were moving towards a government garrison west of the town, Reuters reported. Last week, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) claimed to have captured parts of the key city of Wau, where they said fighting was still underway. Reuters quoted an SPLA spokesman in Nairobi as saying the rebels were fighting under the command of Kerubino Kwanyin Bol and were preparing for a "final offensive" on Aweil. Meanwhile, in a statement broadcast over opposition radio, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) described the battle for Wau as "part of a comprehensive plan of the SPLA forces and the joint military command of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)." Army denies southern towns under rebel control The Sudanese army described last week's rebel assault on Wau as "intended to cripple the peace process". Spokesman Lieutenant-General Abd al-Rahman Sirr al-Khatim acknowledged losing 23 men, but stressed the government still controlled Wau, as well as Aweil. He also said the rebels had launched an attack on Kassala near the Eritrean border on Friday, but this had been repulsed by the army. Former rebel Riak Machar, now chairman of the pro-government Southern States' Coordination Council, told Suna news agency the rebel attacks would not derail the peace process.

253

OLS needs more resources to cope with growing crisis Operation Lifeline Sudan, in a statement released today (Monday), said it was hard-pressed to meet the growing humanitarian crisis in Bahr-el-Ghazal state. An estimated 100,000 displaced people were fleeing intense fighting in Wau, Aweil and Gogrial. "We simply do not have the resources to meet the survival needs of these growing numbers of people," OLS said. NGOs and UN agencies on the ground needed both funds and supplies "to respond on the scale the situation demands". UGANDA: Army kills ADF rebels The Ugandan army has killed nine members of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the western districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo, the 'Sunday Nation' reported. It said there had been a series of clashes recently between soldiers and rebels in the Rwenzori mountains. Meanwhile, the ADF warned it would "crack down" on those responsible for the deaths of its members. In a press release, ADF chairman Frank Kithasamba called on President Yoweri Museveni to arrest the "killers" and told people in Kasese to "be on the lookout for politicians who kill, intimidate opponents and voters for their own interests". Rebel activity in north on the increase The state-owned 'New Vision' on Saturday said rebels in northern Uganda had abducted over 80 people in the Kitgum area over the last two weeks. It said rebel groups belonging to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) had been "terrorising" villages in the area, abducting people and ambushing vehicles on the Kitgum-Lira road. The LRA had been stepping up its activities since early January, forcing residents to flee their homes, the newspaper added. "Numerous" human rights problems, US says The US State Department, in its annual human rights report, said Uganda faced "numerous, serious" human rights problems. It accused the armed forces of using excessive force, of beating and sometimes torturing suspects, according to AFP. Rebel groups too had committed "numerous serious abuses", the report said. KENYA: Rift Valley violence continues to claim lives Several thousand people have been displaced by clashes in the Nakuru and Laikipia area of Rift Valley province, aid agencies estimate. At least 100 people are believed to have been killed, according to unofficial figures. The 'Daily Nation' today wrote that the violence had now spread to Baringo district and paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU) troops had been despatched to the area. Residents were reportedly fleeing their homes with displaced people camping out at local police stations and churches.

254

Mombasa road closed again The key Mombasa-Nairobi road was again closed over the weekend, after a bridge collapsed on Sunday following heavy rain. The closure of the road, a major artery for east Africa, resulted in huge traffic queues building up on either side of the collapsed bridge and hundreds of stranded passengers. This is the second time in as many months the road has been closed due to collapsed bridges. WHO says Rift Valley fever not sole cause of death A report by WHO says although Rift Valley fever (RVF) has been confirmed in Kenya and Somalia, it is evident that other causes have contributed to the high rate of haemorrhagic symptoms and deaths among animals and humans. According to the report, severe haemorrhagic disease is not common for RVF and the absence of RVF virus antibody in about two-thirds of cases tested in the laboratory is further indication that another infectious or toxic agent is involved. WHO, along with other agencies, will take part in an intensive onemonth investigation, due to begin this week. WFP signs rail deal with Kenya WFP has signed a US $1.3 million agreement with the Kenya Railways Corporation to improve food deliveries in the Great Lakes region. Under the agreement, WFP will provide parts to refurbish 10 locomotives on the Mombasa-Kampala line. The increased rail capacity will allow WFP to load food shipments directly onto freight cars in Mombasa, saving almost US $7,000 a day in warehousing costs. RWANDA: Croatian priest murdered A Croatian Roman Catholic priest, who had lived in Rwanda for 17 years, was shot dead in Kigali on Saturday, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Father Vjeko Curic was found dead in his car near the Sainte-Famille church, reportedly killed by a man who was travelling with him. The priest was based in Kivumu parish at Kabgayi in Gitarama prefecture. RNA quoted sources in Gitarama as saying he had received many death threats. Much of his work involved the construction of houses for genocide survivors and returnees in collaboration with Caritas, RNA said. Soldier executed A Rwandan soldier was executed in public on Thursday for the murder of a journalist with Radio Rwanda, Wilson Ndayambaje. The soldier, Private Emmanuel Rutayisire, was killed by firing squad at the soccer stadium in Gisenyi. He reportedly shot dead the journalist in the town following a disagreement and was arrested and put on trial. "We regret that all this is extra-judicial," army spokesman Major Emmanuel Ndahiro told RNA. But it was "absolutely unacceptable" for someone to take another person's life, he said. Meanwhile, an army officer Major Sam Bigabiro was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering 30 civilians in July 1994 in Gihara village, near Kigali, RNA reported. In a press release, leader

255

of the exiled Forces de resistance pour la democratie (FRD), Seth Sendashonga, said there was a disparity between the two sentences. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Police chief killed The police chief of Congo's Criminal Investigation Department, Colonel Jean Malonda, was shot and killed during an argument with a soldier over the collection of arms from militia forces, AFP reported. It cited official Radio Congo as saying the incident occurred last Thursday in Gamboma, central Congo. The police chief died from his wounds on the way to hospital. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army launches newspaper The DRC army has launched a newspaper, called 'Echos Militaires', which claims to offer its readers "exclusives", Radio France Internationale reported. In the first issue, the newspaper writes about a military exercise conducted in Bakongo and Bandundu which had remained a secret. It also reports on the transfer of ex-FAZ soldiers to the interior of the country in Kitona, 400 km west of Kinshasa, where they have been undergoing training. Nairobi, 2 February 1998, 15:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

256

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 17:55:46 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 346 for 3 Feb 98.2.3 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 346 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 3 February 1998)

SUDAN: Rebels pressing ahead with Bahr el Ghazal offensive A spokesman for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) admitted they had lost control of the airport and military garrison at Wau in Bahr el Ghazal state, but said the installations were within striking range of rebel artillery. Opposition radio last night (Monday) said the SPLA was pressing ahead with its "full-scale offensive" in northern Bahr el Ghazal. The rebels remained at their postions within Wau, the radio said, stating that the government's claim it had recaptured the town was untrue. The SPLA also maintained its forces were in control of Aweil town, where fighting was continuing around the military garrison. The Aweil-Wau road was under the "full control" of the SPLA, according to the radio. Fighting was also underway in Gogrial town, after the rebels launched an attack on Saturday. According to Sudanese television, first Vice-President Lieutenant-General Zubayr Muhammad yesterday said security was being maintained in Wau and flights were still bringing in essential goods. WFP airdrops food in Bahr el Gazhal WFP today (Tuesday) began an urgent airdrop of food to some 150,000 newly-displaced people in Bahr el Ghazal. Thirty-two tonnes of food will be dropped to two locations where people have gathered, and the operation will continue on a daily basis. In a press release, WFP said the fighting had sent people fleeing in four different directions in an area already plagued by insecurity and drought.

257

RWANDA: ICTR expected to deliver first verdicts in June The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is expected to issue its first verdicts in June, AFP reported. It quoted deputy prosecutor Bernard Muna as saying three current genocide trials were due to end in June, including that of Jean-Paul Akayesu the former mayor of Taba who was the first to stand trial. "Rwanda is waiting for the first judgements," Muna was quoted as saying. "Since some people do not take the court seriously, these first judgements must resolve this problem." Belgium, US, UN, France bear responsibility for genocide, report says A Belgian parliamentary enquiry into the 1994 genocide has stated that the Belgian authorities knew the mass killings were being prepared some three months before the slaughter began. The report says Belgium had a double responsibility: firstly for not trying to prevent the massacres and secondly for launching a diplomatic initiative aimed at withdrawing UN peacekeepers from Rwanda. But the US, UN and France share responsibility because they all knew a massacre was in the making, the report stresses. Interviewed by the French daily 'Liberation', Belgian parliamentarian Alain Destexhe of the Parti liberal said he believed France and the UN should also hold enquiries into their roles at the time of the Rwandan genocide. 24 killed in mob justice Mob justice in Butare prefecture last month resulted in 24 deaths, the Rwanda News Agency reported today. It said the victims were caught trying to steal food from plantations or from people's houses. Butare and Gikongoro prefectures in southern Rwanda have been badly hit by serious food shortages over the past few months, blamed on the climate and the mass return of refugees, RNA added. BURUNDI: Rebels kill five Rebels killed five people in Gatumba near Bujumbura on Sunday, Burundi radio reported. Six other people were wounded. The attackers reportedly targeted three houses belonging to members of the same family. Local people said the attackers had come from the nearby Rukoko forest. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Hundreds of Burundi refugees arrive Some 400-500 hundred refugees from Burundi have arrived in the Uvira zone over the past few weeks, according to UNHCR. Of these, 200 arrived last Tuesday alone, but the numbers have now dwindled. UNHCR said most of the refugees were located in Sange and Kiliba, two areas north of Uvira, and many of them were being absorbed into the local communities which appeared to be working well. UNHCR added that in addition to the new arrivals, there were several hundred Burundians who had been in the Uvira area for over 30 years.

258

UNICEF concerned over demobilisation of child soldiers UNICEF has expressed concern over the demobilisation of an estimated 10,000-15,000 child soldiers enrolled in the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) to fight the regime of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko last year. A UNICEF spokeswoman in Kinshasa told IRIN that many child soldiers did not want to return to their families, preferring to stay together. "The demobilisation of child soldiers is a very delicate issue," she said. In addition, demobilised children were not welcomed by their peers when they returned home. "If proper basic education were provided, the children would be less attracted to the army," the spokeswoman said. KENYA: Worst food crisis for 15 years Food analysts have warned that Kenya is facing its worst food crisis in 15 years as months of torrential rain have battered crop production, Reuters reported. USAID's Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) estimated a maize deficit of 634,131 mt for 1997/98. News reports quoted sources at Mombasa port as saying Kenya was importing 25,000 mt of maize from South Africa, due in this week. The World Bank is to send a team to Nairobi later this month to assess the damage caused by torrential rain and flooding. Team members are expected to concentrate on the water situation and damaged road network across the country. Meanwhile, the Mombasa-Nairobi road was reopened today after a temporary bridge was installed at Thange where a section of the road collapsed over the weekend. Malaria kills 90 An outbreak of malaria in western Kisii and Nyamira disricts has killed at least 90 people over the past week, the 'Daily Nation' reported today. Medical personnel in the two districts said there was an acute shortage of intravenous drips and drugs. They appealed to NGOs for assistance. Chaos as parliament reopens Chaos reigned as the Kenyan parliament convened today, AFP reported. Opposition leader Mwai Kibaki tried to move a motion of adjournment to protest against political/ethnic clashes in Rift Valley province. Other opposition members waved placards calling for an end to the killings which have left at least 90 people dead. Earlier, riot police in central Nairobi put down a demonstration against the Rift Valley clashes. UGANDA: Aid agencies preparing for possible refugee influx Aid agencies are preparing a contingency plan for a possible influx of refugees from Rwanda and DRC, WFP said. The plan by UNHCR and WFP, in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Ugandan Red Cross and the Ministry

259

of Local Government, foresees three different scenarios, with an influx of between 30,00070,000 refugees crossing into Uganda through Kisoro. Nairobi, 3 February 1998, 14:55 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

260

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 18:11:31 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 347 for 4 Feb 98.2.4 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 347 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 4 February 1998)

BURUNDI: Rwanda considering lifting embargo Rwanda said yesterday (Tuesday) it was considering lifting regional trade sanctions on Burundi. In an interview with AFP, Emmanuel Gasana, an adviser to Vice-President Paul Kagame, said the conflict in Burundi "is a power struggle of a few individuals who unfortunately do not think about the future". He said regional countries, who are planning to meet in Kampala on 12-13 February to review the sanctions, should begin a process "where rationality prevails". A final decision should be taken in Kampala, Gasana added. He said Burundi had largely satisfied international demands for negotiations with Hutu rebels and admitted the sanctions had failed because of loopholes used by neighbouring countries. He denied Rwanda was involved in illegal merchandising. "The accusations have concerned more Tanzania," he said, according to AFP. Kenya Airways is to begin twice-weekly humanitarian flights to Bujumbura from 6 February, according to an announcement by the Kenyan foreign ministry. These are expected to replace flights managed by WFP which were suspended last July. RWANDA: Two arrested in connection with priest's murder Two people have been arrested in connection with the killing of a Croatian priest in Kigali on Saturday, according to the BBC's Kinyarwanda service. It said three people travelling with the priest, Father Vjeko Curic, were responsible for gunning him down as they drove up to Kigali from Kivumu in Gitarama prefecture. Large crowds turned out for his funeral in Kivumu yesterday.

261

Dallaire to testify before ICTR this month General Romeo Dallaire, the former force commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), will appear as a witness in the trial of genocide suspect Jean-Paul Akayesu on Monday 23 February. According to a press release from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Dallaire's testimony is of particular importance. Three defence witnesses have already testified in the case of Akayesu, a former mayor of Taba in Gitarama prefecture. Dallaire's immunity was partially waived by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last month. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: 3,000 detainees transferred from Kapalata Humanitarian workers said the Kapalata military camp in Kisangani was finally closed yesterday, and some 3,000 detainees were transferred to a large, unfinished hospital in the town. DRC television confirmed that 3,000 "former Mai-Mai elements" were undergoing medical checks and treatment. It said the IFRC had distributed beds and bedclothes. The French and DRC governments were providing food. France chartered a cargo plane to Kisangani this week with 35 mt of relief goods on board. Kapalata was closed after reports of inhumane and insanitary conditions which led to a cholera outbreak causing 290 deaths. A further 22 people died of dysentery and UNICEF reported another 35 deaths from other causes. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: 83 die from cholera in Pointe-Noire An outbreak of cholera in the southern city of Pointe-Noire has claimed 83 lives out of a reported 445 cases. UNICEF said there were about 10 new cases every day since the disease broke out last November. Following an assessment mission by the health ministry and WHO last month, two hospitals were designated as cholera centres for the isloation and treatment of patients. UNICEF's representative in the country, Eric Laroche, said it was "dangerously inaccurate" to believe scarred buildings in Brazzaville were the only remnants of the civil war. "The conflict has virtually incapacitated the entire country's primary healthcare system," he said. He appealed for further aid to the country, saying lack of response to the UN's flash appeal "is an indication of scarce donor interest in the plight of the country and its people". KENYA: Richardson calls for solution to Rift Valley violence US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson has expressed Washington's concern over escalating violence in the Rift Valley area during a meeting with President Daniel arap Moi. Richardson told reporters after the meeting yesterday he had urged all Kenyan leaders to "stop pointing the blame at each other and try to resolve this very serious issue". Unofficial sources say as many as 100 people could have been killed since the violence erupted last week. Opposition and government leaders have blamed each other for stoking the violence which has been ethnically-based but with strong political overtones. "I raised the issue of violence in the Rift Valley and the concern that we have for that violence to stop," Richardson said. Senior diplomatic sources meanwhile told IRIN today Jesse Jackson, US special envoy

262

for democracy in Africa, is due to arrive in Kenya this weekend and will visit the area to witness at first hand the consequences of the unrest. Opposition strike call goes unheeded International news organisations reported a call by the Kenyan opposition for a general strike today (Wednesday) to protest the government's failure to end the Rift Valley killings appeared to go unheeded in Nairobi. Office workers in central Nairobi reported for duty and shops opened as normal. Members of parliament of the opposition Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party had urged Nairobi residents to stay at home in memory of those killed by armed raiders. Attackers have targeted mainly members of the Kikuyu ethnic group, who voted overwhelmingly for the opposition in general elections last December. Cholera outbreak in Central province An outbreak of cholera in Mwea, Kirinyaga district in Central province, over the past two weeks has killed at least 13 people and affected 92 others. Local MP, Alfred Nderitu, quoted in the 'Daily Nation' today, blamed the outbreak on contaminated drinking water and unhygienic conditions in some villages. He urged the international community to intervene, adding that the most-affected people were rice farmers who drank water directly from irrigation channels. UGANDA: Army veterans demonstrate for severance pay Fourteen army veterans were arrested yesterday after riot police broke up a demonstration by some 100 veterans demanding their severance pay. According to Ugandan radio, the demonstration was unlawful. The government issued a statement clarifying its position on demobilisation in which it told veterans the door was open to them and they should take advantage of the government's goodwill to resolve their grievances. They should "refrain from acts of indiscipline and violence," the statement said. It added that a total of 36,358 soldiers had been demobilised and resettled in their home areas. SUDAN: Kerubino supporters reportedly rounded up in Khartoum Militiamen backing Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, who is thought to have rejoined southern rebels after defecting to the government, have been rounded up in Khartoum. Press reports, cited by AFP, said they were being held in an unidentified location. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has said Kerubino led last week's rebel assault on the town of Wau in southern Bahr el Ghazal state. OLS, WFP refused permission to drop food The Sudanese government refused permission for Operation Lifeline Sudan and WFP to drop food to some 150,000 people displaced by fighting in Bahr el Ghazal. "WFP and Operation Lifeline Sudan have been denied flight access by the government of Sudan on security grounds," said WFP spokeswoman Brenda Barton. This would be reviewed once the security

263

situation changed, she added. However specific requests to meet acute humanitarian needs would be considered on a case-by-case basis. WFP yesterday announced the start of a daily operation to drop food to two locations in the state. Eritrean president visits Sudan's neighbours Meanwhile, as Sudanese government troops claimed to have fought off an Eritrean offensive in the Geredah border area earlier this week, Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki paid visits to Sudan's northern neighbours, Libya and Egypt. Libyan radio said Isayas described his visit to Tripoli as a success and an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. In Cairo last night, the Eritrean president met his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak for talks on issues of mutual concern, MENA news agency said. AFRICA: Ogata begins visit tomorrow UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata arrives in Harare, Zimbabwe, on a 20-day visit to Africa tomorrow. The trip will include Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the DRC. UN top officials discuss Great Lakes region A three-day series of meetings on the Great Lakes region starts at UN headquarters in New York today. The Secretary-General's top representatives from Rwanda, Burundi and DRC are expected to meet him on Friday. Nairobi, 4 February 1998, 15:10 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

264

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 18:13:16 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 348 for 5 Feb 98.2.5 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 348 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 5 February 1998) BURUNDI: Food prices more than double since imposition of embargo The latest FAO market price survey indicates that on 30 January the total cost for a weekly food basket of selected items was 11,690 FrBu whereas the price for the same products before the embargo imposed in July 1996 stood at 5,228 FrBu. (The official exchange rate stands at 412 FrBu to the US dollar). FAO reports that, due to the poor harvest, prices have continued to rise during January, a month when prices normally drop. UNICEF currently estimates the total number of daily beneficiaries in feeding centres supported directly and indirectly via WFP at 17,000 per day. Regional countries are set to meet soon to review the sanctions. Senior diplomatic sources say Rwanda has hinted it may be prepared to reconsider its position and lift sanctions, but was unlikely to push the issue unless there was a softening in Uganda's current pro-sanctions position. Nutritional situation expected to remain precarious in 1998 UN humanitarian sources report that due to a number of factors, including continued insecurity, particularly in the south and north-western parts of the country - which prevents large parts of the population from having regular and sufficient access to their land - the nutritional condition of many Burundians remains fragile. Heavy rains have destroyed part of the crops of the 1998-A season and total yields are expected to be lower than last year. A FAO/WFP food and crop supply assessment mission arrived in Burundi on 26 January to evaluate the situation more closely. Due to the poor last harvest, national seed stocks are low, a factor which will adversely affect the next agricultural season which normally accounts for nearly 45 percent of annual production. In addition, food prices continue to rise.

265

NGO forced to halt activities Humanitarian sources have reported that following the theft of a radio receiver from a a major international NGO vehicle on loan to a local partner, the Ministry of Defence confiscated all 18 radio receivers and 10 hand-held radios owned by the NGO on 22 January and accused the NGO of illegally having lent their radio-equipped vehicle to another organisation. Field activities have since not been possible due to lack of communications equipment required for security reasons. ACF slowly restart programme Meanwhile, ACF is slowly restarting its programme at the Maramvya feeding centre. Operations were curtailed when an ACF vehicle went over a mine on the way to the centre on 11 January and the area remained off limits to international staff. ACF reports that they are currently treating 600 severely malnourished patients in the therapeutic feeding unit while the supplementary feeding programme remains on hold. TANZANIA: Floods cripple Tanzania rail network Floods blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon have crippled Tanzania's national rail network, causing the worst damage in the railway's history with initial repair costs estimated at US $18 million, Reuters reported from Dar es Salaam yesterday (Wednesday). Movement of coffee, cotton and tobacco to markets was severely hampered and transport of relief food to refugees in western Tanzania had slowed, Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) Managing Director Linford Mboma was quoted as saying. "This is the worst-ever (downpour) to affect the railway line," said Mboma, whose corporation stopped scheduled rail services on 18 December. WFP reports that the first train with 2,000 mt of food was due to leave this week from Dodoma to Kigoma in Tanzania. Repairs to the Dar es Salaam/Dodoma rail line are expected to take more than four months. Three opposition MPs arrested in Zanzibar Radio Tanzania, monitored by the BBC, reported on Wednesday that three more opposition MPs had been arrested on Zanzibar. The radio said the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, Pandu Amir Kificho, officially announced that the CUF (Civic United Front) members of parliament had been detained and would be taken to court and charged with "threatening to cause trouble". He said the MPs were Sud Yusuf Mgeni of Kitongoji constituency, Hamad Rashid of Wawi constituency and Hamad Masud of Ole constituency. RWANDA: WFP reports drop in food deliveries WFP reported that owing to disruptions in transport routes, less than 3,000 mt of food have arrived in Rwanda since 21 December, and distributions are being limited to priority programmes such as refugee camps and selected nutritional centres. It added that, although various programmes are affected by these measures, the recent January harvest should help

266

offset any serious negative impact on the food situation. During February, WFP expects to deliver only 2,500 to 3,000 mt, down from a monthly average of 7,000 to 8,000 mt. ANGOLA: Angola seizes Ukrainian plane Angola has seized a Ukrainian aircraft and its crew, along with two South African passengers, following UN claims that the plane violated an international embargo on UNITA, the Angolan news agency ANGOP reported on Wednesday. The aircraft, an Antonov 26 was on a list drawn up by the UN Observation Mission in Angola (MONUA) of planes which had violated Angolan airspace and the travel embargo imposed by the UN on UNITA last October, ANGOP said. On Monday, Angolan television reported Defence Minister Pedro Sebastiao as saying he wanted to expand military cooperation with Russia. The minister was speaking after a meeting with Vladimir Pakhomov, Russian deputy minister for economic relations. A large percentage of the Angolan armed forces military equipment came from the now-defunct Soviet Union. The television also announced Sweden had donated US $10 million to help resettle displaced people in the country. KENYA: Health ministry issues malaria alert The Ministry of Health yesterday issued an alert over an expected increase in malaria cases as a result of the recent heavy rains. Director of Medical Services Dr James Mwanzia said reports from most districts countrywide indicated that there was an increase of malaria cases owing to the sudden arrival of warm temperatures. Meanwhile, the 'Daily Nation' newspaper reported eight more people had died of cholera in Mwea, Kirinyaga district in Central Province, raising the total death to 21 over the last two weeks. Moi slaps curfew on parts of Rift Valley President Daniel arap Moi today slapped a curfew on key towns in Kenya's Rift Valley and ordered in security reinforcements after tribal attacks that have killed more than an estimated 100 people. A report by Moi's Presidential Press Service said all businesses in Nakuru district would have to close between nine p.m. and six a.m. and "anyone loitering ... will be arrested". Moi also cautioned that "businessmen of a particular community... who are funding the violent activities will have their business licences reviewed," the report said. The move by the head of state came as US ambassador Prudence Bushnell warned at a luncheon in Nairobi that the violence, if unchecked, "will destroy this nation," AFP reported. Moi made the curfew order at a meeting with community leaders in Nakuru, the main town in the Rift Valley, the office of president announced in a statement. UNITED NATIONS: UNICEF wants minimum age for children in armed forces UNICEF has called for support for efforts to raise the minimum age at which children can be recruited into the armed forces to 18. The issue is being dealt with by a working group in Geneva which is charged with drafting an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. "The efforts we have deployed so far have been insufficient to spare children

267

from the scourge of war," UNICEF's Deputy Regional Director for Europe, Bilge Ogun, told participants. Ogun called attention to some of the most glaring examples of child soldiers prevailing in the world today, including Sierra Leone, where she said an estimated 4,500 children were forced to fight and commit atrocities. "Can we forget the appalling situation of the abducted children by the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda possibly reaching, according to recent calculations, a total number of as many as six to ten thousand?" she asked. Those Ugandan children, she said, were forced to take part in armed attacks, often in their own villages and communities. Boys were reported to have been made to carry arms and equipment during long treks to Sudan, and girls were allegedly sexually abused and taken as wives. Nairobi, 5 February 1998 14:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

268

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 11:26:08 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 6-98 30 Jan-5 Feb 98.2.6

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 6-98 covering the period 30 Jan-5 Feb 1998

SUDAN: Rebels pressing ahead with Bahr el Ghazal offensive A spokesman for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) admitted they had lost control of the airport and military garrison at Wau in Bahr el Ghazal state, but said the installations were within striking range of rebel artillery. Opposition radio on Monday said the SPLA was pressing ahead with its "full-scale offensive" in northern Bahr el Ghazal, launched last week. The rebels remained at their postions within Wau, the radio said, stating that the government's claim it had recaptured the town was untrue. The SPLA also maintained its forces were in control of Aweil town, where fighting was continuing around the military garrison. The Aweil-Wau road was under the "full control" of the SPLA, according to the radio. Fighting was also underway in Gogrial town, after the rebels launched an attack on Saturday. According to Sudanese television, first Vice-President Lieutenant-General Zubayr Muhammad on Monday said security was being maintained in Wau and flights were still bringing in essential goods.

269

OLS, WFP refused permission to drop food The Sudanese government refused permission for Operation Lifeline Sudan and WFP to drop food to some 150,000 people displaced by fighting in Bahr el Ghazal. "WFP and Operation Lifeline Sudan have been denied flight access by the government of Sudan on security grounds," said WFP spokeswoman Brenda Barton. This would be reviewed once the security situation changed, she added. However specific requests to meet acute humanitarian needs would be considered on a case-by-case basis. WFP on Tuesday had announced the start of a planned daily operation to drop food to two locations in the state. UGANDA: Army kills ADF rebels The Ugandan army killed nine members of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the western districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo, the 'Sunday Nation' reported. It said there had been a series of clashes recently between soldiers and rebels in the Rwenzori mountains. Meanwhile, the ADF warned it would "crack down" on those responsible for the deaths of its members. In a press release, ADF chairman Frank Kithasamba called on President Yoweri Museveni to arrest the "killers" and told people in Kasese to "be on the lookout for politicians who kill, intimidate opponents and voters for their own interests". Rebel activity in north on the increase The state-owned 'New Vision' on Saturday said rebels in northern Uganda had abducted over 80 people in the Kitgum area over the last two weeks. It said rebel groups belonging to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) had been "terrorising" villages in the area, abducting people and ambushing vehicles on the Kitgum-Lira road. The LRA had been stepping up its activities since early January, forcing residents to flee their homes, the newspaper added. BURUNDI: Rwanda considering lifting embargo Rwanda said on Tuesday it was considering lifting regional trade sanctions on Burundi. In an interview with AFP, Emmanuel Gasana, an adviser to Vice-President Paul Kagame, said the conflict in Burundi "is a power struggle of a few individuals who unfortunately do not think about the future". He said a forthcoming regional meeting in Kampala to review the sanctions, should begin a process "where rationality prevails". A final decision should be taken in Kampala, Gasana added. He said Burundi had largely satisfied international demands for negotiations with Hutu rebels and admitted the sanctions had failed because of loopholes used by neighbouring countries. He denied Rwanda was involved in illegal merchandising. "The accusations have concerned more Tanzania," he said, according to AFP. Food prices more than double The latest FAO market price survey indicated that on 30 January the total cost for a weekly food basket of selected items was 11,690 FrBu whereas the price for the same products before the embargo imposed in July 1996 stood at 5,228 FrBu. (The official exchange rate stands at 412 FrBu to the US dollar). FAO reported that, due to the poor harvest, prices continued to

270

rise during January, a month when prices normally drop. UNICEF currently estimates the total number of daily beneficiaries in feeding centres supported directly and indirectly via WFP at 17,000 per day. NGO forced to halt activities Humanitarian sources reported that following the theft of a radio receiver from a a major international NGO vehicle on loan to a local partner, the Ministry of Defence confiscated all 18 radio receivers and 10 hand-held radios owned by the NGO on 22 January and accused the NGO of illegally having lent their radio-equipped vehicle to another organisation. Field activities have since not been possible due to lack of communications equipment required for security reasons. ACF slowly restart programme Meanwhile, ACF is slowly restarting its programme at the Maramvya feeding centre. Operations were curtailed when an ACF vehicle went over a mine on the way to the centre on 11 January and the area remained off limits to international staff. ACF reports that they are currently treating 600 severely malnourished patients in the therapeutic feeding unit while the supplementary feeding programme remains on hold. RWANDA: WFP reports drop in food deliveries WFP reported that owing to disruptions in transport routes, less than 3,000 mt of food have arrived in Rwanda since 21 December, and distributions are being limited to priority programmes such as refugee camps and selected nutritional centres. It added that, although various programmes are affected by these measures, the recent January harvest should help offset any serious negative impact on the food situation. During February, WFP expects to deliver only 2,500 to 3,000 mt, down from a monthly average of 7,000 to 8,000 mt. Dallaire to testify before ICTR this month General Romeo Dallaire, the former force commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), will appear as a witness in the trial of genocide suspect Jean-Paul Akayesu on Monday 23 February. According to a press release from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Dallaire's testimony is of particular importance. Three defence witnesses have already testified in the case of Akayesu, a former mayor of Taba in Gitarama prefecture. Dallaire's immunity was partially waived by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last month. The ICTR is also expected to deliver its first three verdicts in June. Belgium, US, UN, France bear responsibility for genocide, report says A Belgian parliamentary enquiry into the 1994 genocide has stated that the Belgian authorities knew the mass killings were being prepared some three months before the slaughter began. The report says Belgium had a double responsibility: firstly for not trying to prevent the massacres and secondly for launching a diplomatic initiative aimed at withdrawing UN

271

peacekeepers from Rwanda. But the US, UN and France share responsibility because they all knew a massacre was in the making, the report stresses. Interviewed by the French daily 'Liberation', Belgian parliamentarian Alain Destexhe of the Parti liberal said he believed France and the UN should also hold enquiries into their roles at the time of the Rwandan genocide. Croatian priest murdered A Croatian Roman Catholic priest, who had lived in Rwanda for 17 years, was shot dead in Kigali on Saturday, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Father Vjeko Curic was found dead in his car near the Sainte-Famille church, reportedly killed by a man who was travelling with him. The priest was based in Kivumu parish at Kabgayi in Gitarama prefecture. RNA quoted sources in Gitarama as saying he had received many death threats. Much of his work involved the construction of houses for genocide survivors and returnees in collaboration with Caritas, RNA said. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kakudji warns Burundi, Rwanda rebels Minister of State for Internal Affairs Gaetan Kakudji has accused rebels from Burundi and Rwanda of establishing rear bases in eastern DRC. Speaking on return to Kinshasa from a visit to Bukavu last week, he said he had been on a "pacification mission". "We have decided to ensure there is no more war as in the past," Kakudji told reporters. "It is intolerable that these elements should export their war to our country". President Laurent-Desire Kabila, who was also in Bukavu last week, accused France and two aid agencies of aiding Mai-Mai rebels in eastern DRC. Kapalata camp to be closed The DRC authorities last week announced the Kapalata military camp in Kisangani would be closed after some 300 deaths from cholera. Health Minister Jean-Baptiste Sondji told Reuters, after visiting the camp, he personally took the decision to close it. The camp houses young Mai-Mai fighters who have been living there in cramped and unsanitary conditions. They were due to be transferred to an unfinished hospital building in Kisangani. Hundreds of Burundi refugees arrive Some 400-500 hundred refugees from Burundi have arrived in the Uvira zone over the past few weeks, according to UNHCR. Of these, 200 arrived last Tuesday alone, but the numbers have now dwindled. UNHCR said most of the refugees were located in Sange and Kiliba, two areas north of Uvira, and many of them were being absorbed into the local communities which appeared to be working well. UNHCR added that in addition to the new arrivals, there were several hundred Burundians who had been in the Uvira area for over 30 years. UNICEF concerned over demobilisation of child soldiers UNICEF expressed concern over the demobilisation of an estimated 10,000-15,000 child soldiers enrolled in the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire

272

(ADFL) to fight the regime of ex-president Mobutu Sese Seko last year. A UNICEF spokeswoman in Kinshasa told IRIN that many child soldiers did not want to return to their families, preferring to stay together. "The demobilisation of child soldiers is a very delicate issue," she said. In addition, demobilised children were not welcomed by their peers when they returned home. "If proper basic education were provided, the children would be less attracted to the army," the spokeswoman said. KENYA: Moi slaps curfew on parts of Rift Valley President Daniel arap Moi on Thursday slapped a curfew on key towns in Kenya's Rift Valley and ordered in security reinforcements after tribal attacks that have killed over 100 people. A report by the Presidential Press Service said all businesses in Nakuru district would have to close between nine p.m. and six a.m. and "anyone loitering ... will be arrested". Moi also cautioned that "businessmen of a particular community... who are funding the violent activities will have their business licences reviewed," the report said. The move by the head of state came as US ambassador Prudence Bushnell warned at a luncheon in Nairobi that the violence, if unchecked, "will destroy this nation," AFP reported. Moi made the curfew order at a meeting with community leaders in Nakuru, the main town in the Rift Valley. Health ministry issues malaria alert The Ministry of Health on Wednesday issued an alert over an expected increase in malaria cases as a result of the recent heavy rains. Director of Medical Services Dr James Mwanzia said reports from most districts countrywide indicated that there was an increase of malaria cases owing to the sudden arrival of warm temperatures. Meanwhile, the 'Daily Nation' newspaper reported eight more people had died of cholera in Mwea, Kirinyaga district in Central Province, raising the total death to 21 over the last two weeks. Worst food crisis for 15 years Food analysts have warned that Kenya is facing its worst food crisis in 15 years as months of torrential rain have battered crop production, Reuters reported. USAID's Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) estimated a maize deficit of 634,131 mt for 1997/98. News reports quoted sources at Mombasa port as saying Kenya was importing 25,000 mt of maize from South Africa, due in this week. The World Bank is to send a team to Nairobi later this month to assess the damage caused by torrential rain and flooding. Team members are expected to concentrate on the water situation and damaged road network across the country. Meanwhile, the Mombasa-Nairobi road was reopened this week after a temporary bridge was installed at Thange where a section of the road collapsed over the weekend.

273

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: 83 die from cholera in Pointe-Noire An outbreak of cholera in the southern city of Pointe-Noire has claimed 83 lives out of a reported 445 cases. UNICEF said there were about 10 new cases every day since the disease broke out last November. Following an assessment mission by the health ministry and WHO last month, two hospitals were designated as cholera centres for the isloation and treatment of patients. UNICEF's representative in the country, Eric Laroche, said it was "dangerously inaccurate" to believe scarred buildings in Brazzaville were the only remnants of the civil war. "The conflict has virtually incapacitated the entire country's primary healthcare system," he said. He appealed for further aid to the country, saying lack of response to the UN's flash appeal "is an indication of scarce donor interest in the plight of the country and its people". AFRICA: Ogata begins visit UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata on Thursday arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe, on a 20-day visit to Africa. The trip will include Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the DRC. Nairobi, 6 February 1998 [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

274

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 18:27:54 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 349 for 6 Feb 98 98.2.6 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk X-Authentication-warning: siafu.iconnect.co.ke: uusasa set sender to dha.unon.org!owner-irin-cea-updates using -f UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 349 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 6 February 1998) SUDAN: 100,000 displaced by latest fighting in Bahr el Ghazal Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) estimates that 100,000 people have been displaced by recent fighting in Bahr el Ghazal and are "flooding" into safer areas such as Maopel, Acumcum, Pathou, Ajiep, Lietnhom, Akuen and Lunyaker. An aid worker in contact with the field told IRIN today (Friday) that many people "fled without anything". Other humanitarian sources described displaced people as "exhausted" and arriving in communities unable to cope with the influx. Relief supplies were last delivered by air on 3 February. UN and NGO teams in the region are distributing available food and non-food stocks such as blankets to affected people, but supplies are fast running out, aid workers told IRIN today. Flight permissions for air drops or landings have been denied by Khartoum for the whole of Bahr el Ghazal. Other destinations denied this month are: Yomciir, Panyagor, Maridi, Yei, Mundri and Ikotos. The SPLA has lost control of the airstrip at Aweil but a humanitarian source said both sides in the fighting - in which the SPLA had taken partial control of Wau and Aweil - may be "catching their breath". The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) assault on Wau and Aweil in Bahr el Ghazal is thought to be led by Kerubino Kwanyin Bol. His party had been one of six southern factions to sign a peace deal with Khartoum last April. Kerubino has now been replaced as leader of the Bahr el Ghazal Army group by Laurence Lual Lual Akwei, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, Eritrea yesterday denied Sudanese allegations that its troops have enetered Sudan and are fighting with Sudanese rebels.

275

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Meningitis immunisation campaign starts UN agencies and NGOs have started an immunisation campaign this month in the Tembo area to combat an outbreeak of meningitis which has infected over 140 people. Last week, 33 new cases and nine deaths were reported, humanitarian sources told IRIN. An estimated 9,000 people have arrived in Tembo from Angola since the start of the year. Most are Congolese migrant workers who are fleeing fighting in Angola, and many arrive in Tembo, via the border post at Kahungula tired, hungry and robbed of their possesions on the way. Road construction deal signed with China Wide-ranging agreements economic agreements have been signed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and China. The deals, signed in Lubumbashi, include agreements to construct roads between the 11 provincial capitals. Other agreements, according to state media, include the construction of factories making motorcycles, sewing machines and refrigerators. A China-Congo joint commission will meet in Kinshasa in March. NGO consortium seeks US $200,000 for flood relief Action by Churches Together, an NGO consortium launched an appeal this week for US $200,000 for flood relief in DRC. ACT says seven million people live in flood-affected areas and need medical, food and shelter assistance. The appeal covers a period up to the end of June 1998. ANGOLA: EU commissioner arrives in Luanda to discuss post-war aid AFP reported that European Union Commissioner for Relations with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) Joao de Deus Pinheiro, has arrived in Luanda to discuss post-war aid to Luanda. Pinheiro, who was greeted at the airport late Wednesday by Deputy Foreign Minister Sebastio Isata, said that Angola "seems to be on the road to a durable peace." He said that at "this crucial moment in its development," Angola needed backing from international aid donors, and he stressed the European Union's commitment to helping Angola recover from nearly two decades of civil war. Dos Santos cancels visit to Japan Meanwhile, Angolan radio reported yesterday that President Jose Eduardo dos Santos was postponing a visit to Japan, scheduled for the second half of February, through bad health. The Angolan president was operated on last November. Regional experts fear serious illness to dos Santos could lead to a power vacuum and encourage UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to try and strengthen his position to the detriment of the Lusaka peace accords. However, UNITA radio today reiterated "total commitment" to consolidate the peace process. Total reports "encouraging" oil find

276

The French oil company Total said today it has made an "encouraging" oil find off the Angola coast, its fourth discovery in the 2/92 block it operates, AFP reported. It said an exploration well produced 5,200 barrels of light crude in tests. "This result in an area of the block that had been little investigated is considered encouraging," it quoted Total as saying. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: UN Security Council extends African peacekeeping force The UN Security Council yesterday decided to extend its support for the African peacekeeping force in Central African Republic (CAR) until March 16. According to the BBC, France will pull out its forces which support the 750-strong six-nation African force by April due to defence budget cuts. By the end of February the UN Secretary-General is to present a report on the possibility of deploying a UN peacekeeping force to CAR. RWANDA: Rebels massacre 34 people The Rwandan state news agency, RNA, reported today that 34 people were killed on Wednesday night in Jenda settlement, on the border between Ruhengeri and Gisenyi prefectures. The prefect of Ruhengeri, Boniface Rucagu, told RNA that "no single bullet was used" in the attack, in which a large group of "Hutu extremists" raided houses and killed people with machetes, axes, clubs and hoes. Floods leave 1,500 homeless Radio Rwanda reported today that 1,500 were forced to flee when torrential rains destroyed 60 houses in Nyamagabe in Gikongoro prefecture. UGANDA: Cholera kills 400 The regional cholera epidemic, which has spread to Uganda, has claimed 461 lives, according to Radio Uganda, monitored by the BBC. The Ministry of Health yesterday reported 10,000 cases of cholera in 26 districts in the ongoing epidemic. KENYA: FAO says livestock figures down 70 percent in some areas Meanwhile, FAO reports the livestock situation in Kenya has been very badly affected by the heavy rains and flooding with losses of up to 70 per cent of animals in some districts. The agency told IRIN the most widely reported problems were as a result of Rift Valley fever, the outbreak of which is the direct result of the heavy rains and flooding that has caused an explosion in the mosquito population that carries the virus. In addition, the wet conditions and the increase in the insect vector population have led to a number of other diseases that have had a serious impact on livestock in the most affected districts. FAO expects "continued problems". Red Cross estimates 15,000 displaced in clashes

277

The Red Cross in a statement on Wednesday announced that 15,000 Kenyans have been displaced in recent political clashes. The Kenyan Red Cross, supported by ICRC, has delivered 88 mt of relief food to displaced people in Pokot and Marakwet. Seven more towns are expected to receive distributions. Another convoy, carrying blankets, clothes, jerrycans, kitchen sets and soap is expected to leave from Nairobi to Laikipia today. Kenyan university closed over unrest News organisations reported Kenyan authorities had closed Kenyatta University after 8,000 students boycotted classes for several hours on Thursday demanding President Daniel arap Moi's resignation over ethnic violence in Rift Valley province. FAO reports grain shortfalls, blames El Nino FAO said very heavy El Nino rains, that began in October and continued into January, have hit Kenyan food production. FAO said in a report received by IRIN today the long rains harvest was now virtually complete and the high production, breadbasket districts of the Rift Valley were reporting a decrease due to heavy rains at harvest time. Production in these districts has averaged 1,247,000 mt of maize from 1991-96, but for the past season is estimated at only 858,000 mt. In addition, FAO said there would be high post-harvest losses due to high moisture content of the grain. EAST AFRICA: US $4.7 billion sought for road network East African ministers will present in Japan a US $ 4.7 billion plan for a new road network in East Africa, according to the Tanzanian foreign ministry. The plan is to be jointly presented in Tokyo by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete, Kenya Minister for East African Cooperation Nicholas Biwott and Ugandan International Cooperation Minister Rebecca Kagada, reported AFP yesterday. WFP today, meanwhile, said today tens of millions of dollars would be needed to repair the "havoc" caused by heavy rains on the regional transport network.

Nairobi, 6 February 1998 15:25 GMT [ENDS] [The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

278

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 17:01:38 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 350 for 7-9 Feb 98.2.9 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 350 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 7-9 February 1998)

RWANDA: Six rebels killed in clash with army Six rebels were killed in clashes with the army just north of Ruhengeri on Friday, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported. Military spokesman Emmanuel Ndahiro said the fighting occurred in Kinigi. Two soldiers were injured. The rebels then withdrew to the Virunga national park, Ndahiro said. The army also launched an operation to flush out rebels hiding in the northwest Gisenyi region along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Officer arrested in connection with Jenda massacre Meanwhile, a military commander in the Jenda area of Ruhengeri prefecuture has been arrested for failing to prevent a massacre of 35 people by Hutu militiamen last Wednesday. Spokesman Emmanuel Ndahiro, quoted by RNA, said "operational errors" were to blame for the massacre. "The army never intervened to stop the slaughter in which people were killed with traditional weapons," he said. The commander's immediate superiors were also being questioned about the incident. RNA said the victims included 29 ethnic Bagogwe pastoralists and six others considered by the attackers to be government sympathisers. RPF political bureau dissolved The Rwandan Patriotic Front has dissolved its political bureau in order to carry out party reforms, think about the direction it is taking and attempt to transcend ethnic divisions, RPF Vice-President Denis Polisi told AFP on Sunday. Rwanda diplomats angry over Kenyan passport move

279

Rwandan diplomats have expressed anger over a Kenyan government directive validating passports from the old Habyarimana regime, the 'EastAfrican' weekly reported today (Monday). The Rwandan government outlawed the old brown passports in September 1996, replacing them with blue ones. One diplomat, quoted by the newspaper, said Kenya "has no authority to confer legitimacy on documents disowned by the original issuing authority". The Kenyan circular, issued on 24 December 1997, said "former Rwandese travel documents which have hitherto not been honoured, will continue to be accepted as lawful travel documents for the purposes of entry to Kenya". Principal Immigration Officer in Nairobi Frank Kwinga said there had been a misunderstanding arising from "misinterpretation of the wording", according to the 'EastAfrican'. BURUNDI: Sanctions Committee proposes secretariat to monitor compliance The 'EastAfrican' also reported that the Regional Sanctions Coordinating Committee on Burundi (RSCC) had proposed setting up a secretariat to monitor compliance with embargo. Documents made available to the newspaper from an RSCC meeting in Addis Ababa last October proposed a total budget of US $410,780 and a working team of a maximum eight officials. The 'EastAfrican' said the move was seen as a further attempt to tighten sanctions on Burundi. However, it pointed out there were deepening splits within the region about the validity of maintaining sanctions. The latest FAO market price survey indicated that the cost of a weekly food basket has more than doubled since the imposition of the embargo in August 1996. TANZANIA: Ogata visiting refugee camps UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata arrived in Tanzania on Saturday for a fiveday visit which will include tours of refugee camps in the west and northwest of the country. A UNHCR official told IRIN a theme of her 20-day tour is to deal with "widening gaps between state interests and refugee rights". Ogata is due to leave for Burundi on Thursday. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kapalata inmates refused permission to leave In a press release on Friday, UNICEF said the military authorities controlling Kapalata camp near Kisangani were refusing to allow some 3,000 children to leave for a pre-arranged site. UNICEF's representative in DRC Ibrahim Jabr said there was no reason to prevent the children from moving to a healthier environment. The authorities in DRC had announced Kapalata would be closed after some 300 inmates died of cholera. According to the authorities, the children are Mai-Mai rebels. UNICEF says the average age is 14, with some children as young as eight. AZADHO concerned over Walikale fighting The DRC human rights organisation AZADHO says that since early December, Walikale in North Kivu has been the scene of "bloody operations led by the ADFL (Alliance of Democratic Force for the Liberation of Congo) army" against Mai-Mai rebels. AZADHO

280

expressed concern over the fact "that the government seems determined to go for the military option in its struggle against the Mai-Mai". UN advance team goes to Mbandaka A preparatory team of five UN human rights investigators left Kinshasa for the northwestern town of Mbandaka on Friday. UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt told a news briefing the team would lead the way for a redeployment of investigators in the next few days. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Survey reveals poor food security situation The results of a nutrition survey recently conducted in Brazzaville reveal that, although there is currently no serious acute malnutrition problem in the city, the food security status of the general population is poor. The study, undertaken last month by MSF and partly financed by UNICEF, noted there was the potential for a rapid deterioration of nutritional conditions, particularly for children and other vulnerable groups. It surveyed 3,903 people (824 families or households) and measured 503 children under five years of age. The study revealed that 5.6% of the children suffer from acute malnutrition, of which 1.5% are severely malnourished. SUDAN: Flight ban putting people at risk, UN says UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt said a decision by the Sudanese government to suspend aid flights to Bahr el Ghazal was putting the lives of vulnerable people at great risk. Operation Lifeline Sudan was in close contact with the authorities to resolve the issue. He said an estimated 100,000 displaced people were fleeing the conflict which had recently flared up around the southern towns of Wau, Aweil and Gogrial. They were gathering in various areas of Bahr el Ghazal state, weak, hungry and in urgent need of food, medicine and shelter. Libya to mediate between Sudan and Eritrea Sudanese President Omar el Bashir announced on Saturday he had ageed to Libyan mediation in his government's dispute with Eritrea, AFP reported. He had just returned from Tripoli, shortly after a visit there by Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki. Eritrea has denied allegations by Sudan that its troops have entered the country and are fighting alongside Sudanese rebels. Meanwhile, the 'Akhbar al-Yawm' daily today said the Sudanese authorities were closing the border with Eritrea to prevent infiltration into Sudan by anti-government forces. KENYA: Jackson urges Moi to stop Rift Valley violence US civil rights leader and presidential envoy Jesse Jackson today urged President Daniel arap Moi to end ethnic violence in the Rift Valley. He told a news conference in Nairobi, the president had promised to end the violence, AFP reported. "Fratricide and genocide must give way to reconciliation ... the president, parliament, must use all resources at their disposal to stop it," he was quoted as saying. Political/ethnic attacks have left at least 100 people dead since mid-January.

281

Over 1 billion shillings needed to rebuild water installations The water resources ministry has said it needs at least 1.1 billion shillings (US $18 million) for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of water installations destroyed by recent torrential rain. KBC radio quoted Permanent Secretary Erastus Mwongera as saying the worst damage was to water conservation structures such as dams, water intakes and pumping equipment. Nairobi, 9 February 1998, 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

282

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 15:32:31 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central Africa: Human Rights Watch urges arms commission 98.2.4 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

Source: Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch Calls On Security Council To Revive Arms Commission Of Inquiry In Central Africa (February 4, 1998) --In a letter to members of the U.N. Security Council yesterday, Human Rights Watch called for reactivating a commission to investigate arms flows to Rwanda, and extending the commission's mandate to include Burundi. The International Commission of Inquiry into arms trafficking to the former Rwandan government and allied militias, known as UNICOI, was established in September 1995 in the wake of revelations, published by Human Rights Watch, about the role of states and private traffickers in arming the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In its one-year life, the commission prepared three reports, the final one of which was submitted to the U.N. Secretary-General in October 1996 but only released in January 1998, more than a year later. That report showed the extent of international involvement in the proliferation of arms in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, and--by extension--governments' complicity in the serious abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law that have taken place there. An addendum to the report, which was released on January 26, sheds further light on arms deliveries to the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide, naming the government of the Seychelles, a member of the former Rwandan government who is currently awaiting trial before the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha, a South African arms broker, and the Banque Nationale de Paris as being implicated in one possible violation of the Rwanda arms embargo. In its own research on Burundi, Human Rights Watch has exposed how international actors have continued to provide weapons to both the government and rebel forces, thereby compounding the killings and mass displacement of civilians that have characterized the civil war. We have therefore called repeatedly for an arms embargo on both sides of the war, and for the extension of UNICOI's mandate to include Burundi, in partial response to the tragic humanitarian crisis in the region. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burundi, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, has likewise drawn attention to the problem of arms proliferation in the Great Lakes region, calling urgently for an arms embargo on the two sides in Burundi. In December 1997, the

283

European Parliament passed a resolution that also called for an arms embargo on the two sides, and for UNICOI to resume its work in the region and investigate arms flows into Burundi and to Burundian citizens in neighboring states. In light of the highly worrisome situation in the Great Lakes region, including Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Congo, where hundreds of thousands of civilians continue to be at risk of violent attack, Human Rights Watch calls on the Security Council to: * Impose an arms embargo on both sides of the war in Burundi, and devise mechanisms to ensure the embargo's effective implementation and enforcement. * Reactivate the International Commission of Inquiry (UNICOI). * Extend UNICOI's mandate to include both sides in the civil war in Burundi. For Further Information, contact: Joost Hiltermann (Washington, DC) 1-202-371-6592 Loretta Bondi (Washington, DC) 1-202371-6592 Joanna Weschler (New York, cellular) 1-917-699-9314 [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-extra]

284

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 17:37:33 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 351 for 10 Feb 98.2.10 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 351 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 10 February 1998)

RWANDA: Rebels massacre 58 in Gisenyi Hutu rebels massacred 58 people and wounded 64 in northwest Gisenyi prefecture last week, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported yesterday (Monday). It quoted local administrator Jean Baptiste Muhirwa as saying the rebels crossed from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the border village of Ngugo on Friday night during heavy rain. They broke into houses and began killing people with guns and traditional weapons. Akayesu trial resumes with testimony by defence witness The trial of genocide suspect Jean-Paul Akayesu resumed at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Rwanda yesterday. A defence witness for the former mayor of Taba in Gitarama prefecture testified that Akayesu was opposed to a group of Interahamwe militia from Taba and "tried to save Tutsis". BURUNDI: Army flushing out rebels near Bujumbura Residents of Bujumbura reported heavy weapons fire in the hills surrounding the city yesterday and Sunday, according to AFP. Army spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi said the army was conducting an offensive against "localised terrorists" in the area . "Armed bands never totally left the hills overlooking the capital," he told AFP, adding that the flushing out operations wound continue as long as armed gangs remained in the area.

285

Kenya Airways resumes flights to Bujumbura Kenya Airways announced the commencement of humanitarian flights to Bujumbura, with the inaugural flight set for 17 February 1998. The once weekly flight will operate on Tuesdays. Nyerere calls for democratically-elected government Former Tanzanian president and Burundi mediator Julius Nyerere reiterated the only solution to Burundi's political crisis lay in a democratically-elected government, Tanzanian radio reported yesterday. During talks with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, who is visiting Tanzania, he described the current government of President Pierre Buyoya as "undemocratic". TANZANIA: Mkapa appeals for aid to rebuild damaged roads, railways President Benjamin Mkapa has appealed for US $45 million in aid to rebuild Tanzania's roads and railways devastated by floods, local press reports said. Speaking to foreign envoys, he described the damage as "colossal". Internal and external trade had been badly hit, cutting government revenue. Cargo held up in flood-hit ports Over 150,000 mt of cargo, destined for Uganda and Rwanda, are held up at Tanzanian ports following the torrential rain. IPS news agency said the two countries were seeking alternative means of moving the stuck cargo. It quoted Tanzania Railways Corporation chief Linford Mboma as saying the TRC was losing some 100 million Tanzanian shillings (US $160,000) in revenue a day. EAST AFRICA: FAO urges assistance to prevent epidemics The Food and Agriculture Organisation said some 10 million people in East Africa were in need of emergency assistance following months of heavy rains which had caused havoc in the sub-region. Somalia and Kenya were particularly badly affected with a heavy loss of human and animal life. FAO today (Tuesday) appealed for US $2.5 million to help contain and combat diseases such as Rift Valley fever and rinderpest in the two countries. It warned that livestock diseases if left unchecked could develop into epidemic proportions. WFP urges aid for flood victims WFP also launched an appeal today, calling for US $17 million to maintain food deliveries and other vital supplies to over one million flood victims in Kenya and Somalia. Most deliveries have to be made by airdrops or boats because torrential rain has destroyed roads and bridges, WFP said in a press release. WHO says Rift Valley fever waning in Kenya

286

WHO said Rift Valley fever was on the decline in Kenya. Epidemiologist Dr Mike Ryan told a news conference in Nairobi that 14 new cases had been reported over the last 10 days in the northeast, indicating the disease was being controlled. He said a team of WHO experts, based in Garissa, would try to establish the link between the disease and changes in weather conditions to make it easily predictable and preventable. New UNEP boss notes hardships facing environmental issues Former German environment minister Klaus Toepfer who took over as Executive Director of Nairobi-based UNEP yesterday warned that it would take "extraordinary efforts" to bring environmental issues "back to the centre of global political activity". He replaces Elizabeth Dowdeswell who held the post since 1993. KENYA: IMF team arrives A technical team from the IMF arrived in Nairobi on Sunday ahead of another mission expected later this week which will assess reform in Kenya. In July, the IMF froze a US $205 million Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, citing the government's failure to combat high-level corruption. Economic observers told AFP the government had reneged on promised reforms and the talks would be "protracted and difficult". SUDAN: World Vision warns of imminent disaster in Bahr el Ghazal World Vision today warned of a looming "human tragedy" in southern Sudan following Khartoum's decision to ban aid flights to Bahr el Ghazal state. It said thousands of people displaced by fighting had arrived at its operation centres in Tonj and Gogrial where limited relief supplies were available. Continued fighting in Wau, Aweil and Gogrial was aggravating the crisis. World Vision's relief director for Sudan Bruce Menser described the flight ban as "abominable, criminal and unacceptable". CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Disgruntled militiamen on looting spree Dozens of dissatisfied militiamen, loyal to current leader Denis Sassou-Nguesso during last year's civil war, went on the rampage in Brazzaville yesterday. Former Cobra militia fighters looted shops, especially in the northern Ouenze district, before riot police restored order, AFP reported. They were apparently protesting against being omitted from the ranks of the new security forces. State radio reported shooting in the Bacongo district, close to the Total market. UGANDA: LRA rebels kill eight in ambush Rebels belonging to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have killed eight people in an ambush on a pick-up truck in the northern Gulu district, the independent 'Monitor' newspaper reported yesterday. The vehicle was set ablaze near the town of Adak and the victims, including a three year-old boy, were bayonetted to death. Meanwhile, in the western Uganda, rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed three villagers and wounded two over

287

the weekend, the state-owned 'New Vision' said. The rebels were being chased away by a combined force of Ugandan and DRC soldiers, the newspaper added. About 1,000 villagers were displaced. Nairobi, 10 February 1998, 14:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

288

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 17:49:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 352 for 11 Feb 98.2.11 (fwd) Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 352 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 11 February 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Aid workers return to Baraka after brief evacuation UN and NGO staff returned to Baraka in eastern DRC today (Wednesday) after they were evacuated for at least two hours following an outbreak of fighting between different units of the army, humanitarian sources told IRIN. The early morning flare-up between rival elements was the first such incident since December. A group of returning refugees from Kigoma were also able to disembark after a short delay, the sources added. They said local authorities had assured UNHCR that "calm was restored" and they should continue with their operations as usual. Reuters reported that UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, who is currently on an African tour, had watched the several hundred refugees board the ferry yesterday for the journey home across Lake Tanganyika. UN says two investigators join Mbandaka advance team Spokesman for the Secretary-General Fred Eckhard said that the human rights investigative mission to DRC had reported that two investigators had joined the advance team in Mbandaka on Sunday. The others remained in Kinshasa where they continued preparations for their deployment in the eastern part of DRC, he told reporters in New York on Tuesday. An advance preparatory team of five investigators left Kinshasa for the northwestern town of Mbandaka on Friday. Kapalata to close finally at end of week The Kapalata military camp near Kisangani is to be closed by the end of the week, according to a decision by the governor of Orientale province and the chief military doctor. UNICEF told IRIN today the move represented a common stance between the civilian and military

289

authorities. The camp, which houses mostly children whom the authorities consider as MaiMai rebels, has been declared unfit for human habitation by aid agencies after about 300 inmates died from cholera and other diseases. Yesterday, 140 children were transferred from the camp to "site H" in Kisangani and another 250 are due to leave today. UNICEF said it seems the camp housed some 1,500 children rather than the 3,000 previously reported. Estimates indicate as many as 46 percent of the children are severely malnourished. Care is being provided by NGOs with medical supplies from UNICEF. UGANDA: UNICEF say almost 1,300 abducted children from Kitgum still missing UNICEF Uganda told IRIN today that 1,290 children from just one Ugandan district, Kitgum, have been abducted in the last two years by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and have not come back. Another 1,310 did manage to return, preliminary findings show. UNICEF has released initial figures for Kitgum district in a survey of abductions in seven northern and southwestern Ugandan districts. Results from other districts are expected in the coming weeks. New figures show abductions may be higher than previously thought UNICEF had earlier estimated a total of between 5,000 and 8,000 children had been abducted. The figures from Kitgum may indicate a much higher overall total. Some 80 percent of the children were between the ages of 12 and 18 when taken from schools, fields or while collecting water, but 11 percent were between only four and seven. The LRA uses children for slave labour, as fighters and as "wives" for their soldiers. "It's going to take years and years for these children to recover - a lot of them come back physically as well as mentally scarred," a UNICEF spokeswoman told IRIN today. The abuse continues - seven children were taken from one parish alone last week. The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), operating in southwestern Uganda, also abduct children, UNICEF says. TANZANIA: Mkapa puts total El Nino cost at over US $100 million Tanzania will need US $117.3 million to repair damage to infrastructure caused by three months of torrential rain blamed on the El Nino phenomenom, AFP reported President Benjamin Mkapa as telling parliament yesterday. The bill includes $17.2 million to repair major roads and $64.5 million to replace or repair houses. Repairs to railway lines are estimated at $18.3 million dollars and expected to take at least six months. Yesterday, AFP said trucks en route from Dar es Salaam to northwestern Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi were forced to detour via Kenya because of road damage, but were blocked at the border following a demand by Kenya they obtain customs bonds before crossing the country. Meanwhile, PANA reported Uganda would receive an emergency world bank loan of US $30 million to repair roads and bridges damaged by the rains in that country. Zanzibar detainees appeal to Roman Catholic church Seventeen members of Zanzibar's opposition charged with treason have appealed to Roman Catholic Cardinal Polycarp Pengo to intervene for their release, the Kiswahili daily 'Majira'

290

reported. Quoting a letter dated 7 February from the accused to Pengo, which was smuggled out of the Zanzibar jail at the weekend, the newspaper said the accused asked the cardinal to appeal to President Benjamin Mkapa to intervene and to have the charges dropped and secure their release. The accused maintained in the letter that the charges were false and designed to prevent credible political opposition on the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Tanzania secures Ivory markets - IPS IPS news agency reported from Dar es Salaam that Tanzania had secured markets in China and Japan to dispose of its stockpile of 80 tonnes of elephant tusks. The country, which has stocks worth an estimated US $20 million, is therefore expected to be one of the first to take advantage of last year's lifting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Flora and Fauna (CITES) ban on exports. KENYA: At least 354 die in highland malaria epidemic At least 354 people have died in two weeks in a highland malaria epidemic sweeping western Kenya's Nyanza province, Reuters reported yesterday. The news agency quoted District Medical Administrators Morris Ope and Andrew Nyamweya as saying dozens of people were dying daily and the outbreak had reached "epidemic proportions." The doctors said their figures covered the period between 26 January and 9 February. During that time they had also seen more than 6,946 patients tested positive with highland malaria. RWANDA: Tribunal lawyers demand better conditions Lawyers defending suspects accused of war crimes during Rwanda's 1994 genocide are seeking improved work conditions at the Arusha UN tribunal set up to judge their cases, according to AFP. "We must fight to get the means to defend the suspects. We don't want to just appear to be defending our clients," the agency quoted Charles Tchoungang, a Cameroon lawyer who heads the association of defence lawyers at the tribunal, as saying. ANGOLA: Elf announce another oil find off Angola French oil group Elf Aquitaine has just made a new discovery in bloc 17 off Angola, in the wake of the discoveries of the big fields of Girassol and Dalia 1 and 2, the Oil Industry Bulletin reported on Tuesday. The new offshore well, called Rosa, reportedly displays a very promising flow, more than 10,000 barrels a day, the publication said. Last week, Total announced what it called an "encouraging" oil find off the Angola coast, its fourth discovery in the 2/92 block it operates. Nairobi, 11 February 1998 14:30 GMT [ENDS]

291

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 17:42:30 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 353 for 12 Feb 98.2.12 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 353 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 12 February 1998) SUDAN: Vice-President killed in plane crash Sudanese First Vice-President Al-Zubair Mohammad Saleh was today (Thursday) killed in a plane crash in south Sudan along with other government officials, Sudanese radio reported. The crash occurred in Nasir town. The radio, monitored by the BBC, broadcast a statement by President Omar al-Bashir saying the nation had lost "some of its devoted sons and leaders". A report by AFP, quoting official sources, said Information Minister Ibrahim Mohammad Khair had also been killed. Bahr el Ghazal situation deteriorates further A humanitarian source told IRIN today that the situation in Bahr el Ghazal, southern Sudan was "life-threatening for the weakest, the oldest and the youngest." Current estimates indicate that as many as 106,000 people have fled recent conflict. Prior to the recent upsurge in fighting aid agencies estimated 240,000 people of a total population roughly estimated at 1.5 million were already "vulnerable". "People are not in any shape to take more shocks", the aid worker told IRIN. Aweil is today thought to be under the control of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), while SPLA reinforcements, including tanks and artillery, are said to be attacking Wau again. The UN/NGO umbrella group, Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), has submitted a request to the Government of Sudan for special flight clearances for seven locations to deliver supplies to displaced people, but no response has yet been forthcoming. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila snubs Jackson, DRC says he broke protocol President Bill Clinton's envoy Jesse Jackson said yesterday (Wednesday) DRC President Laurent Kabila had declined to meet him during his two-day visit to the Democratic Republic

292

of Congo, media organisations reported. Jackson arrived in Kinshasa on Monday as part of U.S. efforts to encourage Kabila's administration to open up political debate in the country and promote human rights. Jackson said Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha had been unhappy about his earlier talks with a broad section of Congolese society, including Kabila's opponents. Congolese television later reported that the meeting did not take place because in the opinion of the government Jackson did not conform to diplomatic norms. Citing US support for national reconstruction, the television said Jackson had come to cement the "good relations" which exist between the two countries. "Unfortunately, and to our greatest surprise, he did not behave in that sense," the television quoted Karaha as saying. The report did not specify Jackson's alleged misdemeanours. Jackson sees problems ahead for DRC AFP reported Jackson as saying he saw a number of clouds gathering on the horizon for DRC and quoted him as being "sad" and "disappointed" he was not received by Kabila. "If we are seeing rays of sunlight, we are also seeing clouds on the horizon," Jackson said. DRC-CAR troops in weekend border clash - media Troops of the Central African Republic and DRC clashed last weekend after Congolese troops crossed the Oubangui river marking the border, AFP quoted officials as saying on Wednesday. Trouble broke out after a Congolese soldier drowned in the river following a dispute with a CAR fisherman near the village of Bimbo, the report said. Congolese troops crossed the river and allegedly set alight a dozen houses in the village. Central African gendarmes and members of the presidential guard sent to the scene were met with automatic weapons fire and had to call for reinforcements. UGANDA: Clinton to visit Uganda, will miss Kenya, DRC President Bill Clinton will travel to Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal from 22 March to 2 April in the first presidential tour of sub-Saharan Africa since Jimmy Carter went to Nigeria and Liberia in 1978. The White House announcement made no mention of Kenya nor DRC, both countries with which it has a constant on-off relationship. "During the trip, the president will highlight the new U.S. partnership with Africa -- a vibrant continent increasingly open to democracy and free markets -- and efforts to promote human rights and prevent future conflicts," said White House spokesman Mike McCurry. BURUNDI: At least 24 killed in fresh rebel attack News organisations reported at least 24 people were killed and 46 wounded when rebels attacked villagers in Minago, Rumonge commune in southern Burundi on Tuesday. Military spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi told reporters the rebels first attacked a military position in Minago, then went into the homes of people. He added that rebels were still in the Rumonge area following the Tuesday night attack.

293

Army moves to "flush out" rebels in northwest Meanwhile, security forces are flushing out rebels hiding in northwest Cibitoke province, local media says. The operation was launched on Tuesday after the army received information the rebels were hiding along the Kaburantwa river in holes dug out by gold prospectors. Azania news agency said the security forces were being assisted by a militia called the "Guardians of Peace", essentially made up of former rebels. Court hands down death penalty to mine-layers A court in Burundi today sentenced seven people to death after finding them guilty of laying anti-tank mines which killed 11 people last March, AFP reported. Two other defendants were sentenced to life in prison. Two others got a year and 20 years in prison, respectively, while two others -- a journalist and a Protestant preacher -- were acquitted. TANZANIA: OGATA tells Burundi refugees to avoid politics - Reuters UNHCR head Sadako Ogata warned Burundian refugees on Wednesday to avoid political or military activity while living in camps in Tanzania, Reuters reported. Ogata told mainly-Hutu refugees at Nduta Camp there was no danger they would be repatriated to Burundi, where the Tutsi-dominated army is fighting Hutu rebels. "Here, while you are in the camp you should abide by the laws. You should maintain the camps as civilian. It is on this basis my office assists and protects refugees," Ogata told refugee leaders. "You should be restrained from any political or military activity. Neither the Tanzanian government nor my office will force anybody to go home," Ogata said. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Police shoot at looters Police in Brazzaville yesterday opened fire on looters in the south of the city, hitting two of them, official radio reported. It said there had been a spate of hold-ups in the Makele-Kele district recently. On Monday disgruntled militiamen, who were loyal to military leader Denis Sassou Nguesso during last year's civil war, went on a looting spree to express their anger over being exluded from the regular armed forces. "Fruitful talks" with Mandela, Sassou Nguesso says Meanwhile, Sassou Nguesso who is in South Africa said he had held "very fruitful" discussions with President Nelson Mandela yesterday. AFP said he was seeking recognition for his regime. "We expressed our wish to build cooperation with South Africa," he told journalists, but would not be drawn on whether South Africa had agreed to recognise his government. Nairobi 12 February 1998 15:30 GMT [ENDS]

294

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 11:52:35 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 7-98 6-12 Feb 98.2.13 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 7-98 covering the period 6-12 Feb 1998

SUDAN: Vice-President killed in plane crash Sudanese First Vice-President Al-Zubair Mohammad Saleh was killed in a plane crash in south Sudan on Thursday along with other government officials, Sudanese radio reported. The crash occurred in Nasir town. The radio, monitored by the BBC, broadcast a statement by President Omar al-Bashir saying the nation had lost "some of its devoted sons and leaders". Bahr el Ghazal situation deteriorates further A humanitarian source told IRIN the situation in Bahr el Ghazal, southern Sudan was "lifethreatening for the weakest, the oldest and the youngest." Current estimates indicate that as many as 106,000 people have fled the recent conflict. Prior to the recent upsurge in fighting aid agencies estimated 240,000 people of a total population roughly estimated at 1.5 million were already "vulnerable". "People are not in any shape to take more shocks", the aid worker told IRIN. Aweil is thought to be under the control of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), while SPLA reinforcements, including tanks and artillery, are said to be attacking Wau again. The UN/NGO umbrella group, Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), has

295

submitted a request to the Government of Sudan for special flight clearances for seven locations to deliver supplies to displaced people, but no response has yet been forthcoming. RWANDA: Rebels massacre 58 in Gisenyi Hutu rebels massacred 58 people and wounded 64 in northwest Gisenyi prefecture last week, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported on Monday. It quoted local administrator Jean Baptiste Muhirwa as saying the rebels crossed from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the border village of Ngugo on Friday night during heavy rain. They broke into houses and began killing people with guns and traditional weapons. On the same day, six rebels were killed in clashes with the army in Kinigi, just north of Ruhengeri. The army also launched an operation to flush out rebels hiding in the northwest Gisenyi region along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Officer arrested in connection with Jenda massacre Meanwhile, a military commander in the Jenda area of Ruhengeri prefecuture was arrested for failing to prevent a massacre of 35 people by Hutu militiamen last week. Spokesman Emmanuel Ndahiro, quoted by RNA, said "operational errors" were to blame for the massacre. "The army never intervened to stop the slaughter in which people were killed with traditional weapons," he said. BURUNDI: At least 24 killed in rebel attack News organisations reported at least 24 people were killed and 46 wounded when rebels attacked villagers in Minago, Rumonge commune in southern Burundi on Tuesday. Military spokesman Colonel Isaie Nibizi told reporters the rebels first attacked a military position in Minago, then went into the homes of people. He added that rebels were still in the Rumonge area following the Tuesday night attack. Army flushes out rebels near Bujumbura Residents of Bujumbura reported heavy weapons fire in the hills surrounding the city on Monday and Sunday, according to AFP. Nibizi said the army was conducting an offensive against "localised terrorists" in the area . "Armed bands never totally left the hills overlooking the capital," he told AFP, adding that the flushing out operations wound continue as long as armed gangs remained in the area. Kenya Airways resumes flights to Bujumbura Kenya Airways announced the commencement of humanitarian flights to Bujumbura, with the inaugural flight set for 17 February 1998. The once weekly flight will operate on Tuesdays.

TANZANIA: Ogata tells Burundi refugees to avoid politics

296

UNHCR head Sadako Ogata warned Burundian refugees on Wednesday to avoid political or military activity while living in camps in Tanzania, Reuters reported. Ogata, who is visiting the region, told mainly-Hutu refugees at Nduta Camp there was no danger they would be repatriated to Burundi, where the Tutsi-dominated army is fighting Hutu rebels. Over US $117 million needed to repair infrastructure Tanzania will need US $117.3 million to repair damage to infrastructure caused by three months of torrential rain blamed on the El Nino phenomenom, AFP reported President Benjamin Mkapa as telling parliament on Tuesday. AFP also said trucks en route from Dar es Salaam to northwestern Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi were forced to detour via Kenya because of road damage, but were blocked at the border following a demand by Kenya they obtain customs bonds before crossing the country. Meanwhile, PANA reported Uganda would receive an emergency world bank loan of US $30 million to repair roads and bridges damaged by the rains in that country. KENYA: At least 354 die in highland malaria epidemic At least 354 people have died over the last two weeks in a highland malaria epidemic sweeping western Kenya's Nyanza province, Reuters reported. The news agency quoted District Medical Administrators Morris Ope and Andrew Nyamweya as saying dozens of people were dying daily and the outbreak had reached "epidemic proportions." The doctors said their figures covered the period between 26 January and 9 February. During that time they had also seen more than 6,946 patients tested positive with highland malaria. EAST AFRICA: FAO urges assistance to prevent epidemics The Food and Agriculture Organisation said some 10 million people in East Africa were in need of emergency assistance following months of heavy rains which had caused havoc in the sub-region. Somalia and Kenya were particularly badly affected with a heavy loss of human and animal life. FAO on Tuesday appealed for US $2.5 million to help contain and combat diseases such as Rift Valley fever and rinderpest in the two countries. It warned that livestock diseases if left unchecked could develop into epidemic proportions. WFP urges aid for flood victims WFP also launched an appeal on Tuesday, calling for US $17 million to maintain food deliveries and other vital supplies to over one million flood victims in Kenya and Somalia. Most deliveries have to be made by airdrops or boats because torrential rain has destroyed roads and bridges, WFP said in a press release. WHO says Rift Valley fever waning in Kenya WHO said Rift Valley fever was on the decline in Kenya. Epidemiologist Mike Ryan told a news conference in Nairobi that 14 new cases had been reported over the last 10 days in the

297

northeast, indicating the disease was being controlled. He said a team of WHO experts, based in Garissa, would try to establish the link between the disease and changes in weather conditions to make it easily predictable and preventable. UGANDA: UNICEF says over 1,000 children abducted in Kitgum still missing UNICEF Uganda told IRIN that 1,290 children from just one Ugandan district, Kitgum, have been abducted in the last two years by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and have not come back. Another 1,310 did manage to return, preliminary findings show. UNICEF has released initial figures for Kitgum district in a survey of abductions in seven northern and southwestern Ugandan districts. Results from other districts are expected in the coming weeks. UNICEF had earlier estimated a total of between 5,000 and 8,000 children had been abducted. The figures from Kitgum may indicate a much higher overall total. UGANDA: LRA rebels kill eight in ambush Rebels belonging to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have killed eight people in an ambush on a pick-up truck in the northern Gulu district, the independent 'Monitor' newspaper reported on Monday. The vehicle was set ablaze near the town of Adak and the victims, including a three year-old boy, were bayonetted to death. Meanwhile, in the western Uganda, rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed three villagers and wounded two over the weekend, the state-owned 'New Vision' said. The rebels were being chased away by a combined force of Ugandan and DRC soldiers, the newspaper added. About 1,000 villagers were displaced. Clinton to visit Uganda, will miss Kenya, DRC President Bill Clinton will travel to Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal from 22 March to 2 April in the first presidential tour of sub-Saharan Africa since Jimmy Carter went to Nigeria and Liberia in 1978. The White House announcement made no mention of Kenya nor DRC, both countries with which it has a constant on-off relationship. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila snubs Jackson President Bill Clinton's envoy Jesse Jackson said on Wednesday DRC President Laurent Kabila had declined to meet him during his two-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, media organisations reported. Jackson arrived in Kinshasa on Monday as part of US efforts to encourage Kabila's administration to open up political debate in the country and promote human rights. Jackson said Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha had been unhappy about his earlier talks with a broad section of Congolese society, including Kabila's opponents. Congolese television later reported that the meeting did not take place because in the opinion of the government Jackson did not conform to diplomatic norms.

298

Aid workers return to Baraka after brief evacuation UN and NGO staff returned to Baraka in eastern DRC on Wednesday after they were evacuated for at least two hours following an outbreak of fighting between different units of the army, humanitarian sources told IRIN. The early morning flare-up between rival elements was the first such incident since December. A group of returning refugees from Kigoma were also able to disembark after a short delay, the sources added. UN says two investigators join Mbandaka advance team UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said the human rights investigative mission to DRC had reported that two investigators joined the advance team in Mbandaka on Sunday. The others remained in Kinshasa where they continued preparations for their deployment in the eastern part of DRC, he told reporters in New York on Tuesday. An advance preparatory team of five investigators left Kinshasa for the northwestern town of Mbandaka on Friday. Kapalata to close finally at end of week The Kapalata military camp near Kisangani is to be closed by the end of the week, according to a decision by the governor of Orientale province and the chief military doctor. UNICEF told IRIN the move represented a common stance between the civilian and military authorities. The camp, which houses mostly children whom the authorities consider as MaiMai rebels, has been declared unfit for human habitation by aid agencies after about 300 inmates died from cholera and other diseases. UNICEF said it seems the camp housed some 1,500 children rather than the 3,000 previously reported. Nairobi, 13 February 1998 [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

299

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 18:20:04 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 354 for 13 Feb 98.2.13 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 354 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 13 February 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Etienne Tshisekedi arrested Soldiers arrested long-time Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi at his house last night (Thursday), and today (Friday) troops surrounded the offices of his party, the Union pour la democratie et le progres social (UDPS), news agencies reported. The UDPS, which along with all Congolese political parties is currently banned, is set to mark its 16th anniversary this weekend. SUDAN: SPLA withdraws claims responsibility for plane crash The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) today retracted earlier claims that its forces shot down a plane carrying high-ranking Sudanese officials yesterday, killing First VicePresident Al Zubair Mohammed Saleh and other prominent personalities. AFP quoted an SPLA spokesman in Nairobi, Justin Arop, as saying the plane was "hit by SPLA fire" and crashed near Wau in Bahr el Ghazal state. However, the Sudanese government said the plane crashed near Nasir on the Ethiopian border after making a forced landing due to bad weather. Another SPLA spokesman, John Luk, withdrew the claims today, Reuters reported. The plane apparently slid off a runway into the Sobat river at Nasir. According to Arop, the plane was due to land at Wau - where there has been heavy fighting between the rebels and government troops - before going on to the government-held town of Juba. Media reports say former rebel Arok Thon Arok, a signatory of the 1997 peace agreement, also died in the crash, while Lam Akol of the pro-government SPLA-United was reported wounded. Burials took place in Khartoum today. IPS reports today that contrary to rumour, Riak Machar - president of the south Sudan Coordination Council - was not on board. There were reportedly 57 people on board the plane of whom 31 died - many by drowning when the plane sank into the river.

300

Minister denies OLS to be terminated Minister for Social Planning Muhammad Uthman al-Khalifah has denied press reports that his government intends to terminate Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS). According to Sudanese radio, monitored by the BBC, he stressed the government's support for OLS. The Council of Ministers, at its last meeting, had decided to review the functions of OLS with the aim of boosting cooperation between the government and the UN. He added the decision to ban relief flights was "temporary". The move was taken because of the military and security situation "that would end soon", he said. Aid workers in Nairobi told IRIN today that Khartoum has been attacking civilian targets from the air in Bahr el Ghazal since 1 February. Some of the attacks on at least seven locations involved the use of cluster bombs. UGANDA: Lord's Resistance Army attacks Kitgum The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked the police station and prison in Kitgum, northern Uganda on the night of 9-10 February, humanitarian sources told IRIN today. Mortars were used in the attack, in which two civilians died and others were abducted, possibly to be forced to carry looted property. The Ugandan army responded and killed six rebels during a pursuit of the attackers. Landings at Kitgum airstrip have been banned since 11 February, and AFP today quoted an army spokesman saying that the rebels have "anti-aircraft weapons capable of hitting low-flying planes." TANZANIA: Rift Valley Fever warning A medical official in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha has warned residents of a possible outbreak of Rift Valley Fever, possibly brought by infected animals from Kenya. No human cases have yet been reported, Dr Peter Kilima told AFP yesterday. BURUNDI: Regional sanctions meeting postponed A meeting of the Regional Sanctions Coordinating Committee (RSCC) which oversees the regional embargo on Burundi has been postponed. Diplomatic sources told IRIN that no firm date has been set for the Kampala meeting, originally planned for this week. Sadako Ogata, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees arrived in Burundi yesterday as the latest leg on a regional tour. Nutritional survey in Gitega A joint WFP/Save the Children nutritional survey in Gitega last month revealed a global malnutrition rate of 20 percent of which five percent is severe. OCHA (formerly DHA) in Burundi reports in its latest bulletin that new or expanded nutritional programmes have been set up by NGOs in Muramvya, Bururi, Bubanza and Kayanza. UNICEF is conducting a nutritional survey in several provinces, while WFP and FAO are assessing food supplies and crop harvests jointly.

301

CNDD leader on trial in absentia AFP reports that a capital case is being brought against the leader of the rebel Conseil national pour la defence de la democratie (CNDD), Leonard Nyangoma in the Burundian courts. Nyangoma is among 12 people being prosecuted for complicity in the laying of anti-tank mines in Bujumbura last March. A court in Bujumbura yesterday requested further information on the cases. KENYA: Malaria kills 1,500 Kenya's northeastern province, battered in recent months by floods, cholera and Rift Valley Fever, is now in the grip of an unusually severe malaria epidemic. Ten members of parliament from the area drew attention to the health crisis at a press conference in Nairobi earlier this week, while Oxfam confirmed to IRIN today that they had collected the names of 1,500 people who had been killed by the disease since December. The severity of the outbreak is concerning health workers. Kenyan Ministry of Health officials disputed the death toll, but said supplies and personnel would be taken to the area, by helicopter if necessary, the 'Daily Nation' reported today. EAST AFRICA: More rain predicted, food security situation poor Above-average rainfall is predicted for much of the area over the period March-May 1998 and the food security situation will remain precarious, a conference of weather experts concluded today. "Much of the eastern part of the region and the Lake Victoria basin have high probabilities of normal to above-normal total precipitation from March through May," they said in a statement at the end of the week-long conference. The national, regional and international climate and food security experts said the major El Nino event which has caused heavy rainfall across the region was now past its peak, but that very warm sea-surface temperatures still existed in the western Indian Ocean and tropical Atlantic. The experts said these factors indicated above-normal rainfall was most likely over the coastal parts of northern Tanzania, Kenya, coastal southern Somalia and north-eastern Ethiopia and near- to above-normal rains were expected over the western part of the area. The final statement said that although southern Sudan, western Ethiopia, north-central Kenya and northern Uganda were likely to experience below-normal rainfall, risks of widespread dry conditions were low. "However, the food security situation remains precarious in the region due in part to poor harvests in early 1997 and excessive rains late in the year," the statement said. Kenya's Agriculture Minister Musalia Mudavadi told the closing session poor harvests would leave his country facing a shortfall this year of seven million bags of maize and between two and three million bags of beans. He said the rains - five times heavier than normal - had also hit tea and coffee production and led to the outbreak of diseases which killed livestock. He said Kenya now needed $300,000-worth of emergency vaccines and $1.3 million to repair damaged irrigation schemes.

302

Nairobi 13 February 1998 15:30 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

303

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 18:58:52 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 355 14-16 Feb 98.2.16 (fwd) Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 355 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 14-16 February 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Tshisekedi flown home, media says whereabouts unknown The government said arrested opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi was flown to his home village in the centre of Democratic Republic of the Congo on Friday to work on the land, but newspaper reports in Kinshasa today (Monday) said he had not arrived and his whereabouts were unknown. All the main newspapers in Kinshasa ran headlines saying Tshisekedi had still not arrived in Kabeya-Kamwanga. 'Le Potentiel' reported he was still somewhere in Kinshasa. In an open letter to the press, Tshisekedi's wife said that according to information she had received her husband was in Kinshasa and "has been tortured". Meanwhile, residents reported Kinshasa was buzzing with rumours that other opposition leaders who met US special envoy Jesse Jackson last week may also soon be arrested. UDPS supporters demonstrate in Brussels Meanwhile, supporters of his party, the Union pour la democratie et le progres social (UDPS), began a sit-in outside the US embassy in Brussels to protest his arrest. The government maintains the veteran opposition leader was arrested for violating a "ban on party political activities", but gave no other details. The arrest last Thursday took place after Tshisekedi met with Jackson, US President Bill Clinton's special envoy for democracy in Africa. DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila had earlier declined to meet Jackson, leading to intense speculation the meeting with Jackson was the reason for the opposition leader's detention. DRC Agriculture Minister Mawampanga Mwana Nanga told a news conference in Kinshasa on Friday the government wished to use the veteran opposition leader's skills as a "leader of

304

men" to contribute to the nutritional security of the region. "The compatriot E. Tshisekedi was flown aboard a jet chartered by the government on Friday to the commune of KabeyaKamwanga with a large quantity of seeds of corn, soya, peanut, rice and a motor-cultivator," he said. Interior Minister Gaetan Kakudji said in a statement read on state television that Tshisekedi had persistently broken a ban on party politics, but gave no other details. Senior figure quits UN human rights team A senior official investigating massacres in former Zaire has resigned, saying an independent and impartial UN inquiry into alleged human rights abuses has proven to be impossible. Quoting from his resignation letter, AFP reported Zimbabwean jurist Andrew Chigovera, deputy head of the probe, as saying: "I have great difficulties in believing that an environment conducive to the conduct of a proper, independent and impartial human rights investigation exists or that it will ever present itself." The on-off UN investigative mission has been embroiled in several disputes with the DRC government, but last week Spokesman for the Secretary-General Fred Eckhard said an advance team had finally been able to start work in the northwestern town of Mbandaka - one site of an alleged massacre. Jose Diaz, the mission's spokesperson in Kinshasa, told IRIN today the resignation was effective from the end of this month and said it was regrettable. He said the mission's work was continuing and they hoped shortly to start investigations in eastern DRC. Mobutu's wife loses appeal Meanwhile, the wife of the late Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko has lost an appeal against a decision by the Swiss authorities to help the new DRC government track down the country's missing and looted assets, news organisations reported last week. According to the Swiss supreme court, a decision to freeze Mobutu's assets in Swiss banks does not cause an "irreparable prejudice to his heirs" as it is temporary, pending investigations. "In a judicial cooperation procedure, only decisions which cause an immediate and irreparable prejudice can be subjected to an appeal" stated the judgement, dated 28 January, but published only last week. Kinshasa has also stepped up attempts to extradite senior figures of Mobutu's former government from South Africa where they are seeking asylum. Among other charges, they are accused of expropriation of the country's funds. RWANDA: Kagame becomes ruling party boss Rwandan military leader and Vice-President Paul Kagame has been elected head of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), AFP reported today. It said a weekend meeting of the party made Kagame chairman late on Sunday "after a close vote" and two days of intensive talks, which also saw the renewal of the whole party's leading body. Meanwhile, the Rwandan government has announced the creation of a national commission to inform the national and international public about the situation in the country, which has been facing an increasinglyserious insurgency by Hutu rebels in the northwest. The independent Rwandan news agency, RNA, said the commission would be chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister Anastase Gasana.

305

BURUNDI: Ogata announces tripartite commission UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said on Saturday her agency would help set up a tripartite commission aimed at facilitating voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees in Tanzania. "We will help set up a mechanism for consultation between Burundi, Tanzania and ourselves," Ogata told reporters at the end of a three-day visit to Burundi. "We will be the facilitator to see...at the technical level, what exactly can be done to help bring people, who want to come, back to Burundi," she added. EAST AFRICA: Summit set to review sanctions policy Diplomatic sources confirmed to IRIN today weekend press reports a summit of regional heads of state would take place in the Ugandan capital Kampala on 21 January to review the crisis in Burundi and sanctions imposed on that country by its neighbours. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is due to present a report to fellow regional leaders on a number of issues related to the sanctions policy. Meanwhile, Kenya Airways plans to resume tomorrow weekly relief and diplomatic carrier flights to Burundi's capital Bujumbura in spite of the embargo. UGANDA: Hospitals short of blood Following recent El-Nino-induced epidemics of malaria, cholera, and other fevers in the last three months, Uganda's cash-strapped hospitals are facing serious shortages of blood, the 'EastAfrican' newspaper today quoted health officials as saying. The weekly reported demand for blood had tripled since November with most of it needed for malaria victims, mainly women and children with low immunity levels. Troops deployed along Sudan border Uganda has deployed troops along the border with Sudan to block Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels from abducting captives. The 'New Vision' reported today the deployment followed the recent incursion into Kitgum from Sudan of 200 LRA fighters, led by Joseph Kony. SUDAN-EGYPT: Egyptian premier arrives in Khartoum Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzuri arrived in Khartoum on Friday to offer his condolences over the death of Sudan's first vice-president in a plane crash. The visit was the first by an Egyptian premier since ties between the two neighbours deteriorated in the early 1990s. Sudan's Vice President Al Zubair Mohammed Saleh and 25 others died when their plane crash landed on Thursday at Nasir, 800 km south of Khartoum, state television said. Meanwhile, river traffic between the two countries resumed on Saturday after a four-year suspension, Sudan's official news agency reported. A joint technical committee recently signed an agreement on transport along the Nile aimed at improving relations.

306

SUDAN: Human Rights Watch condemns summary executions Human Rights Watch has condemned the alleged use by Khartoum of summary public trials to punish political dissidents. In a statement on Thursday, the Washington-based rights group said the use of "very summary courts to punish government opponents who seek to exercise their free expression and free association rights ... makes a travesty of justice." The statement also voiced concern over reports indicating that since the government of President Omar elBeshir came to power in 1989, some 100 people have been sentenced to death and executed. Concern over conditions in Wau In the same statement, Human Rights Watch called on Khartoum to allow relief supplies to reach between 100,000 and 150,000 people in dire need of assistance in the south, especially around Wau, the second largest town in the region. Meanwhile, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) claimed on Saturday it had killed 768 government troops in an offensive on Wau launched at the end of January. SPLA spokesman Yasir Arman told Reuters in Addis Ababa that government forces held the town's airport while the SPLA were in control of several suburbs. There has been no independent confirmation of the claim. TANZANIA: Police and Moslem militants clash At least two people are believed to have died in clashes on Friday between the police and Muslim fundamentalists, the privately-owned Independent Television reported. The clashes began after police moved in to quell riots started by fundamentalists protesting against the arrest of one of their leaders who was among nine others arraigned in court for defying a government order prohibiting public sermons insulting other religions, the television said. IMF down plays threat of debt default A threat by the Tanzanian government to suspend debt repayments is being played down by the IMF. AFP reported the fund's senior Tanzanian official as saying today that he doubted the government, which has been "consistently responsible", would default. Last week, President Benjamin Mkapa threatened to suspend servicing the country's US $8 billion external debt until flood damage across the country was repaired. Nairobi 16 February 1998 15:30 GMT

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

307

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 10:23:07 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Africa: Debt burden 17.2.98

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk This posting contains an action alert from the Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign for forgiveness of debt of impoverished countries, a notice from the Mozambique News Agency on the latest developments concerning Mozambique's debts, and a list of selected sites for additional information on Africa's debt. +++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ THE JUBILEE 2000/USA CAMPAIGN P.O. Box 29550 Washington, DC 20017 E-mail: [email protected] Tel: 202/783-3566 Part of a worldwide movement to cancel the crushing international debt of impoverished countries by the new millennium ==> A C T I O N A L E R T <== Urge Clinton To Cancel Africa's Debt! ACTION: Contact the White House by late February, and urge President Clinton to cancel the entire debt owed by impoverished Sub-Saharan Africa countries to the United States before going to Africa in March. Emphasize that without relief from the strangling burden of debt, African countries will be unable to achieve the economic progress and human development they so urgently need. Address letters to: President Bill Clinton 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20500 Call the White House comment line: 202-456-1111 Send email to [email protected]

308

SAMPLE LETTER: Note : this is just a sample text. Please personalize your letter by expressing in your own words why this issue matters to you. Keep your letter to one page. Dear President Clinton: Your upcoming visit to Africa presents a critical opportunity to address the problem of the crushing debt borne by the world's most impoverished countries, most of which are in Africa. I understand that you plan to give high priority during your trip to commercial relations. However, I believe it is critical that you place emphasis on relieving Africa's debt. This debt not only discourages private investment but also blocks real progress toward poverty reduction and environmentally sustainable development. While I applaud your inclusion of some funds for debt relief in your latest budget proposal to Congress, I urge you to take even bolder action in advance of your trip by speaking out in support of cancellation of the entire debt owed by poor African countries to the US government. It is a tragedy that the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are now spending more each year on repaying their debts than they spend on all primary education and health care. The debt owed by African countries to the United States is about $4.5 billion, representing a relatively small share of Africa's total debt burden. Yet, cancellation of even this small share would send an important message to Africans as well as to other creditor governments that the United States recognizes the need to resolve the debt that weighs so heavily on impoverished people in that region. It would also follow a similar announcement by the United Kingdom to cancel the bilateral debt of the poorest Commonwealth countries. I support the call of the Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign for debt reduction that benefits people living in poverty, involves them in the process of determining the terms of debt relief, and is not tied to conditions that perpetuate poverty or environmental degradation. Please let me know what steps you are willing to take to address the critical need for debt cancellation. Sincerely, [your name and address] BACKGROUND: The Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign is calling upon creditor governments and institutions to cancel the crushing debt of the most impoverished countries, most of which are in Africa. President Clinton's planned visit to Africa in late March presents a critical opportunity to raise public attention in the United States to the problem of debt and to take action to resolve the problem.

309

President Clinton will be the first President in office to travel to Africa. Clinton is expected to give high priority to commercial relations and to present African countries with a new initiative to increase US trade and private investment in the region, as he announced in his recent State of the Union address. It is critical that President also give priority to relieving Africa's debt, since debt discourages private investment and also hinders progress toward fair and environmentally sustainable development. President Clinton should take action in advance of his trip to cancel the entire debt owed by poor African countries to the US government.* At last calculation, African countries owe the United States about $4.5 billion -- only a small share of Africa's total $236 billion debt burden. But cancellation of even this small share would send an important message to Africans as well as to other creditor governments that the United States recognizes the need to resolve the debt that weighs so heavily on impoverished people in that region. It would also follow a similar announcement by the United Kingdom to cancel the bilateral debt of the poorest Commonwealth countries. (*Note that current law restricts the United States from forgiving the debt of countries that systematically violate human rights, that have excessive military spending, or are engaged in terrorism or drug trafficking.) AN EXCERPT FROM THE JUBILEE 2000/USA EDUCATIONAL (forthcoming from Jubilee 2000/USA -- stay tuned for ordering information!)

PACKET:

"I called long ago for the cancellation of the crippling debt we have had to bear for so long. . . . There are others who have joined their voices in this campaign. There is something called Jubilee 2000. We ask our friends who have stood by us in the dark days of oppression and injustice. This is the new moral crusade to have the debt canceled following the biblical principle of Jubilee. Basically [this principle] says everything belongs to God; all debts and mortgages must be canceled in the Jubilee Year to give the debtors a chance to make a new beginning." -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a speech to the General Assembly of the All Africa Conference of Churches, October, 1997. ........... The debt burden inhibits the social and economic development that is needed to lift people out of poverty.... Its cancellation -- if carried out in ways that benefit ordinary people -- can bring a new opportunity for hope to millions who are currently unable to meet their basic human needs. The countries of sub-Saharan Africa, for example, spend more each year on repaying their debts than they spend on all primary education and health care. In 1996 the government of Mozambique spent twice as much money "servicing" -- i.e. making timely interest and principal payments -- its international debt as it spent on health and education. Yet one out of four children in Mozambique dies before reaching the age of five due to infectious disease. Zambia spends $4 on debt servicing for every $1 on health, while infant

310

mortality rates are rising. In Ethiopia, debt payments are four times public spending on health, while over 100,000 children die every year from easily preventable and treatable diarrhea. In 1996 Uganda spent only $3 per person on health care while spending $17 per person on repaying its debt. Yet one of every five Ugandan children dies from a preventable disease before reaching the age of five. THE ORIGIN OF THE DEBT Africa In addition to actions by northern economies that raised real interest rates for southern governments and dried up the demand for southern products, other factors have worsened Africa's debt problems. During the Cold War, donor governments were more interested in gaining allies than in whether the governments served the people or the money went to productive purposes. Newly independent African nations were led by inexperienced governments. Many projects financed by donors were poorly designed and unproductive: roads that went nowhere, factories that never produced, and power plants that were left uncompleted. This misspending left nothing behind except debt with no productive capacity to pay for the projects. In addition, some leaders wasted money on military expenditures and personal corruption. Africans with money kept their wealth overseas ("capital flight"). Civil wars and natural famines caused additional devastation. The African Development Bank, where the borrowers maintain a majority of decision making power, continued to make high interest loans to desperately poor countries. Neither these market rate loans nor low interest loans have been repaid, but the debt continues to grow as interest is charged for unpaid principal and unpaid interest. Because of inadequate resources to reduce Africa's debt, governments built up huge arrears. They paid a portion of their debt obligations, especially to the IMF and the multilateral institutions; what was not paid was added to the still unpaid principal of the debt. The size of the debt ballooned. Compounding the problem, international financial institutions and donor governments gave African governments poor advice on how to reform their economies. Donor governments lacked the political will to support an adequate solution to the debt. Ordinary Africans were excluded from having a voice in the decisions about debt relief and its conditions, while rich donor governments dominated the discussion. Africa has been trapped by the past -- old debt drains new sources of development funds and absorbs the time and skills of African leaders. Ridding Africa from the debt burden will not eradicate poverty. It can free Africa to address the present and future needs of its people and its land. ************************************************************ MOZAMBIQUE +NOT SATISFIED+ WITH PARIS CLUB DEBT RELIEF

311

REPORT FROM THE MOZAMBIQUE INFORMATION AGENCY (AIM) Maputo, 13 Feb (AIM) - The 80 per cent reduction in Mozambique's debt stock agreed to by the Club of Paris, the grouping of major creditor nations, in January is not enough to bring the country's debt down to fully sustainable levels, Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi told reporters in Maputo on Friday. Shortly after the Paris Club announcement, Mozambican and Russian technical delegations concluded negotiations on Mozambique's debt to the former Soviet Union. In line with the Paris Club position, the Russians would go no further than an 80 per cent reduction. While this does eliminate around two billion dollars worth of debt, it still leaves Mozambique owing Russia 509 million dollars, to be paid over 33 years, at an interest rate of 0.8 per cent per annum. Mocumbi said that the Paris Club and the Russian debt relief arrangements left the country with +a relatively sustainable debt. But we would like a fully sustainable debt+. +We are not satisfied with the outcome we reached with Russia+, he declared. +The debt should have been reduced by 95 per cent or even by 100 per cent, given the conditions under which we acquired that debt. The Russians know that perfectly well+. Around two thirds of the debt to Russia was military debt, incurred through the purchase of Soviet military equipment during the war of destabilisation. As for the Paris Club position, Mocumbi said +we would have achieved greater conditions for sustainability if they had gone beyond an 80 per cent write-off. The Paris Club have their own reasons for their procedures, but we are not satisfied+. The delay in dealing with the ex-Soviet debt (caused largely by conflicting figures in Maputo and Moscow, thanks to difficulties over the rouble exchange rate) has also postponed Mozambique's entry into the HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) debt relief initiative, which seeks dramatic reductions in both bilateral and multilateral debt. Reaching an agreement with Russia was a HIPC pre-condition imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. Since the deal was not reached until the end of January, hopes that the HIPC +decision point+ (the moment when the IMF and the World Bank declare Mozambique to be eligible for HIPC treatment) would be reached in December were dashed. World Bank officials insist on a gap of at least 18 months between the +decision point+ and the +completion point+ (when the debt relief is actually implemented), during which time Mozambique has to continue showing what the IMF regards as +good performance+ in implementing its structural adjustment programme. This means that there is no chance of a +completion point+ in 1998, and even the mid-1999 date suggested by World Bank country director for Mozambique, Phyllis Pomerantz, is

312

compromised. The end of 1999 now looks like the earliest date that the IMF and World Bank will agree to, unless friendly creditors put strong pressure on the Bretton Woods institutions. Mocumbi said that Mozambique had done all in its power to achieve an early +decision point+. It was now up to World Bank and IMF officials to decide. An IMF delegation is currently in Maputo, he revealed. +We have expressed our concerns to them, asking when the decision point will be reached+, said Mocumbi. +We would like it to be as soon as possible+. He regretted that it had not proved possible to meet the pre-conditions for the decision point (essentially the negotiations with Russia) +in due time. But we couldn't do anything else+. Asked about supposed difficulties with some Paris Club creditors, notably Portugal and Japan, Mocumbi said that since the Paris Club as a whole had taken a position, there should be no serious problems with its individual members. He hoped that +at bilateral level, we may obtain better terms than those offered by the Paris Club+. (AIM) ************************************************************ Note: Additional resources on Africa's debt can be found at: (1) Oxfam International Debt Papers http://www.oneworld.org/oxfam/policy/papers/lpapers.htm (2) Jubilee 2000 (International http://www.oneworld.org/jubilee2000/

Debt

Forgiveness

Coalition)

(3) European Debt Network on Debt and Development http://www.oneworld.org/eurodad ************************************************************ This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), the educational affiliate of the Washington Office on Africa. APIC's primary objective is to widen the policy debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant information and analysis usable by a wide range of groups and individuals.

313

Auto-response addresses for more information (send any e-mail message): [email protected] (about the Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List); [email protected] (about APIC); [email protected] (about WOA). Documents previously distributed, as well as the auto-response information files, are also available on the Web at: http://www.africapolicy.org To be added to or dropped from the distribution list write to [email protected] For more information about material cited from another source please contact directly the source mentioned in the posting rather than APIC. For additional information: Africa Policy Information Center, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, #509, Washington, DC 20002. Phone: 202-546-7961. Fax: 202-546-1545. E-mail: [email protected] ************************************************************

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-extra]

314

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 17:24:12 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 356 for 17 Feb 98.2.17 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 356 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 17 February 1998) BURUNDI-TANZANIA: Ogata says "tripartite mechanism" to meet mid-March United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Sadako Ogata said today (Tuesday) she expected the first "technical level" meeting between representatives of Burundi, Tanzania, and UNHCR would take place by mid-March. The two countries agreed at the weekend to create a "tripartite mechanism" designed to facilitate the voluntary return of thousands of Burundian refugees from camps in Tanzania. There are an estimated 260,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania. Ogata, who is on the last section of a three-week African tour, told a Nairobi press conference the mechanism would allow for the development of a technical plan of action for voluntary repatriation. She said that though there was still some insecurity in parts of Burundi, many people still wished to go back home. UNHCR to train Tanzanian police to patrol refugee camps Ogata also insisted on the importance of maintaining the civilian character of the camps. With UNHCR support, she said Tanzanian police would continue to provide a 24-hour security and surveillance service for the camps and said UNHCR would train and equip a 500-strong contingent of Tanzanian police to patrol the camps. "There were a lot of allegations (and) criticism from the Burundi side that the camps in Tanzania were being used for military activities (and) political activities and we have been criticised for letting that happen," Ogata told the news conference. "We will be strengthening the Tanzanian police capacity in the camps, giving them training, bringing in some international trainers, giving them some equipment," she said, adding that the UNHCR would have international liaison officers with the police. Police have recently removed over 40 combatants from one civilian camp population.

315

KENYA: WFP warns food rations could be cut in half WFP warned today that food rations for 125,000 refugees in northeastern Kenya's Dadaab camps could be cut by half in two weeks' time if urgent funding for the Dadaab air bridge is not received immediately. WFP says the reduction comes at a time when many of the refugees are particularly weak and already suffering from a rise in malaria as a result of the constant rains and flood conditions in the camps. Currently, WFP provides monthly nearly 1,800 mt of food to the 125,000 Somali and Sudanese refugees in the three Dadaab camps - Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley. Refugees receive almost 1,900 calories in their daily 510 gram ration made up of maize, wheat flour, beans, lentils, oil and salt. WFP has been urging donors to give US $2.2 million to continue the air bridge until March. To date, only US $705,000 has been received, from the US and the Netherlands, but these funds have now been exhausted. Kenya and London Club agree to reschedule debt Kenya and the London Club of creditor private banks have reached an accord on rescheduling Kenya's debt arrears which amount to US $70 million dollars, the banks said on Monday. "The principles of an agreement have been reached for restructuring the arrears owed to the banks by Kenya," a communique from BNP, the French bank that chairs the London Club, said. The agreement which is due to come into effect at the end of March reschedules the principal debt over 10 years but includes a deferment for three years. BURUNDI: Buyoya details his government's priorities Burundi's military leader Pierre Buyoya has said the four priorities of his regime were boosting security, ending a war with Hutu rebels, raising economic production and fighting corruption, AFP reported. Buyoya told a news conference that overall, the security situation in the country was under control, although it was "disturbed" in some areas around the capital and in the provinces. CORRECTION: A summit of regional heads of state will take place in the Ugandan capital Kampala on 21 February to review the crisis in Burundi and sanctions imposed on that country by its neighbours. IRIN Update 355 yesterday incorrectly reported the summit would take place on 21 January. RWANDA: Former mayor of Bicumbi pleads not guilty at Arusha Laurent Semanza, former mayor of the central Rwandan city of Bicumbi, has pleaded not guilty before the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha to charges of genocide, the court said in a statement. Semanza faces seven charges including genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. During the 1994 genocide, Semanza was on the central committee of the presidential party, the Mouvement republicain national pour la democratie et le developpement (MRND), and was an MP in the transitional national assembly. Meanwhile, AFP reported that the defense lawyer for Rwandan genocide suspect Jean-Paul Akayesu last Friday had asked the UN tribunal to summon former prime minister Jean Kambanda. The lawyer said Kambanda's testimony would clarify what transpired at a

316

meeting on 18 April 1994, in the central Rwandan city of Gitarama, after which Akayesu, then mayor of nearby Taba, allegedly incited the slaughter of Tutsis in his locality. In another trial, a former general who commanded elite Hutu units during the 1994 Rwandan civil war, Gratien Kabiligi, today pleaded not guilty to charges of committing and encouraging the genocide of Tutsis. "Mr. Chairman, there was no genocide. There was war. I plead not guilty," Kabiligi said at his first appearance before the tribunal. Kabiligi, now 46, was in charge of military operations for the chief of staff of the then Hutu-dominated Rwandan army. Belgium's justice minister to visit court Belgium Justice Minister Stefan de Clerck will visit the ICTR on 23 February, the court announced in a press release. During the visit, de Clerck will meet with the Tribunal President Judge Laity Kama and Registrar Agwu Ukiwe Okali. The minister will also observe the testimony of Canadian General Romeo Dallaire in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu. Dallaire begins his testimony as a witness for the defence on 23 February. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Belgian businessman released Belgian businessman Patrick Claes, detained since August in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been freed, a Belgian minister said in Kinshasa yesterday (Monday). DRC radio, monitored by the BBC, said Claes, who was manager of Sizarail, the national railways in former Zaire, would leave the DRC capital later in the day accompanied by Minister of Zoning for the Brussels region Herve Hasquin. Claes was among some 30 members of the ousted regime of late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko to have been tried in Kinshasa for misappropriating public funds, but no trial date was ever set. Hasquin said Belgium paid no money to obtain the release of Claes. Fighting reported in Bukavu Heavy fighting erupted in Bukavu early today, but other details were not available. Humanitarian sources told IRIN the town was calm again after heavy exchanges of gunfire between midnight and five a.m., but said it was not clear who was responsible. Eastern DRC has recently witnessed several flare-ups between rival units of the army and attacks on government forces by Mai-Mai rebels. AFRICA: FAO calls for better agricultural practices Sub-Saharan Africa risks being marginalised from the mainstream world economy unless it improves agricultural practices, according to FAO. In a paper prepared for a regional conference in Addis Ababa next week, the UN's food agency said many countries in the region had failed to adopt environmentally-sustainable agricultural practices to improve productivity. FAO called for urgent action to transform agriculture and rationalise the exploitation of forests and other natural resources to halt the process of degradation which has characterised the last three decades. While acknowledging that population growth has contributed to the degradation of natural resources in the region, the paper stressed that the main factor was a policy failure

317

to address this problem, to transform agriculture and make it sustainable and to rationalize the exploitation of forests and other natural resources. The FAO paper also stressed a fundamental requirement for sustainable development is political and social stability. Nairobi 17 February 1998 14:30 GMT [ENDS}

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

318

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 18:01:00 +0300 From: Jonathan Michael Clayton Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 356 - correction Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk In IRIN Update 356 of 17 February, please read in headline and text ... Heavy fighting erupted in Uvira early today ... instead of ... in Bukavu (correcting name of town). IRIN has no reports of any fighting in Bukavu. Nairobi 17 February 1998 15:00 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

319

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 17:54:21 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 357 for 18 Feb 98.2.18 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected]rg MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 357 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 18 February 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila says peace precondition for elections DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila has rejected pressure to hold elections until "peace prevails". Speaking on state-controlled television on Monday, Kabila said the country was awash with guns, "that is why we have decided to ban political activities, so that people don't shoot at one another." In the broadcast, monitored by the BBC, Kabila said a census would be held by August of this year and a referendum on a draft constitution by October. Elections would then follow, but he set no date. Kabila defended his decision to send opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi to his home village, saying he was "happy" there. "When political activities kick off just after the transitional period ... he can come back and resume his political activities if he so desires," he added. Uvira calm after clashes Calm has returned to Uvira after clashes between government soldiers and unidentified armed assailants early yesterday morning. According to humanitarian sources, heavy firing was heard in the northern and southern quarters of the town. One source, quoting a military officer, said Burundi rebels attempting to cross Lake Tanganyika were ambushed by the army. ANGOLA: Dos Santos-Savimbi meeting stalled over security arrangements Disagreement over the security detail for Angolan former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi is blocking plans for his meeting with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, AFP reported. Discussions between UNITA and the government continued yesterday in Luanda. Agreement has been reached on the proposal to reduce the 400 men Savimbi is allowed as bodyguards over the next nine months to no more than 150. But a spokeswoman for the UN Angolan

320

peacekeeping mission told IRIN today (Wednesday) that the sticking point is the "guards' distribution". The government insists that only 50 would be allowed in Luanda, while UNITA demands a larger contingent, or an exemption "under special circumstances". According to the spokeswoman, the issue is important as the "UNITA leadership will have to move to Luanda before 28 February," the deadline agreed by both sides in a revised peace timetable. She also pointed out that according to the timetable, demobilisation of UNITA residual forces is due to conclude by 26 February. However, 3,000 UNITA men out of 7,877 remain to be processed. She said demobilisation "has been advancing quite fast, and I think it's feasible." Attacks mount by armed men in southwest Six people were killed and four wounded in a machine-gun attack on Friday on a coach travelling along the Luanda-Benguela road, 60 km from the southwestern port of Lobito, the state daily Journal d'Angola reported today. In a separate incident, four people, three of them police officers, reportedly died at the weekend in an attack blamed on former UNITA rebels in Benguela Province. Local radio said four other people were wounded in the raid, the first such incident linked to UNITA since the beginning of the year. The radio said two other people were killed in a blast along the road connecting the towns of Lukapa and Kalukul in the northeast. It added that several people had also been killed in an attack blamed on UNITA near the northeast town of Xamuteba. According to the MONUA spokeswoman, "there's been a slight increase in the number of allegations and incidents verified. But I can't say there's an atmosphere of instability." BURUNDI: CNDD pulls out of talks The Hutu rebel Conseil national pour la defence de la democratie (CNDD) has pulled out of negotiations with the regime of Pierre Buyoya, AFP reported. In a statement on Tuesday from Brussels, CNDD spokesman Jerome Ndiho said the rebels "from today suspend their participation in the negotiating process until the genocidal leadership of Bujumbura publicly desists from the massacre of innocent civilians." Uganda was planning to host a regional summit on Burundi in Kampala on Saturday. The summit was expected to review regionallyimposed sanctions against Burundi. Kenya Airways resumes flights to Burundi Kenya Airways yesterday resumed its flights to Bujumbura as part of a planned weekly service, the airline said. An official told IRIN that the airline had received official clearance to cross Tanzanian airspace. GREAT LAKES: EU food aid arrives A 25,000 ton consignment of EU-donated maize for WFP's emergency operations in the Great Lakes region landed at Mombasa port yesterday. The donation, valued at US $10.7 million including transport costs, will provide a maize ration for 1.4 million people for one and a half

321

months, a WFP statement said. WFP's 1998 food requirement for the region is 250,000 tons. The 25,000 tons of maize will be divided amongst WFP operations in four countries: Rwanda (16,312 MT), Uganda (3,000 MT), Burundi (5,186 MT), and Democratic Republic of Congo (502 MT). Due to flood damage to transport links, "the challenge now will be to transport the food in-land," Allen Jones, Regional Manager for WFP's Great Lakes operation said. Meanwhile, security along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway has been increased to protect cargo held up along the flood-damaged road, the 'Daily Nation' reported today. "When we feel we cannot cope with the situation, we shall close the road again and advise transporters to use alternative means," a police spokesman said. UGANDA: New military reshuffle Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday replaced army commander Major General Mugisha Muntu with Major General Jeje Adong. Army public relations officer Shaban Bantazira told AFP the latest reshuffle involved more than 10 appointments. These included the elevation of former chief of combat operations Brigadier Joram Mugume to deputy army commander, while former director of military intelligence, Colonel Tole, was made chief of operations for training. TANZANIA: Cholera claims 108 in southern highland region At least 27 people have died from cholera in Tanzania's southern highland region of Iranga between 6 January and 12 February this year, state-owned radio Tanzania reported yesterday. The radio said the new deaths brought to 108 the total number of fatalities since the disease broke out in the region last October. Meanwhile, the Tanzanian government has leased a DC-8 cargo plane from Belgium to ferry anti-cholera medicines to the northern Lake Victoria region, where the disease is on the increase, AFP said. As of Tuesday, two trips had been made, carrying a total of 80 tones of medical aid for Mwanza and the surrounding areas of Shinyanga and Tabora. The regions are facing acute shortages of drugs after the collapse of rail and road transportation in the wake of heavy rains and flooding since October. Meanwhile, the EU said on Tuesday that its temporary ban on fish exports from Tanzania did not include frozen or processed fish products. The EU head of delegation in Tanzania, Peter Beck, said the ban imposed recently over concern at continued cholera outbreaks in east Africa, applied to all fresh fish coming from Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. He added that EU countries have also taken "precautionary measures" over fresh fruit and vegetables imports which include sample testing at airports of entry. SUDAN: New vice president named Foreign Minister Ali Osman Mohammed Taha was named Sudan's first vice president on Tuesday, replacing General Al Zubair Mohammed Saleh, killed in a plane crash last week, the official SUNA news agency said. Minister of state for foreign affairs Mustafa Osman Ismail was named to replace Taha as foreign minister.

322

Nairobi, 18 February 1998 15:30 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

323

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 17:21:09 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 358 for 19 Feb 98.2.19 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 358 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 19 February 1998) SUDAN: UN launches US $109 million appeal for emergency assistance The UN launched a US $109.4 million appeal yesterday (Thursday) for emergency assistance to more than four million victims of war and drought in Sudan. In a press release, the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said a combination of intensified fighting and widespread drought was threatening to displace hundreds of thousands of Sudanese from their homes and put entire communities at risk of severe hunger and life-threatening diseases. The money would also be used for projects aimed at protecting livelihoods and, in the medium term, reestablishing communities and social networks, the statement added. The bulk of emergency assistance to Sudan is chanelled through Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), a consortium of UN agencies and non-governmental organisations launched in 1988. Malnutrition stalks displaced in Bahr el Ghazal Increasing signs of disease and malnutrition are emerging among the 100,000 displaced in southern Sudan's Bahr el Ghazal state, a humanitarian agency report has warned. The local population in the area is also facing food and water shortages, the report said. It stressed that seeds and tools are urgently required to prepare for cultivation in March. Unless these items are received within the coming weeks, the food deficit situation will persist. Polio immunisation campaign launched Meanwhile, OLS announced yesterday (Wednesday) in Nairobi that the first round of a polio immunisation programme for southern Sudan is underway. The campaign will target some 750,000 children in government and rebel held areas. The second round, essential for completing the vaccination course, is to start on 16 March. However, Bahr el Ghazal, home to

324

some 40 percent of targeted children in southern Sudan, may not be covered due to current flight suspensions, the agency warned. Sudan remains one of only three countries in the world where WHO-recommended eradication strategies have yet to be introduced. Turabi elected secretary-general of National Congress Sudanese Islamic leader Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi was elected secretary-general of the ruling National Congress, Sudan's only political organisation on Wednesday. The National Congress re-elected President Omar al-Beshir as its chairman and chose Sherif Zein al-Abdin al-Hindi, the former secretary-general of the outlawed Democratic Unionist Party, to be its deputy chairman, AFP said. The three were elected unanimously. There were no other candidates. The National Congress on Tuesday also endorsed guidelines for a draft constitution. Most speakers opposed a return to multiparty politics, although the draft reportedly provides for freedom of association. Turabi said the new constitution would take effect on 30 June. Meanwhile, southern faction fighters backing the government who live in the Khartoum area have been ordered to surrender their weapons in a bid to stamp out insecurity, press reports said. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Garreton condemns Kinshasa's human rights record The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DRC has expressed "deep concern" over the "continuing deterioration of human rights" in the country. In a statement released in Geneva yesterday, Roberto Garreton said he had received "numerous allegations of grave violations" since the start of 1998, and urged President Laurent-Desire Kabila to take all necessary measures to rectify the situation. Garreton said the "disturbing situation raised serious doubts about the process of democratisation". Meanwhile, humanitarian sources report the army launched cordon-and-search operations today in Bukavu and Uvira hunting for weapons. NGOs have been restricted to their homes and some radios and mobile telephones were confiscated. KENYA: Air force to airlift medical supplies Kenya announced plans on Wednesday to use its air force to airlift mobile medical teams and drugs to the areas hardest hit by a malaria epidemic. A spokesman at the National Disaster Operational Centre in Nairobi said the mobile teams would be sent to Northeastern, Eastern, Nyanza and the Coast districts of Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Lamu and Tana River. The PANA news agency quoted medical officials in Kericho District, western Kenya, as confirming 118 malaria-related deaths in the area since January.

325

Rwanda: Trial of Interahamwe leader adjourned The hearing of a senior member of Rwanda's Interahamwe militia, held responsible for most of the atrocities during the 1994 genocide, was adjourned on Wednesday due to the defendant's health, news agencies reported. Georges Rutaganda, a deputy leader of the militia, was too ill to attend the hearing, his lawyer told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Priests accused of genocide appear in court Two Rwandan Roman Catholic priests accused of genocide and other crimes against humanity appeared in court on Monday in the western prefecture of Kibuye. The two clergymen are alleged to have committed crimes of genocide in 1994 in Gisenyi in the northwest and Kibuye, state radio monitored by the BBC said. The trial was adjourned to 24 February. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Commercial flights resume to Brazzaville International civilian air traffic resumed at Brazzaville airport on Wednesday with the arrival of an Air Afrique flight from Cotonou, official radio monitored by AFP reported. GREAT LAKES: Ogata says refugee outflow slowing UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday for talks which a UNHCR spokesman described as "very frank." The spokesman said Museveni is considered as a "model" in his attitude to refugees, AFP reported. Ogata said the refugee outflow in the Great Lakes region had slowed, but that many problems remained to be solved, he added. Ogata is on a three-week tour of nine African countries. EAST AFRICA: Police chiefs agree regional anti-crime strategy Police chiefs of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have agreed on collective action to combat cross border crime and improve interstate communication between their forces, the PANA news agency reported. The deal was reached on Tuesday at the end of a two-day conference in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The agreement includes cooperation on the establishment of data banks on motor vehicle thefts, illicit arms and drug trafficking as well as cattle rustling in the region. Nairobi, 19 February 1998 14:00 GMT [ENDS]

326

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 13:56:32 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 8-98 13-19 Feb 98.2.20 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 8-98 covering the period 13-19 Feb 1998 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Tshisekedi arrested, flown home The government arrested opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi and then said he was flown to his home village in the centre of Democratic Republic of the Congo last Friday to work on the land. Newspaper reports in Kinshasa said he had not arrived and his whereabouts were unknown. In an open letter to the press, Tshisekedi's wife said that according to information she had received her husband was in Kinshasa and "has been tortured". DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila defended the move, saying Tshisekedi was "happy" there. "When political activities kick off just after the transitional period ... he can come back and resume his political activities if he so desires," he added. Kabila rejected pressure to hold elections until "peace prevails". In a broadcast, monitored by the BBC, Kabila said a census would be held by August of this year and a referendum on a draft constitution by October. Elections would then follow, but he set no date.

327

UDPS supporters demonstrate in Brussels Meanwhile, supporters of Tshisekedi's party, the Union pour la democratie et le progres social (UDPS), began a sit-in outside the US embassy in Brussels to protest his arrest. The arrest took place after Tshisekedi met with Jackson, US President Bill Clinton's special envoy for democracy in Africa. Interior Minister Gaetan Kakudji said in a statement read on state television last Friday that Tshisekedi had persistently broken a ban on party politics, but gave no other details. Garreton condemns Kinshasa's human rights record The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DRC expressed "deep concern" over the "continuing deterioration of human rights" in the country. In a statement released in Geneva on Wednesday, Roberto Garreton said he had received "numerous allegations of grave violations" since the start of 1998, and urged Kabila to take all necessary measures to rectify the situation. Garreton said the "disturbing situation raised serious doubts about the process of democratisation". Senior figure quits UN human rights team A senior official investigating massacres in former Zaire has resigned, saying an independent and impartial UN inquiry into alleged human rights abuses has proven to be impossible. Quoting from his resignation letter, AFP reported Zimbabwean jurist Andrew Chigovera, deputy head of the probe, as saying: "I have great difficulties in believing that an environment conducive to the conduct of a proper, independent and impartial human rights investigation exists or that it will ever present itself." The on-off UN investigative mission has been embroiled in several disputes with the DRC government. Jose Diaz, the mission's spokesperson in Kinshasa, told IRIN the resignation was effective from the end of this month and said it was regrettable. He said the mission's work was continuing and they hoped shortly to start investigations in eastern DRC. Uvira calm after clashes Calm has returned to Uvira after clashes between government soldiers and unidentified armed assailants early on Tuesday morning. According to humanitarian sources, heavy firing was heard in the northern and southern quarters of the town. One source, quoting a military officer, said Burundi rebels attempting to cross Lake Tanganyika were ambushed by the army. Later in the week, humanitarian sources reported the army launched cordon-and-search operations in Bukavu and Uvira hunting for weapons. NGO staff were restricted to their homes and some radios and mobile telephones were confiscated. Mobutu's wife loses appeal Meanwhile, the wife of the late Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko has lost an appeal against a decision by the Swiss authorities to help the new DRC government track down the

328

country's missing and looted assets, news organisations reported. Kinshasa also stepped up attempts to extradite senior figures of Mobutu's former government from South Africa where they are seeking asylum. Among other charges, they are accused of expropriation of the country's funds. Belgian businessman released Belgian businessman Patrick Claes, detained since August, was freed and allowed to leave the country. Claes, who was manager of Sizarail, the national railways in former Zaire, flew home with Minister of Zoning for the Brussels region Herve Hasquin. Claes was among some 30 members of the ousted regime of late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko to have been tried in Kinshasa for misappropriating public funds, but no trial date was ever set. Hasquin said Belgium paid no money to obtain the release of Claes. BURUNDI-TANZANIA: Ogata announces tripartite commission UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said her agency would help set up a tripartite commission aimed at facilitating voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees in Tanzania. "We will help set up a mechanism for consultation between Burundi, Tanzania and ourselves," Ogata told reporters at the end of a three-day visit to Burundi. "We will be the facilitator to see...at the technical level, what exactly can be done to help bring people, who want to come, back to Burundi," she added. She said she expected the first "technical level" meeting to take place in mid-March. There are an estimated 260,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania. Ogata, who is on the last section of a three-week African tour, told a Nairobi press conference on Tuesday the mechanism would allow for the development of a plan of action for voluntary repatriation. She said that though there was still some insecurity in parts of Burundi, many people still wished to go back home. UNHCR to train Tanzanian police to patrol refugee camps Ogata also insisted on the importance of maintaining the civilian character of the camps. With UNHCR support, she said Tanzanian police would continue to provide a 24-hour security and surveillance service for the camps and said UNHCR would train and equip a 500-strong contingent of Tanzanian police to patrol the camps. "There were a lot of allegations (and) criticism from the Burundi side that the camps in Tanzania were being used for military activities (and) political activities and we have been criticised for letting that happen," Ogata told the news conference. "We will be strengthening the Tanzanian police capacity in the camps, giving them training, bringing in some international trainers, giving them some equipment," she said, adding that the UNHCR would have international liaison officers with the police. Police have recently removed over 40 combatants from one civilian camp population.

329

CNDD pulls out of talks The Hutu rebel Conseil national pour la defence de la democratie (CNDD) has pulled out of negotiations with the regime of Pierre Buyoya, AFP reported. In a statement on Tuesday from Brussels, CNDD spokesman Jerome Ndiho said the rebels "from today suspend their participation in the negotiating process until the genocidal leadership of Bujumbura publicly desists from the massacre of innocent civilians." EAST AFRICA: Summit set to review sanctions policy Diplomatic sources confirmed a summit of regional heads of state would take place in the Ugandan capital Kampala on 21 February to review the crisis in Burundi and sanctions imposed on that country by its neighbours. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is due to present a report to fellow regional leaders on a number of issues related to the sanctions policy. Meanwhile, Kenya Airways on Tuesday resumed weekly relief and diplomatic carrier flights to Burundi's capital Bujumbura in spite of the embargo. RWANDA: Kagame becomes ruling party boss Rwandan military leader and Vice-President Paul Kagame was elected head of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). A weekend meeting of the party made Kagame chairman late on Sunday "after a close vote" and two days of intensive talks, which also saw the renewal of the party's leading body. Trial of Interahamwe leader adjourned The hearing of a senior member of Rwanda's Interahamwe militia, held responsible for most of the atrocities during the 1994 genocide, was adjourned on Wednesday due to the defendant's health, news agencies reported. Georges Rutaganda, a deputy leader of the militia, was too ill to attend the hearing, his lawyer told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Priests accused of genocide appear in court Two Rwandan Roman Catholic priests accused of genocide and other crimes against humanity appeared in court on Monday in the western prefecture of Kibuye. The two clergymen are alleged to have committed crimes of genocide in 1994 in Gisenyi in the northwest and Kibuye, state radio monitored by the BBC said. The trial was adjourned to 24 February. Former mayor of Bicumbi pleads not guilty at Arusha Laurent Semanza, former mayor of the central Rwandan city of Bicumbi, has pleaded not guilty before the ICTR in Arusha to charges of genocide, the court said in a statement. Semanza faces seven charges including genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. During the 1994 genocide, Semanza was on the central committee of the presidential party, the Mouvement republicain national pour la democratie et le developpement (MRND), and was an MP in the transitional national assembly. Meanwhile,

330

AFP reported that the defense lawyer for Rwandan genocide suspect Jean-Paul Akayesu last Friday had asked the UN tribunal to summon former prime minister Jean Kambanda. The lawyer said Kambanda's testimony would clarify what transpired at a meeting on 18 April 1994, in the central Rwandan city of Gitarama, after which Akayesu, then mayor of nearby Taba, allegedly incited the slaughter of Tutsis in his locality. In another trial, a former general who commanded elite Hutu units during the 1994 Rwandan civil war, Gratien Kabiligi, also pleaded not guilty to charges of committing and encouraging the genocide of Tutsis. "Mr. Chairman, there was no genocide. There was war. I plead not guilty," Kabiligi said at his first appearance before the tribunal. Kabiligi, now 46, was in charge of military operations for the chief of staff of the then Hutu-dominated Rwandan army. Belgium's justice minister to visit court Belgium Justice Minister Stefan de Clerck will visit the ICTR on 23 February, the court announced in a press release. During the visit, de Clerck will meet with the Tribunal President Judge Laity Kama and Registrar Agwu Ukiwe Okali. The minister will also observe the testimony of Canadian General Romeo Dallaire in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu. Dallaire begins his testimony as a witness for the defence on 23 February. SUDAN: UN launches US $109 million appeal for emergency assistance The UN launched a US $109.4 million appeal on Thursday for emergency assistance to more than four million victims of war and drought in Sudan. In a press release, the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said a combination of intensified fighting and widespread drought was threatening to displace hundreds of thousands of Sudanese from their homes and put entire communities at risk of severe hunger and life-threatening diseases. The money would also be used for projects aimed at protecting livelihoods and, in the medium term, reestablishing communities and social networks, the statement added. The bulk of emergency assistance to Sudan is chanelled through Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), a consortium of UN agencies and non-governmental organisations launched in 1988. Malnutrition stalks displaced in Bahr el Ghazal Increasing signs of disease and malnutrition are emerging among the 100,000 displaced in southern Sudan's Bahr el Ghazal state, a humanitarian agency report has warned. The local population in the area is also facing food and water shortages, the report said. It stressed that seeds and tools are urgently required to prepare for cultivation in March. Unless these items are received within the coming weeks, the food deficit situation will persist. Polio immunisation campaign launched Meanwhile, OLS announced in Nairobi on Wednesday that the first round of a polio immunisation programme for southern Sudan is underway. The campaign will target some 750,000 children in government and rebel held areas. The second round, essential for

331

completing the vaccination course, is to start on 16 March. However, Bahr el Ghazal, home to some 40 percent of targeted children in southern Sudan, may not be covered due to current flight suspensions, the agency warned. Sudan remains one of only three countries in the world where WHO-recommended eradication strategies have yet to be introduced. Human Rights Watch condemns summary executions Human Rights Watch has condemned the alleged use by Khartoum of summary public trials to punish political dissidents. In a statement on Thursday, the Washington-based rights group said the use of "very summary courts to punish government opponents who seek to exercise their free expression and free association rights ... makes a travesty of justice." KENYA: Air force to airlift medical supplies Kenya announced plans on Wednesday to use its air force to airlift mobile medical teams and drugs to the areas hardest hit by a malaria epidemic. A spokesman at the National Disaster Operational Centre in Nairobi said the mobile teams would be sent to Northeastern, Eastern, Nyanza and the Coast districts of Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Lamu and Tana River. The PANA news agency quoted medical officials in Kericho District, western Kenya, as confirming 118 malaria-related deaths in the area since January. Nairobi 20 February 1998 [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

332

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 17:39:58 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 360 for 21-23 Feb 98.2.23 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 360 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 21-23 February 1998) BURUNDI: Sanctions to stay Regional leaders decided to keep economic sanctions against Burundi at the end of a meeting in Kampala on Saturday. Burundi radio, monitored by the BBC, said however there appeared to be some division among the participants. It also pointed out that for the first time, Burundi had attended a regional summit to discuss the embargo. However, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, quoted by AFP, said there was "complete unanimity" on maintaining sanctions. A summit statement claimed "no significant progress" had been made in the peace process. Museveni had earlier opened the meeting with a call to "banish the ideology of genocide and sectarianism forever". The statement said all-party peace talks should continue under the mediation of former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, whom Burundi's rulers accuse of bias. Burundi's Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama described the decision as "a very bad step in the wrong direction", according to AFP. President Pierre Buyoya, speaking on his return to Bujumbura, said the decision would not put a stop to the peace process. "I think that the lifting of sanctions will depend on us," he said on Burundi radio. "We are going to endeavour to see to it that in the coming months, no-one will have any pretext to call for sanctions against Burundi or call for their maintenance." The meeting was attended by Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Nyerere was also present, as was OAU Secretary-General Dr Salim Ahmed Salim.

333

RWANDA: 11 killed in attack on tea factory Eleven people were killed following a rebel attack on a tea factory near the northwestern town of Gisenyi last week, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Rebels armed with rifles and traditional weapons attacked the Pfunda tea factory on Thursday afternoon, and ensuing clashes with the army reportedly lasted some 50 minutes. Dallaire testimony postponed General Romeo Dallaire, who headed the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) at the time of the 1994 genocide, was due to testify before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha today (Monday), but the hearing was postponed after one of the judges was injured in a riding accident. Dallaire has been called by the defence in the case of Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of Taba in Gitarama prefecture. BBC radio commented that his appearance will put the spotlight on the UN's activities at the time of the genocide. The hearing is expected to resume tomorrow or Wednesday, to give Judge Lennart Aspegren time to recover. In addition, two senior French army officers are expected to testify as defence witnesses in the Akayesu case. AFP said they were believed to have been involved in French military operations in Rwanda: one in the early 1990s known as Operation Noroit when France sent troops to help the government of ex-president Juvenal Habyarimana against the then-rebel RPF. The second, Operation Turquoise, was launched towards the end of the genocide in July 1994 to set up a "safe zone" in southwest Rwanda. Convicted war criminal called by Rutaganda defence The lawyer defending Georges Rutaganda, a high-ranking official in the Interahamwe militia, has called for convicted war criminal Froduald Karamira to appear before the ICTR. According to the organisation Fondation Hirondelle, which is covering ICTR proceedings, the lawyer Tifaine Dickson, said Karamira would be a "key witness" in the trial. He could testify that the Interahamwe "had received orders from outside", she alleged. Karamira - a deputy leader of the Mouvement Democratique Republicain (MDR) and a member of the extremist "Hutu-Power" faction - was sentenced to death over a year ago in Kigali for his role in the genocide. Of Tutsi origin, he was particularly noted for encouraging the massacre of Tutsis and Hutu opponents over the extremist Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). UNDP boss arrives The administrator of UNDP, James Gustave Speth, arrived in Kigali on Saturday night in preparation for a possible visit to the Great Lakes region by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In an interview with Rwandan radio yesterday (Sunday), Speth said the purpose of his mission was to listen to senior government officials on ways of improving UN performance in the region.

334

Dire food situation in Gikongoro A report in the Rwandan 'New Times' weekly said the food situation in Gikongoro prefecture was again under threat due to recent severe storms that swept through several communes. Particularly affected are the Gasaka, Gikongoro and Remera communes where crops and homes have been flattened by the storms. Local sources told IRIN people are starving in Gikongoro due to the general infertility of the soil. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: NGOs asked to re-register A cabinet meeting on Friday discussed the role of NGOs in DRC and noted that "most of them indulge in activities other than what they profess to do", DRC television reported. "Some NGOs indulged in furnishing arms to small groups that try to destabilise the eastern part of our country," a report from the meeting said. The report said the NGOs had no contract with the country. However, "in recognition of the importance of these international NGOs", the cabinet decided to ask them to re-register with the interior, foreign and justice ministries. The television added that a legal framework would be drawn up to outline relations between the authorities and NGOs. Ogata discusses refugee problems Meanwhile UNHCR chief, Sadako Ogata, held talks in Kinshasa on Friday with Minister of State for the Interior Gaetan Kakudji. According to DRC television, Kakudji said he hoped the problems between UNHCR and his country could be resolved. Ogata also met Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha who said UNHCR had promised to improve living conditions in relevant countries, rather than encourage the setting up of refugee camps. According to a Reuters report, Ogata wrapped up her trip to DRC on Sunday apparently without receiving firm guarantees her agency would have full access to Rwandan refugees in the country. Radio France Internationale said she asked permission from the Kinshasa authorities to reopen the UNHCR office in Goma. Tshisekedi health said waning The opposition Union pour la democratie et le progres social (UDPS) claims the health of its leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, has seriously deteriorated. Tshisekedi was moved to his home village of Kabeya Kamwanga in Kasai province last week on the orders of President LaurentDesire Kabila. According to a UDPS statement issued in Brussels, reported by AFP, Tshisekedi was being deprived of healthcare. UGANDA: Ugandan schools reopen after sanitary facilities improved Many of the 800 Ugandan schools ordered closed earlier this month to stem an outbreak of cholera reopened today, health officials said, quoted by AFP. The government had ordered the closure of schools without adequate toilets after the disease broke out following torrential rains and floods. Any school unable to provide adequate sanitary facilities was being assisted

335

by the government. Most of the affected schools are in the Kampala and Mbale areas, AFP said. ADF rebels launch attacks in west Rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) kidnapped 30 schoolgirls after attacking a school in the western Kabarole district on Thursday. The state-owned 'New Vision' newspaper later said the girls managed to escape their abducters. Two students and two rebels were reported killed in fighting that ensued after government troops arrived on the scene. In an incident over the weekend, ADF insurgents killed six people in Kyabandara village, Bundibugyo district, press reports said. Nairobi, 23 February 1998, 14:15 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

336

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:26:55 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 361 for 24 Feb 98.2.24 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 361 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 24 February 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army officers arrested over Kapalata deaths A number of army officers have been arrested over the deaths of at least 380 inmates from malnutrition and disease at Kapalata military camp in Kisangani, eastern DRC. Reuters reported state media as saying yesterday (Monday) the officers would face charges of illegally selling off food destined for Kapalata where as many as 3,000 young "Mai-Mai" fighters joining the regular army were based until last week. "All the officers and instructors of the Kapalata camp implicated directly or indirectly in the embezzlement of food destined to the young Mai-Mai have been arrested and transferred to Kinshasa to answer to the military tribunal," state television said. The minister of health had earlier called for the closure of the camp, but according to humanitarian sources, several hundred recruits were still to be transferred to identified sites or the general hospital in Kisangani. MSF warns of cholera epidemic in Katanga According to MSF, a cholera epidemic in Kikondja 'health zone' in the southern province of Katanga has claimed 185 lives since mid-January. The relief agency told IRIN today (Tuesday) that it has recorded 2,000 cases of the disease, with fatality rates peaking at 20 percent in late January. The outbreak, however, now appears to be under control, with only one death reported last week. Sanitation is "very poor" in what is a swampy area close to Ulemba Lake. Access is also difficult, MSF said. Cholera is endemic in the region, with outbreaks reported at Bukama and Mele Menkulu in the past weeks. Humanitarian agencies said the disease was also spreading up the Congo River.

337

RWANDA: UNICEF warns over plight of child-headed households An estimated 300,000 highly vulnerable children are struggling for survival in Rwanda in impoverished child-headed households, UNICEF warned yesterday in a press release. "They are the most marginalised of the poor in an area of almost unimaginable suffering and want," UNICEF's Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, said. A report prepared by World Vision found that children in child-headed households are especially at risk from abuse and exploitation. Three out of four of the households are headed by girls. Some 95 percent of the children have no access to health care or education. They also face chronic food shortages. However, according to the report, the very existence of child-headed households "has barely been acknowledged" by Rwandan society. Bellamy noted that given the government's meagre resources, "we need an urgent, across-the-board effort, from the grassroots up" to address the problem. UNICEF is currently working with seven Rwandan and international NGOs which are assisting some 16,000 children in child-headed households. The assistance includes vocational training, payment for school fees and educational supplies, and help in forming associations and staring up small enterprises. Torrential rains kill five in Gitarama Five people have died as a result of torrential rains in the central Rwandan prefecture of Gitarama, state radio said yesterday. Some 130 homes were also destroyed and several hectares of agricultural land ruined. The authorities have distributed tents to the homeless. ANGOLA: Fighting escalates in Cabinda Portuguese Renascenca radio yesterday reported intensified clashes in the Cabinda enclave between the Angolan army and the separatist Frente de Libertacao do Enclava de Cabinda (FLEC). According to the broadcast, monitored by the BBC, fighting has spread from an area 70 km from Cabinda city to the outskirts of the provincial capital. BURUNDI: WFP reports low levels of relief food stocks According to WFP, food distributions in Burundi continue to target only the most vulnerable groups, due to low levels of relief food stocks in-country caused by transport constraints. At these reduced levels, current stocks of cereals, oil and salt, and expected arrivals of milk, sugar and CSB, should cover requirements through March, but there will be a shortage of pulses for these priority programmes, as stocks remain blocked in Tanzania. TANZANIA: Logistical problems force cut in refugee food rations Despite the efforts being made to ensure the delivery of food to the 343,000 refugees in camps in Tanzania and to the 1.6 million Tanzanians facing food shortages due to drought conditions

338

and floods, persistent logistics constraints do not allow the continued provision of full rations, a WFP report warns. WFP and UNHCR have agreed on a plan of action concerning the refugee programme, which includes: a reduction in the food distribution cycle, from two weeks to one week; a 50 percent reduction in the cereal and pulses ration with immediate effect, with adjustments to be made according to availability. According to WFP, in case reduced availability of cereals and pulses results in rations lower than 1,200 to 1,500 Kcal for three consecutive weeks, a double ration of blended food will be provided. EU provides US $46 million for road repairs The EU is to provide Tanzania with US $46.2 million to rehabilitate 2,700 km of flooddamaged roads in the southern regions of Iringa and Ruvuma. The funds will enable routine, periodic and emergency maintenance works to be undertaken, the EU said in a statement yesterday. The funds would also provide for the development of a local contracting industry able to complete road maintenance contracts efficiently, AFP reported. UGANDA: Economic growth expected to slow as result of torrential rains Crop damage caused by the current heavy rains is likely to slow Ugandan economic growth this year from a projected seven percent to five percent, according to a senior ministry of finance official. The news agency IPS quoted the unnamed official as saying the agriculturebased economy will be hard hit by the anticipated fall in earnings from coffee, tea and cotton. Export revenue from coffee was last year forecast to top US $336 million with export volume estimated at 4 million bags. Production figures were last week revised down to 3.5 million bags for the October 1997 - September 1998 season. Nairobi, 24 February 1998 14:15 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

339

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 17:37:49 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 362 for 25 Feb 98.2.25 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 362 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 25 February 1998) SUDAN: Relief flights resume to four sites in Bahr el Ghazal Relief flights to supply 60,000 people with urgently needed assistance in four locations in southern Sudan's troubled Bahr el Ghazal state will resume on Thursday, a spokeswoman for Operation Lifeline Sudan told IRIN today (Wednesday). However, a further 40,000 vulnerable people in 40 locations in the region are still affected by a government flight ban imposed on 4 February. The displaced in the four sites of Akuem, Ajiep, Adet and Pakor that will be reached by the two food flights planned for tomorrow, have not received any assistance since they fled fighting between government soldiers and rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) earlier this month. WFP delivers food by road WFP announced today that it has succeeded in delivering food by road to northern Bahr El Ghazal, marking the first time that the UN has managed to send food so far north by road from Uganda. The first 120 MT of sorghum from a WFP convoy of 400 MT arrived in Mapel area on Sunday, enduring 900 kilometres of extremely rough and broken roads during a threeweek journey. This 120 MT of food will sustain 51,000 people for six days. "Unfortunately the situation is still serious because only one-quarter of the population in northern Bahr El Ghazal can be reached by road," said David Fletcher, Head of WFP's Southern Sudan operation and Deputy Coordinator for OLS. He added that air operations will still be necessary to deliver food to many inaccessible areas, especially during the rainy season.

340

UN Secretary-General sends message to Beshir UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's envoy for humanitarian affairs in Sudan met Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir yesterday (Tuesday) and delivered a message from Annan, the official news agency SUNA reported. The news agency did not divulge the contents of the message. According to SUNA, Beshir said Sudan will continue to cooperate with UNsponsored relief efforts. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Rising tension in Uvira Humanitarian sources speak of rising tension in Uvira with reports of Banyamulenge soldiers deserting the DRC army and fleeing into Rwanda. The escarpment road between Uvira and Bukavu is closed and groups of soldiers are said to be in Kamanyola along the road, on the border with Rwanda and Burundi. Meanwhile at Bukavu airport, two people were killed in a skirmish between rival soldiers although the situation in the town is calm. Malaria epidemic feared in Kinshasa A Congolese TV report warned on Sunday that Kinshasa was facing a potential malaria epidemic. According to the broadcast, nearly half of all hospital beds in the city are filled by malaria patients. Six to eight percent of the mortality rate is attributed to the disease, with the figure hitting 30 percent in some areas. The problem has been compounded by poor sanitary conditions and increasing resistance to anti-malaria drugs. BURUNDI: Military court frees Bagaza A Burundian military court today announced the release of former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, saying it did not have the authority to judge him and others accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Pierre Buyoya, AFP reported. The war council, a military court established by Buyoya, opened the so-called "Bagaza file" last Friday, but the council's competence was immediately challenged by the defence. Bagaza refused to appear at the initial hearing because, according to an AFP source close to him, "as a former head of state, it is his right to be tried only by the supreme court." Eight other people, including soldiers and a senior magistrate, were accused of plotting with Bagaza to overthrow Buyoya. UNDP boss calls for increased aid UNDP Administrator James Gustave Speth ended a two-day tour of Burundi today urging the international community to step up aid to the country, Reuters reported. "We will do everything that we can do in the United Nations... But in the end, it will take a larger international community - beyond the UN itself - if we are going to be able to find the resources that Burundi needs," he said. Speth noted the humanitarian situation in Burundi was already severe but had been compounded by poverty, civil war, bad weather and regional economic sanctions. "This is a cumulative consequence of great severity for Burundi and one of the messages that I want to give the international community is that it's time to be helpful to people in crisis," he added.

341

Buyoya rejects self-defence militias Meanwhile, Buyoya has rejected civilian self-defence militias as an answer to Burundi's security problems. In a speech on Monday broadcast by state radio, he said "we do not intend to form militias. On the contrary it's what we want to avoid, and all precautions have been taken." According to an AFP despatch, villagers are instead to be taught surveillance techniques, establishing three layers of defence: the security efforts of citizens, security forces and the administration. "We have no intention to distribute arms to the people," Buyoya said. ANGOLA: Government says country risks war The Angolan government warned yesterday the country risked sliding back into civil war following an escalation of armed incidents in recent weeks. In a statement to the press, General Higino Carneiro, the deputy minister in charge of implementing the 1994 peace accords, challenged UNITA to make a "declaration of total demilitarization" before 28 February, the date previously agreed by both sides. Carneiro said UNITA still has a significant number of soldiers - at least 5,000 - who are prepared to resume hostilities. "If the situation continues, the government will take reprisals, if necessary," he warned. Defence minister accuses UNITA of retraining Angolan Defence Minister General Pedro Sebastiao has accused UNITA of reorganising its forces with an "important" contingent undergoing training in DRC. Speaking in Maputo yesterday while on an official visit, Sebastiao told Mozambican state radio that UNITA's demoblisation deadline "will be just another date of no consequence." Sebatiao was in Maputo to discuss national security issues with his Mozambican counterpart the broadcast, monitored by the BBC, said. UGANDA: LRA attacks Kitgum Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels attacked the northern town of Kitgum earlier today, humanitarian sources told IRIN. Shops were looted and people abducted in the fivehour raid by some 150 rebels which began at around 1:00 am. According to initial reports, there were no deaths. Humanitarian sources suggested the attack was a diversion to draw government forces into town while the main group of rebels crossed back to Sudan with many abductees. Rebels behead 11 people Ugandan rebels beheaded five people after ambushing them in the western district of Bundibugyo, bringing the number of victims of such attacks in the area this week to 11. AFP reported the state-owned 'New Vision' newspaper as saying today that Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) insurgents beheaded three brothers and a married couple after forcing their car to stop along the Fort Portal-Bundibugyo road on Tuesday. The same group killed six people

342

when they raided a village in the district on Sunday. The rebels have stepped up their attacks in Bundibugyo since the Ugandan army and DRC troops in an operation against them. Malaria drugs in short supply Stocks of anti-malaria drugs are in short supply in parts of Uganda, the 'New Vision' reported yesterday. The worst hit regions are the east and west of the country, Communicable Disease Control Commissioner, Dr Sam Okware, said. Teams carrying supplies from Kampala have been sent to the affected districts, he added. Meanwhile, the director of Uganda's blood transfusion services said El-Nino induced epidemics had trebled the demand for blood. RWANDA: Dallaire begins testimony in Arusha The former head of UN peacekeeping forces in Rwanda, the Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, began his testimony before the UN war crimes tribunal for Rwanda today. He was called by the defence to give evidence in the case against a former mayor, Jean-Paul Akayesu. Akayesu is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Court upholds death verdict A Rwandan appeals court on Monday upheld the death penalty against former Kigali prosecutor, Silas Munyagishari, convicted of genocide and other crimes against humanity, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Nairobi, 25 February 1998, 14:15 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

343

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:51:01 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 363 for 26 Feb 98.2.26 Sender: owner-irin-cea-upda[email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 363 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 26 February 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Uvira tense as troop movements reported Humanitarian sources reported today (Thursday) that Congolese troop reinforcements are on their way towards Kamanyola from Bukavu. The Kamanyola border with Rwanda was closed today. Humanitarian sources also told IRIN that Uvira was very tense, with most shops and offices shut. Further troop movements are reported from Kalemie towards Uvira. Newspaper editor arrested The editor in chief of the opposition paper 'Le Potentiel' was arrested in Kinshasa yesterday (Wednesday). News agencies suggested that Modeste Litunga's detention was linked to articles denouncing the arrest of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi. Meanwhile, opposition militants said on Wednesday they had called off a strike planned to protest at the government's banishment of Tshisekedi from Kinshasa, Reuters reported. 'Le Potentiel' claimed on Wednesday the cancellation had been dictated by Tshisekedi himself. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Judge asks UN to investigate alleged genocide Congo-Brazzaville has approached the UN to appoint a special rapporteur to investigate alleged genocide perpetrated by the country's former leadership, state radio, monitored by AFP, announced on Wednesday. A Congolese judge, Massengo Tiasse, told the radio that he would seek international arrest warrants against exiled former president Pascal Lissouba and prime minister Bernard Kolelas. "All political and military figures as well as journalists who colluded in genocide will be arrested and tried," he said.

344

OCHA report outlines humanitarian challenge An OCHA report identifies four broad target areas for humanitarian intervention in CongoBrazzaville. These include: support to the recovery process; enhanced assistance to mostaffected vulnerable groups; strengthening of reconciliation efforts; and the empowerment of local and national administrations. The overall objective of humanitarian operations is to assist affected populations to return to a state of normality. The initiatives compliment the government's own broad recovery strategy. The report outlines the geographically distinct humanitarian conditions in the country. The northern regions largely escaped the physical destruction of the civil war, but were affected by the transit of large numbers of displaced fleeing the fighting. The five southern regions received upwards of 350,000 to 400,000 displaced people and in later stages of the war serious fighting. Brazzaville was the theatre of most of the conflict, but again can be divided into three zones: the devastated city centre, the eastern sector in which 75 percent of houses have been destroyed, and the comparatively less damaged western portion. [The full text of the report is available from OCHA-Geneva] TANZANIA-RWANDA: Fresh Rwandan refugees arrive According to UNHCR-Tanzania, 237 Rwandan refugees arrived in Ngara between 1-21 February. They are being temporarily accommodated at Mbuba transit center pending their transfer to Mkugwa camp in Kibondo. The new arrivals are in addition to the 114 recorded in January. During the same February period, 141 Burundian refugees arrived in Ngara, in addition to the 1,028 registered last month. UNHCR, in collaboration with the Tanzanian government, is to deploy 278 additional police to the refugee camps in Kagera and Kigoma in an effort to retain their civilian character. UNHCR will ensure that the extra police - 100 in Kagera and 178 in Kigoma - are equipped and well-trained. They will be required to maintain a 24- hour presence in the camps, monitor unauthorised movements, patrol roads and perform basic law and order functions. UNHCR stressed that any combatants found in the camps will be separated, pointing out that 40 individuals have already been removed. Warning over mystery livestock disease Tanzania's ministry of health has issued an alert over a possible outbreak of Rift Valley fever in the Arusha region, state radio reported yesterday. According to the ministry, a mystery disease has killed livestock in the area. The ministry urged the public to take precautions. It said that Rift Valley fever could have spread from neighbouring Kenya. RWANDA: Dallaire says ready to testify again The former commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, said today he was willing to testify again before the UN tribunal probing Rwandan war crimes, news agencies report. Dallaire gave evidence for a full day on Wednesday in the

345

trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former mayor accused of genocide. At the start of the proceedings, prosecutors said they would summon him in at least one other trial. Last month, the UN Secretary-General lifted Dallaire's immunity so he could testify before the court but limited the measure to Akayesu's case. In an emotional day of testimony in Arusha yesterday, Dallaire said he had been unable to stop the 1994 slaughter because of a lack of resources and peacekeepers. SUDAN-KENYA: Khartoum invites Kenyan foreign minister for talks The Sudanese government said on Wednesday it had invited Kenya's Foreign Minister Bonaya Godana to visit ahead of a planned new round of talks between the government and southern rebels to be held in Kenya in April. Federal Relations Minister, Ali al-Haj Mohammad, who is also a Sudanese delegate to the peace negotiations, told the daily 'Akhbar al-Youm' that the invitation was issued so Godana could acquaint himself with recent political developments in Sudan, AFP reported. Nairobi, 26 February 1998 14:30 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

346

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 13:03:44 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 9-98 20-26 Feb 98.2.27 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 9-98 covering the period 20-26 Feb 1998 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Uvira tense as troop movements reported Congolese troop reinforcements were on their way towards the border post of Kamanyola from Bukavu, humanitarian sources said on Thursday. Further troop movements were reported from Kalemie towards Uvira. The military deployment follows rising tensions between Banyamulenge and Congolese units in the army. Banyamulenge soldiers were said to be deserting and fleeing into Rwanda. Bukavu was also reported tense. Two people died in a skirmish between rival units at the airport. Last Thursday, 24 people were detained and 27 weapons seized in Bukavu after the army launched house-to-house searches for illegal guns, state radio monitored by the BBC reported. Army officers arrested over Kapalata deaths A number of army officers were arrested over the deaths of at least 380 inmates from malnutrition and disease at Kapalata military camp in Kisangani. State television said on Monday the officers would face charges of illegally selling off food destined for Kapalata where as many as 3,000 young Mayi-Mayi fighters joining the regular army were based.

347

NGOs asked to re-register A cabinet meeting last Friday discussed the role of NGOs in DRC and noted that "most of them indulge in activities other than what they profess to do", DRC television reported. "Some NGOs indulged in furnishing arms to small groups that try to destabilise the eastern part of our country," a report from the meeting said. However, "in recognition of the importance of these international NGOs", the cabinet decided to ask them to re-register with the interior, foreign and justice ministries. The television added that a legal framework would be drawn up to outline relations between the authorities and NGOs. Ogata discusses refugee problems UNHCR chief, Sadako Ogata, held talks in Kinshasa last Friday with Minister of State for the Interior Gaetan Kakudji. According to DRC television, Kakudji said he hoped the problems between UNHCR and his country could be resolved. According to a Reuters report, Ogata wrapped up her trip to DRC on Sunday apparently without receiving firm guarantees her agency would have full access to Rwandan refugees in the country. Radio France Internationale said she asked permission from the Kinshasa authorities to reopen the UNHCR office in Goma. BURUNDI: Sanctions to stay Regional leaders decided to keep economic sanctions against Burundi at the end of a meeting in Kampala on Saturday. Burundi radio, monitored by the BBC, said however there appeared to be some division among the participants. However, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, quoted by AFP, said there was "complete unanimity" on maintaining sanctions. A summit statement claimed "no significant progress" had been made in the peace process. It said allparty peace talks should continue under the mediation of former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, whom Burundi's rulers accuse of bias. Burundi's Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama described the decision as "a very bad step in the wrong direction", according to AFP. President Pierre Buyoya, speaking on his return to Bujumbura, said the decision would not put a stop to the peace process. "I think that the lifting of sanctions will depend on us," he said on Burundi radio. "We are going to endeavour to see to it that in the coming months, no-one will have any pretext to call for sanctions against Burundi or call for their maintenance." The meeting was attended by Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Nyerere was also present, as was OAU Secretary-General Dr Salim Ahmed Salim. Military court frees Bagaza A Burundian military court on Wednesday announced the release of former president JeanBaptiste Bagaza, saying it did not have the authority to judge him and others accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Pierre Buyoya, AFP reported. The competence of the war council, a military court established by Buyoya earlier this month, was challenged by the defence. Bagaza refused to appear at the initial hearing.

348

UNDP boss calls for increased aid UNDP Administrator James Gustave Speth ended a two-day tour of Burundi on Wednesday urging the international community to step up aid to the country, Reuters reported. Speth noted the humanitarian situation in Burundi was already severe but had been compounded by poverty, civil war, bad weather and regional economic sanctions. WFP reports low levels of relief food stocks According to WFP, food distributions in Burundi continue to target only the most vulnerable groups, due to low levels of relief food stocks in-country caused by transport constraints. At these reduced levels, current stocks of cereals, oil and salt, and expected arrivals of milk, sugar and CSB, should cover requirements through March, but there will be a shortage of pulses for these priority programmes, as stocks remain blocked in Tanzania. SUDAN: Relief flights resume to four sites in Bahr el Ghazal Relief flights to supply 60,000 people with urgently needed assistance in four locations in southern Sudan's troubled Bahr el Ghazal state were set to resume on Thursday. However, a further 40,000 vulnerable people in 40 locations in the region are still affected by a government flight ban imposed on 4 February. The embargo followed intensified fighting between government soldiers and rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). WFP delivers food by road WFP announced it had succeeded in delivering food by road to northern Bahr El Ghazal, marking the first time that the UN has managed to send food so far north by road from Uganda. The first 120 mt of sorghum from a WFP convoy of 400 mt arrived in Mapel area on Sunday. This 120 mt of food will sustain 51,000 people for six days. "Unfortunately the situation is still serious because only one-quarter of the population in northern Bahr El Ghazal can be reached by road," said David Fletcher, Head of WFP's Southern Sudan operation and Deputy Coordinator for Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS). He added that air operations will still be necessary to deliver food to many inaccessible areas, especially during the rainy season. ANGOLA: Government says country risks war The Angolan government warned on Tuesday the country risked sliding back into civil war following an escalation of armed incidents in recent weeks. In a statement to the press, General Higino Carneiro, the deputy minister in charge of implementing the 1994 peace accords, challenged UNITA to make a "declaration of total demilitarization" before 28 February, the date previously agreed by both sides. Carneiro said UNITA still has a significant number of soldiers - at least 5,000 - who are prepared to resume hostilities. "If the situation continues, the government will take reprisals, if necessary," he warned. Meanwhile,

349

Angolan Defence Minister General Pedro Sebastiao accused UNITA of reorganising its forces with an "important" contingent undergoing training in DRC. UNITA alleges dos Santos' poor health delays Savimbi meeting UNITA radio claimed last Wednesday that the alleged ill health of Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos has stalled a planned meeting with UNITA party leader Jonas Savimbi. UNITA Secretary-General Lukamba Paulo Gato told the radio that UNITA was opposed to Luanda as a venue for the meeting on security grounds, but dos Santos' health prevented him from travelling to the provinces. TANZANIA: Logistical problems force cut in refugee food rations Despite the efforts being made to ensure the delivery of food to the 343,000 refugees in camps in Tanzania and to the 1.6 million Tanzanians facing food shortages due to drought conditions and floods, persistent logistics constraints do not allow the continued provision of full rations, a WFP statement warned. WFP and UNHCR have agreed on a plan of action concerning the refugee programme, which includes: a reduction in the food distribution cycle, from two weeks to one week, and a 50 percent reduction in the cereal and pulses ration. UNHCR helps with additional police for refugee camps UNHCR, in collaboration with the Tanzanian government, is to deploy 278 additional police to the refugee camps in Kagera and Kigoma in an effort to retain their civilian character. UNHCR will ensure that the extra police - 100 in Kagera and 178 in Kigoma - are equipped and well-trained. They will be required to maintain a 24- hour presence in the camps, monitor unauthorised movements, patrol roads and perform basic law and order functions. UNHCR stressed that any combatants found in the camps will be separated, pointing out that 40 individuals have already been removed. EU provides US $46 million for road repairs The EU is to provide Tanzania with US $46.2 million to rehabilitate 2,700 km of flooddamaged roads in the southern regions of Iringa and Ruvuma. The funds will enable routine, periodic and emergency maintenance works to be undertaken, the EU said in a statement on Monday. TANZANIA-RWANDA: Fresh Rwandan refugees arrive According to UNHCR-Tanzania, 237 Rwandan refugees arrived in Ngara between 1-21 February. They are being temporarily accommodated at Mbuba transit centre pending their transfer to Mkugwa camp in Kibondo. The new arrivals are in addition to the 114 recorded in January. During the same February period, 141 Burundian refugees arrived in Ngara, in addition to the 1,028 registered last month.

350

RWANDA: Dallaire says ready to testify again The former commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, said on Thursday he was willing to testify again before the UN tribunal probing Rwandan war crimes, news agencies reported. Dallaire gave evidence for a full day on Wednesday in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former mayor accused of genocide. At the start of the proceedings, prosecutors said they would summon him in at least one other trial. Last month, the UN Secretary-General lifted Dallaire's immunity so he could testify before the court but limited the measure to Akayesu's case. In an emotional day of testimony in Arusha on Wednesday, Dallaire said he had been unable to stop the 1994 slaughter because of a lack of resources and peacekeepers. Two senior French army officers are also expected to testify as defence witnesses in the Akayesu case. AFP said they were believed to have been involved in French military operations in Rwanda: one in the early 1990s known as Operation Noroit when France sent troops to help the government of ex-president Juvenal Habyarimana against the then-rebel RPF. The second, Operation Turquoise, was launched towards the end of the genocide in July 1994 to set up a "safe zone" in southwest Rwanda. Convicted war criminal called by Rutaganda defence The lawyer defending Georges Rutaganda, a high-ranking official in the Interahamwe militia, has called for convicted war criminal Froduald Karamira to appear before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). According to the organisation Fondation Hirondelle, which is covering ICTR proceedings, the lawyer Tifaine Dickson, said Karamira would be a "key witness" in the trial. He could testify that the Interahamwe "had received orders from outside", she alleged. UNICEF warns over plight of child-headed households An estimated 300,000 highly vulnerable children are struggling for survival in Rwanda in impoverished child-headed households, UNICEF warned in a press release. A report prepared by World Vision found that children in child-headed households are especially at risk from abuse and exploitation. Three out of four of the households are headed by girls. Some 95 percent of the children have no access to health care or education. They also face chronic food shortages. 11 killed in attack on tea factory Eleven people were killed following a rebel attack on a tea factory near the northwestern town of Gisenyi last week, the Rwanda News Agency reported. UGANDA: Ugandan schools reopen after sanitary facilities improved Many of the 800 Ugandan schools ordered closed earlier this month to stem an outbreak of cholera reopened on Monday, health officials said, quoted by AFP. The government had

351

ordered the closure of schools without adequate toilets after the disease broke out following torrential rains and floods. Any school unable to provide adequate sanitary facilities was being assisted by the government. Rebels behead 11 Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels beheaded five people after ambushing them in the western district of Bundibugyo, bringing the number of victims of such attacks in the area this week to 11. ADF insurgents kidnapped 30 schoolgirls after attacking a school in the western Kabarole district last Thursday. The state-owned 'New Vision' newspaper later said the girls managed to escape their abducters. Two students and two rebels were reported killed in fighting that ensued after government troops arrived on the scene. LRA attacks Kitgum Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels attacked the northern town of Kitgum on Wednesday, humanitarian sources told IRIN. Shops were looted and people abducted in the five-hour raid by some 150 rebels which began at around 1:00 am. According to initial reports, there were no deaths. Humanitarian sources suggested the attack was a diversion to draw government forces into town while the main group of rebels crossed back to Sudan with many abductees. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Judge asks UN to investigate alleged genocide Congo-Brazzaville has approached the UN to appoint a special rapporteur to investigate alleged genocide perpetrated by the country's former leadership, state radio, monitored by AFP, announced on Wednesday. A Congolese judge, Massengo Tiasse, told the radio that he would seek international arrest warrants against exiled former president Pascal Lissouba and prime minister Bernard Kolelas. "All political and military figures as well as journalists who colluded in genocide will be arrested and tried," he said. Nairobi, 27 February 12:00 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

352

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:10:00 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 364 for 27 Feb 98.2.27 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 364 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 27 February 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army chief in Bukavu Amid reports of continuing tension in the Bukavu/Uvira area, acting DRC army chief Commander James Kabare arrived in Bukavu yesterday (Thursday). Reports said he was due to arrive in the border town of Kamanyola today (Friday) to lead negotiations with various military units. Humanitarian sources reported that the Uvira border with Bujumbura was partially closed. The road to Bukavu is already closed, as is the border with Rwanda. Flooding still affecting villages in Kisangani area CRS in Kisangani says that despite the fact flood waters are receding, some villages in the area are still completely inundated. Severe flooding last December left many people homeless and provoked an outbreak of cholera. Still badly affected are villages along the axis west of Isangi to Lokutu and beyond, provoking concern as the rains of late March-April mark the river's traditional flooding period. RWANDA: ICTR trying to find perpetrators of Kabgayi rape The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is trying to establish responsibility for the brutal rape of numerous women and young girls at a camp near Runda, outside the capital Kigali in 1994, AFP reported. Six investigators from the court have been travelling round the area, attempting to interview witnesses to the rapes at Kabgayi camp. However a court magistrate told AFP the issue of security "is causing witnesses to clam up and they are increasingly hesitant about speaking out".

353

Life imprisonment for genocide suspect A court in Butare has sentenced a defendant to life imprisonment on genocide charges, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Tharcisse Karuranga, a former driver and mechanic, denied the charges saying he was sick at the time of the massacres in his home commune of Mbazi. Gasana criticises human rights organisations Rwandan Foreign Minister Anastase Gasana has criticised some international human rights organisations for "always giving false information about the human rights situation in the country without considering the effects of the 1994 genocide", Rwandan radio reported today. During a meeting with a visiting Amnesty International official, Roger Clark, the minister said organisations such as AI should instead help the government "inculcate the culture of respect for human rights into its citizens". BURUNDI: Bagaza accuses authorities of violating his rights Ex-president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, who was recently released by a military court after being accused of plotting to overthrow President Pierre Buyoya, has charged that the authorities violated his rights. "The Buyoya government locked me up without any valid document, I was not brought before any magistrate and I was not allowed to receive members of my family or lawyers," he said, according to AFP. He claimed his house was still under army surveillance. UGANDA: 17 LRA rebels killed in "fierce fighting" in Kitgum Seventeen rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), including a top commander, were killed by security forces during "fierce clashes" in the northern Kitgum area over the weekend. According to the state-owned 'New Vision' daily, there were no army or civilian casualties in the battle "said to be one of the bloodiest in Kitgum this year". SUDAN: 80 government soldiers killed, rebels say Sudanese rebels said yesterday (Thursday) they killed 80 government soldiers and took 14 captive in an attack in eastern Sudan, Reuters news agency reported. In a statement, the opposition National Democratic Alliance, said its forces staged a "sweeping and devastating ambush", about 76 km southeast of Kassala. A large cache of weapons was also seized, according to the statement. ANGOLA: UNITA rules out demilitarisation by end-February deadline The former rebel UNITA movement has ruled out total demilitarisation by the end-February deadline. In a statement, broadcast by UNITA radio today, the movement's standing committee said the remaining troops could not be demobilised "effectively or with dignity". "The demobilisation exercise is the sole responsibility of the MPLA government and the international community," the statement added. It claimed the government "has neither started nor does it intend to disarm civilians in cities, notably Luanda. This is a fundamental task to

354

prevent the massacre of thousands of innocent people as happened in October-November 1992." Nairobi, 27 February 1998, 14:00 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

355

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 17:41:25 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 365 for 28 Feb-2 Mar 98.3.2 Sender: owner-irin-c[email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 365 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 28 February-2 March 1998)

RWANDA: At least 17 rebels killed in Gitarama At least 17 rebels were killed by the army on Saturday during clashes in central Gitarama prefecture, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Local officials said the rebels tried to storm two prisons in Nyakabanda and Bulinga communes, but were thwarted by the security forces. RNA quoted eyewitnesses as saying at least 5,000 rebels took part in the Bulinga attack. According to a Reuters report, around 2,000 rebels killed 19 people and freed about 600 genocide suspects from the prison in Bulinga, as well as torching the mayor's house. Meanwhile, four truck drivers working for the Bralirwa brewery were killed in ambushes in northwest Ruhengeri prefecture last week, AFP reported. They were transporting beer at the time of the attacks. Mass genocide trial postponed A court in northeast Byumba prefecture has postponed the trial of 51 genocide suspects because the cases have not been properly prepared, according to RNA. Both defence and prosecution lawyers said there had not been enough time to prepare such a large number of files. The suspects come from three communes in the prefecture: Mukarange, Kiyombe and Muhura. RNA said it was the first time since genocide trial began in Rwanda that such a large number of people were appearing at the same time. The hearings have been adjourned until 16 March.

356

Prosecution requests death penalty for priests The prosecutor in Kibuye, western Rwanda, has asked for the death penalty against two Catholic priests on trial for genocide crimes. Father Jean Francois Emmanuel Kayiranga and Father Emmanuel Nkuriye are charged with involvement in the massacre of over 60 Tutsis at Nyundo junior seminary in Gisenyi and the slaughter of 2,000 others at Nyange church in Kibuye, RNA reported. The verdict is due on 6 March. The Kibuye court today (Monday) began hearing the case of a teenager accused of genocide. The boy, Aloys Ntirenganya, was aged 15 at the time of the massacres. He is the fifth minor to go on trial for genocide crimes and has been in jail since May 1996. OAU to set up genocide investigation team The OAU is to establish a team of seven eminent personalities to investigate the 1994 genocide, according to Rwandan radio. The announcement was made by Minister of State for Education Jean-Pierre Bizimana who recently returned from an OAU ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa. The meeting decided the team would expose how the genocide was planned, and who planned and executed it in a bid to prevent the reoccurrence of such atrocities, the radio said. While in Addis, Bizimana also appealed to countries harbouring genocide suspects to extradite them to Rwanda. BURUNDI: FAO warns of impending famine An FAO representative in Bujumbura has warned of impending famine in Burundi. "Famine is here...possibly to stay as production has dropped nationwide by more than 20 percent compared to normal years," Joseph Tchikaya told AFP. He said that if there was no supplementary food aid, malnutrition could intensify and many people risked death. On Friday, Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama appealed for aid to help make up a shortfall of 300,000 Mt of beans, rice and bananas. Caritas says 20 people dying daily in Murago Caritas says 20 people are dying per day in Murago, Bururi province, due to malnutrition and disease, according to a WFP report. The situation in the town is described as dramatic, with an average of 100 to 300 people arriving each day in a deplorable state, after wandering for months in forests and marshes. Caritas has requested urgent relief assistance to this displaced population estimated at 5,368 families totalling 37,500 people. Nine killed in rebel attack Rebels killed nine people in an attack on a camp for displaced people near Bujumbura, state radio reported over the weekend. It said the rebels, who were dressed in military uniform, also looted shops and kidnapped one person in Friday's raid on the camp in Muzinda. The camp houses some 12,000 displaced people.

357

Buyoya visits DRC, "fruitful" talks with Kabila President Pierre Buyoya arrived in Kinshasa yesterday (Sunday) on a one-day working visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Speaking on Burundi radio before his departure, he said the purpose of the visit was to explore bilateral issues including security and cooperation. While in Kinshasa, he told DRC television his talks with President Laurent-Desire Kabila had been fruitful. He also said his country was surviving and functioning despite a regional economic embargo. In an interview published today with the French daily 'Liberation', he added that security had returned to most parts of Burundi. "Clashes are still going on in the hills but rebel activity is at a very low level," he was quoted as saying by AFP. Bagaza release "significant" step for lifting embargo: analysts A regional summit in Kampala last week decided to maintain the embargo on Burundi, but an article in the 'EastAfrican' weekly today quoted analysts as saying the recent release from house arrest of former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza was a "significant step" towards fulfilling the terms for ending the sanctions. The summit also called for lifting the restrictions on former head of state Sylvestre Ntibantunganya and parliament speaker Leonce Ngendakumana. Rwandan Foreign Minister Anastase Gasana told the 'EastAfrican' some regional leaders had observed that if the sanctions remain for too long, they could be counterproductive. UGANDA: Sanctions aimed at Buyoya regime, minister says Ugandan Foreign Minister Eriya Kategaya on Sunday issued a statement clarifying "misunderstandings" over the sanctions regime imposed on Burundi, Ugandan radio reported. He told the OAU ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa that the "sanctions are not an embargo". They are "a selective regime of sanctions intended not to punish ordinary Burundians, but to put pressure on Major Buyoya's regime so that it can agree to come to the negotiating table." Thousands fleeing rebels in Gulu The state-owned 'New Vision' on Saturday reported that thousands of people, fleeing rebel activity in the northwest Gulu district, had taken refuge at Lacor hospital in Gulu town. During the day they returned to their homes, medical superintendent Matthew Lokwiya said. Between 3,000 and 7,000 people arrived every night, he said, adding that a group of 2,500 people had taken up permanent refuge at the hospital. Clinton due in on 23 March US President Bill Clinton is due in Kampala on 23 March, according to the 'New Vision'. It said a total of 500 rooms had been booked for the president's entourage. The visit will last until 25 March. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rebecca Kadaga told AFP African heads of state would arrive in Kampala for a summit meeting with Clinton.

358

TANZANIA: Burundians return home A convoy of trucks carrying 272 Burundian refugees left Kigoma region, Tanzania for home last week. UNHCR officials said they were returning on a voluntary basis. Meanwhile Tanzanian officials reported that more Burundian refugees were arriving. About 600 refugees had entered through the Kibirizi border point, some of them wounded, the officials said. Cholera kills 25 in Mbeya region At least 25 cholera deaths have been reported in Mbeya region, southwest Tanzania since January, according to Tanzanian radio. It quoted local medical officials as saying Mbarali district was worst-affected with a reported 23 deaths and 275 people hospitalised. AFP also reported that 69 people had died of cholera at a prison in the northwest town of Bukoba. The daily 'Mtanzania' said the disease had broken out last week, and the prison had now been placed under quarantine. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army chief meets Banyamulenge military leaders Humanitarian sources said there had been a large displacement of the local population in the Uvira-Bukavu region over the last few days due to increased tension within the army. On Saturday, army chief James Kabare met Banyamulenge military leaders in Kamanyola on the border with Rwanda to try and defuse the situation. There have been reports of Banyamulenge soldiers deserting the army. Newspaper editor freed Modeste Mutinga, editor of the opposition 'Le Potentiel' daily, has been released from detention, Reuters reported yesterday. He was being held for questioning over an article in the paper on the arrest of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi. The report alleged that members of Kabila's government from Kasai province were upset by the politician's arrest and banishment to his home village. UN team's mandate extended The UN human rights investigation team has had the extension of its mandate approved by the Congolese government until 31 May. The team's spokesman Jose Diaz announced on Saturday that the approval was contained in a letter to the chief of mission, Atsu Koffi Amega. Kapalata camp empty Humanitarian sources told IRIN today the remaining occupants of Kapalata military camp near Kisangani left on Saturday. A total of about 2,500 people, reportedly ex-FAZ and MayiMayi fighters, have been medically screened and transferred to other sites. The camp is due to be cleaned up after an outbreak of cholera last year caused about 300 deaths.

359

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Kolelas sets up government-in-exile Ousted prime minister Bernard Kolelas has set up a government-in-exile, known as the "constitutional government of the Republic of Congo". Faxes received by IRIN from the "prime minister's office" in Strasbourg and Brussels, announced the appointment of JeanClaude Mayima as "the constitutional government's representative to the EU and the prime minister's adviser in charge of relations with the press". Child vaccination campaign ends A UNICEF-supported child vaccination campaign, which ended in Brazzaville on Saturday, "helped bring back a sense of normality and community strength to a city still struggling to recover from a devastating civil war," UNICEF reported. The six-week campaign covered 208,000 children aged between 9 months and 12 years and brought together thousands of mothers who were able to share common problems. Nairobi, 2 March 1998, 14:00 gmt

[ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

360

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 16:42:43 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 366 for 3 Mar 98.3.3 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 366 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 3 March 1998)

ANGOLA: Dos Santos warns of war over UNITA's deadline failure Following UNITA's failure to meet Saturday's deadline to demobilise, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has written to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warning of a potential war situation, Angolan TV reported yesterday (Monday). Dos Santos called for international pressure on UNITA to change its attitude. Luanda last week threatened "dire consequences" if UNITA did not fulfil all the requirements of the 1994 peace agreement by Saturday. The government and the UN have accused UNITA of dragging its heels over demobilising its army and returning all territory to government administration. According to Reuters, more than 3,000 UNITA troops have yet to be demobilised and the government and the UN have said the demobilisation process is closed as far as they are concerned. According to the London-based Angolan Peace Monitor, "it is clear that UNITA maintains a large, heavily armed military force." Its latest report quotes military analysts in Angola as putting the figure of UNITA troops at large as between 15,000 and 25,000. The Angola Peace Monitor also says no substantial amounts of heavy weaponry have been handed over to the UN by UNITA. The International Institute for Strategic Studies in its 1996/97 'Military Balance' report lists UNITA equipment as including tanks, large calibre field guns, and antiaircraft missiles. Angola observers launch diplomatic shuttle Representatives of the United States, Russia and Portugal are involved in a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at pushing forward the country's stalled peace process, Reuters reported.

361

The news agency quoted diplomats as saying the representatives hoped to persuade UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to issue a declaration of demilitarisation and to agree to an accelerated timetable for the extension of state control throughout the whole of Angola. SADC calls for firmer implementation of sanctions on UNITA The 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Monday expressed concern over the faltering peace process in Angola and called for stricter implementation of sanctions against UNITA, Reuters reported. "The situation in Angola is bad and requires the enforcement of agreed sanctions against UNITA," said Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano at the end of a one-day SADC summit in Maputo. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: At least 300 killed in Butembo: AZADHO According to the DRC human rights group AZADHO, at least 300 people, including civilians, have been killed in clashes between the DRC army and Mayi-Mayi rebels in Butembo last week. The rights group said the killings followed the army's recapture of the town from the rebels who had launched an attack on 20 February. Young men in particular were allegedly targeted by the army as Mayi-Mayi supporters. 16 executed in Lubumbashi Sixteen people were executed by firing squad in Lubumbashi today (Tuesday) for murder and armed robbery, AFP reported. They included two soldiers and 14 civilians. The public execution, the third this year in DRC, took place at the Wangu military camp. RWANDA: MSF wants parliamentary probe into France's role in Rwanda MSF on Monday called for a parliamentary commission to investigate France's role in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, news agencies reported. MSF has accused the French authorities of "having supported the regime of President Habyarimana while he made racism the pillar of his policy, going as far as planning and carry out the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsis and the massacre of opposition leaders". GREAT LAKES: UN launches US $550 million consolidated appeal The UN on Friday launched a US $550 million Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for countries of the Great Lakes Region and Central Africa to meet the emergency needs of over five million people in 1998. The Appeal covers Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A press release by OCHA said the the humanitarian programme for CongoBrazzaville is currently under preparation, and will be issued as an addendum this month. OCHA described the humanitarian situation in the region as grave. Cross-border and internal tensions are on the increase, leaving hundreds of thousands vulnerable to attack. Over two million people are displaced throughout the region. In addition, the statement said, the food deficit has increased, social services have been disrupted and the economies have become

362

severely debilitated. These afflictions have been further compounded by the effects of recent drought and flooding. The Appeal reflects the "complex mosaic of requirements in the region." It aims at providing the basic life-saving assistance still needed while also assisting countries in rebuilding their national infrastructures. Nairobi, 3 March 1998 13:45 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

363

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 11:55:55 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central Africa: UN launches US $550 million appeal 98.3.4 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

Source: UN OCHA New York Nairobi Release: 4 Mar 98 27 February 1998 Press Release AFR/40 IHA/650 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------UNITED NATIONS LAUNCHES $550 MILLION APPEAL TO MEET EMERGENCY NEEDS OF OVER 5 MILLION PEOPLE IN GREAT LAKES REGION AND CENTRAL AFRICA 19980227 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------NEW YORK, 27 February (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) -- The United Nations today launched a Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Countries of the Great Lakes Region and Central Africa, seeking $550 million to meet the emergency needs of over five million people in 1998 in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda. The humanitarian programme for the Republic of the Congo is currently under preparation, and will be issued as an addendum to this Appeal early next month. The humanitarian situation in the region still remains grave. Cross- border and internal tensions are on the increase, leaving hundreds of thousands vulnerable to attack. Over 2 million people are displaced throughout the region. In addition, the food deficit has increased, social services have been disrupted and the economies have become severely debilitated. These afflictions have been further compounded by the effects of recent drought and flooding.

364

The Appeal reflects the complex mosaic of requirements in the region. It aims at providing the basic life-saving assistance still needed while also assisting countries in rebuilding their national infrastructures. In each country, the nature of emergency needs and affected populations is unique. In Burundi, the affected population includes displaced or regrouped persons, returnees and refugees. Assistance is also sought for those within the general population who have been acutely affected by the civil strife and sanctions. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, humanitarian assistance will be directly primarily towards displaced persons, returnees and refugees, particularly in the conflict-affected eastern regions, as well as for the rehabilitation of communities. Assistance to Rwanda is intended to support recovery from war and genocide and the reintegration of repatriated families. In the United Republic of Tanzania, the Appeal will support the needs of refugees and their host communities and provide assistance in response to drought, flood and epidemics. In Uganda, the target populations are principally those in the conflict-affected northern and western regions and those affected by drought, flood and epidemics. The Appeal has been formulated in line with Secretary-General Kofi Annan's programme for reform, in that it seeks to address both basic relief needs and reconstruction requirements of war-damaged societies in a balanced and integrated fashion. It also incorporates capacitybuilding activities identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In so doing, the Appeal attempts to build an environment conducive to reconciliation and sustainable development. It is hoped that the international community will respond generously in helping the people of the Great Lakes region and Central Africa to break the cycle of destructive crises and embark on the path of reconstruction and reconciliation. * *** *

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-extra]

365

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 18:27:38 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 367 for 4 Mar 98.3.4 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 367 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 4 March 1998)

BURUNDI: Former president says "no justice" in Burundi According to former Burundian president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, "justice does not exist" in Burundi. He told the French weekly 'L'autre Afrique' what was being witnessed was "more a settling of scores planned by the army" which operates outside government control, targeting the Hutu population. Ntibantunganya said a solution to the conflict had to be sought between the army and the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) "the only legitimate party". The Union pour le progres national (UPRONA) "will be participating in the process as UPRONA is the army," he added. Political party representatives invited to seminar on constitutionalism The NGO Synergies Africa and the Institute of Federalism of the University of Freiburg have invited representatives of the "whole political spectrum in Burundi" to a seminar on "constitutional techniques of democratic coexistence and the management of ethnic conflicts." A spokesperson for Synergies Africa in Geneva told IRIN today (Wednesday) that representatives of 14 Burundian parties were expected at the 7-13 March seminar in Freiburg, as well as representatives of the government and national assembly. He said "constitutional and democratic instruments" useful for any future or ongoing negotiations would be discussed. Buyoya visits France, Italy President Pierre Buyoya left Burundi yesterday (Tuesday) on an official visit to France and Italy aimed at reviving ties, state radio said. He is due to hold talks in Paris with government officials, UNESCO chief Federico Mayor, and the general-secretary of the group of

366

Francophone nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Buyoya is expected to travel to Italy on 8 March. ANGOLA: New peace timetable under discussion UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said yesterday that representatives of Angola's Joint Commission are expected to discuss a new timetable for the completion of the remaining tasks in the peace process. Meanwhile, the Deputy Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral, Behrooz Sadry, together with the ambassadors of the three observer countries Portugal, Russia and the United States - met with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda, and on Monday with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. They discussed the current stage of the peace process, Eckhard added. UNITA claims lack of funds stalls demobilisation A UNITA representative to the Joint Commission, Brigadier Horacio Njunvuvili, told Portuguese radio yesterday that in order to fully demobilise UNITA's registered residual forces, the government needs to make available the funds provided for in the 1994 Lusaka accord. "The government has to free up the funds and issue identity cards and UNOMA [UN Observer Mission in Angola] has to move the teams on the ground," Njunvuvili said. RWANDA: French parliament examines government's role in Rwanda The French National Assembly's defence committee on Tuesday opened an inquiry into France's role in Rwanda in the run-up to the 1994 genocide, AFP reported. A statement from the office of defence committee chairman Paul Quiles said a panel of 10 MPs would take part in the inquiry on "military operations by France, other countries and the United Nations in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994." However, the defence committee stressed that the investigation is not a fully-fledged parliamentary inquiry that could result in legal proceedings, but rather a "fact-finding mission". Rutaganda's trial resumes The trial of Georges Rutaganda, a senior figure in the Interahamwe militia, resumed in Arusha today. Rutaganda, whose defence counsel has expressed concern over the state of his health, appeared in court in a "very weakened state" according to Fondation Hirondelle. Rutaganda is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Five killed by rebels Hutu extremists shot dead five civilians, including a baby and two schoolchildren, near Ruhengeri in northern Rwanda, AFP quoted reliable sources as saying yesterday. Rwandan troops launched a search but failed to capture the rebels.

367

Public sector job losses anounced Rwandan Prime Minister Celestin Rwigema announced that 2,854 public sector jobs would be cut in early April, in a drive to improve the calibre of state employees, AFP reported. The Rwandan state sector currently employs 40,000 people, of whom 68 percent are not qualified for the posts they hold. British parliamentarians arrive A delegation of British parliamentarians arrived in Rwanda yesterday for a four-day tour of the country, state radio reported. The parliamentarians will examine ways of promoting bilateral relations, among other issues. SUDAN: 350,000 face famine Some 350,000 people in war-torn southern Sudan face famine, AFP quoted a WFP spokeswoman as saying in Geneva on Tuesday. Christiane Berthiaume said those affected were in the Bahr el-Ghazal region and included 150,000 people uprooted by fighting at the end of January in the towns of Wau, Gogrial and Aweil. Hunger was forcing people to walk four or five hours to find wild fruits, and Berthiaume said aid must be delivered quickly to stop this movement and allow people to once again cultivate their land. The last crop was planted in 1994. But since 1996, international aid has been the only lifeline because the war has made harvesting impossible, the spokeswoman said. TANZANIA: Four districts quarantined in Rift Valley fever outbreak The Tanzanian authorities have quarantined four northern areas after four confirmed deaths from Rift Valley fever, AFP quoted a local paper as reporting yesterday. The affected areas are Monduli, Ngorongoro and Simanjiro in Arusha district. Hai, in neighbouring Kilimanjaro district, has also been quarantined. The ministry of health warned people in areas bordering Kenya to be on their guard against the disease. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Panel to draft genocide laws The Brazzaville government has set up an 18-judge panel to draft laws enabling prosecution for genocide and war crimes, state radio announced on Tuesday. The broadcast, monitored by AFP, said the new laws would be subject to approval by the interim parliament, the National Transition Council. Nairobi, 4 March 1998, 15:15 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its

368

agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

369

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 13:48:30 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Great Lakes: UNHCR launches US $159 million appeal 98.3.4 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

Source: UNHCR 2 March, 1998 UNHCR APPEALS FOR FUNDS FOR GREAT LAKES OPERATIONS

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said today it is seeking $159 million to help hundreds of thousands of refugees in five countries in the African Great Lakes. The funding will cover operations in Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo which between them are currently sheltering 400,000 refugees. Tanzania is the largest host country with 260,000 Burundi and 70,000 Congolese exiles. In the last two years, more than 1.5 million refugees in the region have already returned home, including 1.3 million Rwandans and 175,000 Burundis. A major component of the Central African operation is the protection and screening of Rwandan refugees in surrounding countries and monitoring the safety and well being of refugees once they get home. The new funding will finance UNHCR's ongoing programs both to repatriate and then reintegrate the refugees and will include projects to rehabilitate health centers, schools, water projects, forestry and crop and livestock production. During her recent trip to the region, High Commissioner Sadako Ogata specifically promised continued help for refugees from Congo-Brazzaville who fled to neighboring Kinshasa during a five-month civil war last year. UNHCR has already repatriated 15,000 out of a total of Brazzaville 30,000 refugees, providing them with blankets, sheeting and cooking utensils. The High Commissioner also emphasized the role of women in rebuilding shattered communities, and UNHCR has earmarked $4.4 million to help protect Rwandan women and promote income-generating projects for them. Several thousand of these women are head of households after husbands and fathers were killed or disappeared during the Great Lakes crisis.

370

More than 50,000 Congolese refugees who fled the 1996-97 conflict in that country have registered to return by boat across Lake Tanganyika from Tanzania, and UNHCR is repairing ruined docks and roads to facilitate their homecoming. Already, 20,000 people have returned to remote villages in this same area of South Kivu. A major ongoing program in Rwanda is the provision of 120,000 housing units by the end of the year in areas particularly hard-hit by the recent conflict. The $14 million earmarked for shelters in Rwanda represents two-thirds of UNHCR's budget for housing in the region. UNHCR's funding requirements are part of a consolidated inter-agency appeal for $550 million announced Friday by the Office of the Co-ordinator for Humanitarian Affairs in New York. Though UNHCR's programs are vital to help complete the return of peoples uprooted by the Great Lakes crisis, High Commissioner Ogata has already expressed her fears about being able to raise sufficient funds, especially for projects in Rwanda. UNHCR's financial needs in the Great Lakes this year include $28 million for logistics; $11 million for the health sector; $8 million for water projects; $6 million for forestry, crop production and livestock; $12 million for education; $3.4 million for income generation projects; $5 million for domestic needs and program delivery $30 million. ends

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-extra]

371

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 17:38:13 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 368 for 5 Mar 98.3.5 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 368 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 5 March 1998)

SUDAN: Seven killed in government attack on Yei Seven people were killed and 46 injured when a Sudanese government aircraft bombed the southern town of Yei, aid workers and diplomats told IRIN today (Thursday). The Antonov plane made four runs over Yei in western Equatoria, dropping 13 bombs late this morning. Direct hits destroyed Yei hospital's operating theatre and blasted its bomb shelter. According to humanitarian sources, Yei was last bombed on 15 February when a nurse was among five people killed by shrapnel. Another hospital at Lubone, eastern Equatoria was bombed last Saturday. A spokesman for Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) told IRIN today he had "no doubt" the hospital was deliberately targeted, and said the attack implied that the Sudanese air force had improved its accuracy. NPA works in the hospital and had just completed a rehabilitation of the operating theatre. Both ECHO and USAID fund the programme. A western diplomat told IRIN that the attack's only motivation was "terror", as the hospital had no military value. The sources describe Yei as the "capital in waiting" for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). BURUNDI: Soldiers sent to reinforce security near Bugarama A battalion of 400 soldiers has been sent to reinforce security in Mubimbi commune, near Bugarama, the Agence burundaise de presse reported. It said at least 1,000 rebels had been "sowing terror" in the area for the past two weeks. The local population had reportedly split into two groups, one backing the rebels, the other cooperating with the military. The rebels had now withdrawn to the Muzazi Valley, but water supplies in the area were disrupted,

372

ABP said, adding that the insurgents were trying to turn Bujumbura-Rural province into their stronghold because of its proximity to the capital. Gitega peace conference recommends transitional institutions A document issued in the aftermath of last month's Gitega peace conference has recommended establishing transitional institutions leading to the eventual return of constitutional rule. According to OCHA-Bujumbura, about 100 people from various sections of Burundi society attended the meeting, which took place from 18-21 February. The document also called for a national enquiry into acts of genocide in Burundi since 1962, with the findings to be followed up by an international tribunal. It also urged the lifting of the regional economic embargo. The opposition FRODEBU party has rejected the Gitega document, saying it does not adequately reflect the meeting and "over-represents" the government's view. French minister calls for lifting sanctions French Cooperation Minister Charles Josselin today called for an end to the embargo against Burundi, saying much progress had been made "that bodes well for a resumption of cooperation". He made the comments after meeting President Pierre Buyoya in Paris. According to AFP, Josselin said France would resume cooperation in the fields of education, health, housing and reintegration. Paris planned to "considerably increase" its scholarships to Burundian students, he added. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: South Kivu still tense Agence burundaise de presse quoted official sources as describing the situation in South Kivu as tense, which had resulted in people fleeing to Burundi. Some Banyamulenge people were said to be crossing into Cibitoke province and the Bujumbura municipality. Meanwhile, BBC radio's French service yesterday quoted official sources in Bukavu who said talks between the DRC army and Banyamulenge military leaders were proceeding well after reports that Banyamulenge soldiers had deserted. The road between Uvira and Bukavu is now open. However, 400 Banyamulenge soldiers have still not returned to barracks. According to the radio, they went to the Lemera mountains where they had regrouped and were now gathered, with their equipment, not far from Kamanyola on the border with Burundi and Rwanda. Many observers were pessimistic about the chances of finding a peaceful solution, the radio said. RWANDA: Army battling rebels in Gitarama One person was killed and seven others wounded when rebels ambushed a minibus near Mushubati, Gitarama prefecture, AFP reported. The rebels opened fire on the bus as it drew to a stop between Mulinga and Mushubati. The army meanwhile said over 100 rebels had been killed in fighting in Gitarama which broke out over the weekend and was still continuing. According to a BBC report, a military spokesman said the rebels had now been cornered. He added eight army soldiers had also lost their lives.

373

Five-year jail term sought for teenage genocide suspect The public prosecutor in Kibuye, western Rwanda, has recommended a five-year jail term for a teenager accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide. The verdict will be delivered on 11 March. AFP, quoting a local source, said Aloys Ntirenganye, who was 15 at the time of the genocide, is likely to be released at the end of the trial because he has been in prison since 6 May 1996. KENYA: Rift Valley curfew lifted The government yesterday lifted the curfew on areas of Rift Valley province, hit by political and ethnic clashes recently. KBC radio, monitored by the BBC, said Rift Valley provincial commissioner Nicholas Mberia stated law and order had returned to the affected areas in Nakuru, Laikipia and Uasin Gishu districts. He warned however the security forces had been instructed to deal firmly with law-breakers. Nairobi, 5 March 1998, 14:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

374

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 11:47:45 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 10-98 27 Feb-5 Mar 98.3.6

Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 10-98 covering the period 27 Feb-5 Mar 1998

RWANDA: Army battling rebels in Gitarama Fighting broke out in central Gitarama prefecture over the weekend between rebels and the army, and continued into the week. An army spokesman said 100 rebels and eight soldiers had been killed. According to the Rwanda News Agency, the rebels tried to storm two prisons in Nyakabanda and Bulinga communes. A Reuters report said some 2,000 rebels freed about 600 genocide suspects from the prison in Bulinga and torched the mayor's house. In further attacks, one person was killed and seven others wounded when rebels ambushed a minibus near Mushubati, Gitarama prefecture. In northwest Ruhengeri prefecture, four truck drivers working for the Bralirwa brewery were killed in a rebel ambush on their lorries, while five other civilians were also killed in a separate attack.

375

French parliament examines government's role in Rwanda The French National Assembly's defence committee on Tuesday opened an inquiry into France's role in Rwanda in the run-up to the 1994 genocide, AFP reported. A statement from the office of defence committee chairman Paul Quiles said a panel of 10 MPs would take part in the inquiry on "military operations by France, other countries and the United Nations in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994." However, the defence committee stressed that the investigation is not a fully-fledged parliamentary inquiry that could result in legal proceedings, but rather a "fact-finding mission". Rutaganda's trial resumes The trial of Georges Rutaganda, a senior figure in the Interahamwe militia, resumed in Arusha on Wednesday. Rutaganda, whose defence counsel has expressed concern over the state of his health, appeared in court in a "very weakened state" according to Fondation Hirondelle. Rutaganda is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. OAU to set up genocide investigation team The OAU is to establish a team of seven eminent personalities to investigate the 1994 genocide, according to Rwandan radio. The announcement was made by Minister of State for Education Jean-Pierre Bizimana who recently returned from an OAU ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa. The meeting decided the team would expose how the genocide was planned, and who planned and executed it in a bid to prevent the reoccurrence of such atrocities, the radio said. While in Addis, Bizimana also appealed to countries harbouring genocide suspects to extradite them to Rwanda. BURUNDI: FAO warns of impending famine An FAO representative in Bujumbura has warned of impending famine in Burundi. "Famine is here...possibly to stay as production has dropped nationwide by more than 20 percent compared to normal years," Joseph Tchikaya told AFP. He said that if there was no supplementary food aid, malnutrition could intensify and many people risked death. Last Friday, Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama appealed for aid to help make up a shortfall of 300,000 mt of beans, rice and bananas. Caritas says 20 people dying daily in Murago Caritas says 20 people are dying per day in Murago, Bururi province, due to malnutrition and disease, according to a WFP report. The situation in the town is described as dramatic, with an average of 100 to 300 people arriving each day in a deplorable state, after wandering for months in forests and marshes. Caritas has requested urgent relief assistance to this displaced population estimated at 5,368 families totalling 37,500 people.

376

Buyoya visits DRC, Europe President Pierre Buyoya arrived in Kinshasa on Sunday on a one-day working visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Speaking on Burundi radio before his departure, he said the purpose of the visit was to explore bilateral issues including security and cooperation. While in Kinshasa, he told DRC television his talks with President Laurent-Desire Kabila had been fruitful. He also said his country was surviving and functioning despite a regional economic embargo. On Wednesday he arrived in Paris where he met Cooperation Minister Charles Josselin who called for lifting the embargo, saying much progress had been made in Burundi. Buyoya is also due to meet the Pope at the Vatican. Soldiers sent to reinforce security near Bugarama A battalion of 400 soldiers has been sent to reinforce security in Mubimbi commune, near Bugarama, the Agence burundaise de presse reported. It said at least 1,000 rebels had been "sowing terror" in the area for the past two weeks. The local population had reportedly split into two groups, one backing the rebels, the other cooperating with the military. The rebels had now withdrawn to the Muzazi Valley, but water supplies in the area were disrupted, ABP said, adding that the insurgents were trying to turn Bujumbura-Rural province into their stronghold because of its proximity to the capital. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: South Kivu still tense Agence burundaise de presse quoted official sources as describing the situation in South Kivu as tense, which had resulted in people fleeing to Burundi. Some Banyamulenge people were said to be crossing into Cibitoke province and the Bujumbura municipality. Meanwhile, BBC radio's French service on Wednesday quoted official sources in Bukavu who said talks between the DRC army and Banyamulenge military leaders were proceeding well after reports that Banyamulenge soldiers had deserted. The road between Uvira and Bukavu is now open. However, 400 Banyamulenge soldiers have still not returned to barracks. According to the radio, they went to the Lemera mountains where they had regrouped and were now gathered, with their equipment, not far from Kamanyola on the border with Burundi and Rwanda. Many observers were pessimistic about the chances of finding a peaceful solution, the radio said. At least 300 killed in Butembo: AZADHO According to the DRC human rights group AZADHO, at least 300 people, including civilians, were killed in clashes between the DRC army and Mayi-Mayi rebels in Butembo last week. The rights group said the killings followed the army's recapture of the town from the rebels who had launched an attack on 20 February. Young men in particular were allegedly targeted by the army as Mayi-Mayi supporters.

377

UN team's mandate extended The UN human rights investigation team has had the extension of its mandate approved by the Congolese government until 31 May. The team's spokesman Jose Diaz announced on Saturday that the approval was contained in a letter to the chief of mission, Atsu Koffi Amega. Kapalata camp empty Humanitarian sources told IRIN the remaining occupants of Kapalata military camp near Kisangani left on Saturday. A total of about 2,500 people, reportedly ex-FAZ and MayiMayi fighters, have been medically screened and transferred to other sites. The camp is due to be cleaned up after an outbreak of cholera last year caused about 300 deaths. SUDAN: Seven killed in government attack on Yei Seven people were killed and 46 injured on Thursday when a Sudanese government aircraft bombed the southern town of Yei, aid workers and diplomats told IRIN. The Antonov plane made four runs over Yei in western Equatoria, dropping 13 bombs. Direct hits destroyed Yei hospital's operating theatre and blasted its bomb shelter. According to humanitarian sources, Yei was last bombed on 15 February when a nurse was among five people killed by shrapnel. Another hospital at Lubone, eastern Equatoria was bombed last Saturday. UGANDA: Thousands fleeing rebels in Gulu The state-owned 'New Vision' on Saturday reported that thousands of people, fleeing rebel activity in the northwest Gulu district, had taken refuge at Lacor hospital in Gulu town. During the day they returned to their homes, medical superintendent Matthew Lokwiya said. Between 3,000 and 7,000 people arrived every night, he said, adding that a group of 2,500 people had taken up permanent refuge at the hospital. Clinton due in on 23 March US President Bill Clinton is due in Kampala on 23 March, according to the 'New Vision'. It said a total of 500 rooms had been booked for the president's entourage. The visit will last until 25 March. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rebecca Kadaga told AFP African heads of state would arrive in Kampala for a summit meeting with Clinton. ANGOLA: Dos Santos warns of war over UNITA's deadline failure Following UNITA's failure to meet Saturday's deadline to demobilise, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has written to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warning of a potential war situation, Angolan TV reported on Monday. Dos Santos called for international pressure on UNITA to change its attitude.

378

Luanda last week threatened "dire consequences" if UNITA did not fulfil all the requirements of the 1994 peace agreement by Saturday. The government and the UN have accused UNITA of dragging its heels over demobilising its army and returning all territory to government administration. According to Reuters, more than 3,000 UNITA troops have yet to be demobilised. TANZANIA: Four districts quarantined in Rift Valley fever outbreak The Tanzanian authorities have quarantined four northern areas after four confirmed deaths from Rift Valley fever, AFP quoted a local paper as reporting. The affected areas are Monduli, Ngorongoro and Simanjiro in Arusha district. Hai, in neighbouring Kilimanjaro district, has also been quarantined. The ministry of health warned people in areas bordering Kenya to be on their guard against the disease. Cholera kills 25 in Mbeya region At least 25 cholera deaths have been reported in Mbeya region, southwest Tanzania since January, according to Tanzanian radio. It quoted local medical officials as saying Mbarali district was worst-affected with a reported 23 deaths and 275 people hospitalised. AFP also reported that 69 people had died of cholera at a prison in the northwest town of Bukoba. The daily 'Mtanzania' said the disease had broken out last week, and the prison had now been placed under quarantine. CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Kolelas sets up government-in-exile Ousted prime minister Bernard Kolelas has set up a government-in-exile, known as the "constitutional government of the Republic of Congo". Faxes received by IRIN from the "prime minister's office" in Strasbourg and Brussels, announced the appointment of JeanClaude Mayima as "the constitutional government's representative to the EU and the prime minister's adviser in charge of relations with the press". GREAT LAKES: UN launches US $550 million consolidated appeal The UN last Friday launched a US $550 million Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for countries of the Great Lakes Region and Central Africa to meet the emergency needs of over five million people in 1998. The Appeal covers Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A press release by OCHA said the humanitarian programme for Congo-Brazzaville is currently under preparation, and will be issued as an addendum this month. Nairobi, 6 March 1998 [ENDS]

379

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 16:21:15 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 369 for 6 Mar 98.3.6 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 369 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 6 March 1998)

ANGOLA: Joint Commission meets over UNITA demobilisation Angola's joint commission is meeting today (Friday) following UNITA's failure to meet yesterday's (Thursday) midnight deadline for a declaration on demoblisation. According to the UN observer mission to Angola (MONUA), UNITA still has some 1,200 residual forces to demobilise. A spokesman told IRIN today that the government was insisting on a demobilisation declaration from UNITA without delay. On media reports that UNITA retained substantial numbers of troops outside the demobilisation process, he said "MONUA has no proof. It is possible that UNITA has some extra soldiers." Angolan ambassador says UNITA supplied through Zambia The Angolan ambassador to Lusaka, Augusto Emanuelle, yesterday charged that weapons destined for UNITA were transiting through Zambian territory. According to AFP, he warned that "it is in the interests of the Zambian government to address the situation." The ambassador also said that UNITA troops had entered refugee camps near the Zambia-Angola border and turned them into military bases. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Conflicting reports over Uvira's stability Concerned with the defence of their community, Banyamulenge soldiers in Uvira are refusing to be posted outside the region and are opposed to the arrival of DRC army reinforcements. In a report by Radio France Internationale yesterday, Isidore Resuampoe, spokesman for the Banyamulenge Association in Uvira, said Banyamulenge troops were being transferred out of the province because of their ethnic origins. He described the arriving DRC soldiers as

380

including elements of the former FAZ who were behind the "extermination" of the Banyamulenge. The broadcast said tension remained high in Uvira. However, according to DRC state radio in Bukavu, the situation had returned to normal with the military authorities in control of South Kivu. Bukavu was also calm, with soldiers that had fled into the hills around Uvira having returned to their units. Their reintegration followed the intervention of army chief, Commander James Kabare. The radio said two soldiers were publically shot for indiscipline. Donors meet over DRC trust fund International donors are due to meet in Stockholm today (Friday) to discuss the guidelines of a proposed trust fund for the DRC. The group - dubbed "Friends of Congo" - met in Brussels in December. The donors agreed in principle to create the trust fund, but they did not discuss its likely size, Reuters said. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Opposition says reconciliation pact "artificial" The spokesman for an alliance of 11 Central African Republic opposition parties described Wednesday's national reconciliation pact as "artificial". Abel Goumba told Gabonese African No 1 radio "the head of state is not making things easy in any way for the opposition or for the African mediators." Gabonese Defence Minister General Idriss Ngari said on Radio France Internationale on Wednesday that restructuring problems confronting the CAR army remain unresolved. The national reconciliation pact was unanimously signed by the 400 delegates to the reconciliation conference who held a one-week meeting in Bangui to find a final solution to the country's two-year crisis. The French foreign ministry today described the adoption of the pact as the "first step in the process of the re-establishment of peace and stability". RWANDA: MSF concerned over French parliamentary committee probe MSF said on Thursday it was concerned that a French National Assembly committee plan to study the role of the French military in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide would be neither impartial nor independent, Reuters reported. "In contrast to a parliamentary inquiry, the openness, impartiality and independence of an information mission would not be guaranteed," MSF said in a statement. UN special rapporteur's grim genocide testimony The former UN human rights commission special rapporteur, Rene Degni-Segui, yesterday testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the cases of Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana, both accused of genocide crimes. According to Fondation Hirondelle, he described how he had seen "scattered skulls, thousands of broken bodies" at Nyarubuye, in eastern Rwanda. In Nyundo, Gisenyi prefecture, he described

381

ditches full of bodies. In the cemetery, some people had been buried alive, he said. He claimed all sides in the conflict had committed atrocities. Nairobi, 6 March 1998, 13:30 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

382

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 17:06:29 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 370 for 7-9 Mar 98.3.9 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk

UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 370 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 7-9 March 1998)

RWANDA: Over 5,000 genocide suspects to stand trial this year Supreme Court Prosecutor Simeon Rwagasore has announced that over 5,000 genocide suspects will be tried this year, compared to 300 last year, the Rwanda News Agency reported. The move is aimed at resolving the problem of Rwanda's overcrowded prisons. Rwagasore urged the government to help the judiciary in its work. He was speaking after a meeting last week between public prosecutors and Prime Minister Pierre Celestin Rwigema. The premier said one of the government's major concerns was that the genocide trials be speeded up. Gitarama reported calm after rebel infiltration Fighting in central Gitarama prefecture was reported under control, after rebels infiltrated the area last week. Deputy Commander of the Gitarama-Kibuye brigade, Colonel Karenzi Karake told RNA on Saturday life had now returned to normal, although mopping-up operations were still continuing in some communes to crush the remaining Interahamwe militiamen scattered in forests, swamps and hills of the Ndiza region. The rebels had been cut off from returning to their hideouts in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri prefectures. Some of the 80 prisoners, freed by the rebels in Nyakabanda commune, had started to return, RNA reported. Genocide suspect rearrested in US A Hutu cleric and genocide suspect has been rearrested in the US, after an American court set him free last year saying his detention was unconstitutional, the 'EastAfrican' weekly reported today. The Reverend Elizaphan Ntakirutimana has been called to stand trial by the

383

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). A State Department official, explaining the re-arrest, said: "We believe that the law and the facts support surrender for trial." BURUNDI: Airline boss arrested for bribe-taking The director-general of the national airline, Air Burundi, has been arrested for taking bribes, Burundi radio reported on Friday. It quoted Transport Minister Venerand Nzohabonayo as saying the case was now in the hands of the judiciary. The minister added that Air Burundi was currently undergoing financial problems due to its internal management and the regional embargo. Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac is reported to have called for lifting the sanctions on Burundi. President Pierre Buyoya, speaking after meeting Chirac in Paris, said the French leader "deplored" the embargo and called for a review, AFP reported. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN team complains of witness harassment The UN human rights investigation team in DRC has complained that two witnesses it interviewed in the northwest Mbandaka region have been arrested, Radio France Internationale reported. The mission also said its members were being tailed by the authorities. However spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN today (Monday) the team's activities were continuing in Mbandaka. He added that the security situation in eastern DRC did not permit investigations there at the moment. Team members had left for Angola where they will interview Rwandan refugees, he said. Refugees in the Central African Republic and Congo-Brazzaville had already been interviewed. Mayi-Mayi rebels said targeting Katangese soldiers More details have come to light about the alleged killing of 300 people by DRC soldiers in Butembo last month. The allegations were made by the DRC human rights group AZADHO, who said the army was retaliating against the temporary occupation of the town by rebel Mayi-Mayi fighters. AZADHO deputy chairman Pascal Kabale told Radio France Internationale on Friday the fact the Mayi-Mayi were now attacking Katangese soldiers, who make up most of the army in the Butembo area, was a new development as they had previously targeted Tutsis whom they regard as "foreigners". According to Kabale, the MayiMayi had accused the DRC soldiers of "molesting the people". This included "torture, degrading acts and even summary executions", he said. Local sources told IRIN today civilian victims had been buried in mass graves by the military. Butembo is under curfew and very tense as the Mayi-Mayi have reportedly threatened to attack again. 'Le Soft International' seized at airport Copies of the international edition of the independent newspaper 'Le Soft' were seized at Kinshasa airport last week, reportedly because the paper was carrying an article on fresh unrest in eastern DRC. According to AFP, 'Le Soft International', which is distributed in Europe, has been seized four times in the past eight months. It is run by Kin-Kiey Mulumba who was information minister under ousted president Mobutu Sese Seko.

384

Kabila discusses "minor border frictions" in Bangui President Laurent-Desire Kabila has had talks in Bangui with his CAR counterpart Ange-Felix Patasse to discuss "minor frictions" on the border between the two countries, DRC radio in Bunia reported. Kabila stopped off in Bangui on Thursday on his return from a summit meeting in Mozambique. Kabila meets EU envoy On Saturday, Kabila met the EU special envoy for the Great Lakes region Aldo Ajello in Kinshasa, according to DRC television. They discussed the EU's contribution to DRC's process of democratisation. Ajello announced that the EU had appointed a unit to handle the process and approved a financial package to help it along. NGO says food shortages could be avoided An NGO operating in northern DRC has pointed out that the region of Dungu-Doruma on the border with Sudan is agriculturally under-developed because of the appalling infrastructure. Terre sans Frontieres said the region had agricultural potential which could easily be developed. If the roads were maintained, the region could produce enough to relieve food shortages in Sudan and contribute towards the development of northern DRC and southern Sudan. SUDAN: Bashir reshuffles cabinet President Omar al-Bashir has reshuffled his cabinet and created a new ministry for international cooperation and investment. According to Sudanese television, the reshuffle includes new defence, interior and justice ministers. AFP noted the reshuffle brings in exSPLA rebel Lam Akol as transport minister and includes two northern opponents. UGANDA: Museveni says western aid encourages dependency President Yoweri Museveni, addressing a meeting of international investors in Addis Ababa yesterday (Sunday), accused the West of encouraging dependency in Africa by continuing to provide aid to "dead economies", Reuters reported. "Aid causes dependency and dependency is slavery," he said. Despite three decades of western aid, there was no country in Africa where citizens led very comfortable lives. "That is proof that the aid policy is wrong for Africa," Museveni said. He criticised the IMF and World Bank for seeking to force the implementation of structural reforms in Africa without trying to understand different African economies, Reuters said. He called instead for politically educating Africans "to understand abuse by their governments". Political parties demand freedom to operate Political parties in Uganda are demanding the freedom to conduct their activities ahead of a visit by US President Bill Clinton, according to Gabonese radio. Its correspondent in the

385

region noted that the Ugandan constitution approves the existence of parties but bans their activities. Political parties are organising a conference two weeks before Clinton's visit this month "to remind the US president that multiparty politics in Uganda is not dead," the radio said. Rebels kill 29 Rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) used axes and pangas to hack 29 people to death in the northern Gulu district, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported on Saturday. The killings occurred in various parts of the district over the last week, it said. Police allegedly abducting refugees The Ugandan human rights commission said on Friday it was investigating allegations that police were abducting Rwandan and DRC refugees. AFP quoted a member of the commission as saying the motive of the abductions had not yet been established. The chief of external security organisation Philip Idri denied the police were behind the abductions of four named people. "People accuse us of this because they think we support Rwanda, but our first concern is law and order," he said. Charter flights to remote northern regions United Airlines of Uganda has launched special charter flights to Adjumani, Arua, Moyo and Pakuba in the north of the country. Ugandan radio said the flights would operate daily from Entebbe airport. Tourism Minister Brigadier Moses Ali said the move would help people in the West Nile region who suffered from severe transport problems. ANGOLA: UNITA announces complete demobilisation The former rebel UNITA movement has announced a complete demobilisation of its forces by the middle of this month. A statement broadcast by UNITA radio on Friday, said a "special and final demobilisation operation" would take place in some 15 locations between 11-15 March and UNITA generals would be demobilised in Bailundo between 16-19 March. UNITA leaders would enter Luanda on 31 March following the demobilisation, the final deadline for implementation of the 1994 Lusaka peace accord. KENYA: New tax measures condemned Kenyan press reports said new tax measures introduced by the government last week have been greeted with "almost unanimous condemnation". The 'Daily Nation' said businessmen, politicians and ordinary citizens alike described the tax increases on fuel and VAT as "harsh, punitive and brutal". The newspaper said the prices of most commodities would rise as a result of the tax changes, introduced to offset a rising budget deficit.

386

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Weapons still prevail in Brazzaville UNICEF says despite the government's efforts to disarm militiamen and others holding illegal weapons, the prevalence of arms in Brazzaville and elsewhere in the country is still widespread. Young members of the Cobras, Ninjas and other militias are refusing to hand in their weapons, particularly as many of them have not been integrated into the national army. Minister of Labour and Social Security Jean-Martin Mbemba was wounded when armed bandits broke into his house just north of Brazzaville. His driver and a bodyguard were shot and killed. Nairobi, 9 March 1998, 14:15 gmt [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

387

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 18:36:02 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 371 for 10 Mar 98.3.10 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 371 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 10 March 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Army crackdown on rebel "accomplices" Local sources in Goma told IRIN today (Tuesday) many people had been arrested in the past week during an army crackdown on alleged Mayi-Mayi and Interahamwe "accomplices". In a press conference yesterday (Monday), the North Kivu Governor, Leonard Gafunde, called on the local population not to collaborate with rebels. "If you want peace, you must disassociate from peace enemies," he warned. 51 people killed in Butembo clashes - governor Gafunde said that 51 people died following last month's Mayi-Mayi attack on Butembo. In response to a question on army reprisals in the town, he said that "all troublemakers must be suppressed. If the population is cooperating with the enemy, they have to be treated accordingly." Independent sources claim that more than 300 people were killed following the army's recapture of Butembo. Meanwhile, clashes between the army and rebels have reportedly occurred on the Goma/Rutshuru road and in Mushaki, 30 km west of Goma. Banyamulenge end mutiny Several hundred Banyamulenge soldiers have ended a two-week mutiny in eastern DRC after being granted amnesty, Reuters reported local officials as saying on Monday. The soldiers returned to Bukavu at the weekend. But not all the grievances they outlined during a week of "tense" negotiations had been immediately addressed, a senior official said. The mutiny and clashes with other factions of the army were sparked by attempts to integrate the Banyamulenge with ex-FAZ and to send them out of their region of origin. The deserting Banyamulenge also said they feel inadequately compensated in the current military hierarchy

388

for the key role they played in the war. The officials said there were no new plans to move the Banyamulenge out of their region of origin where anti-Tutsi sentiment threatens their families. AFP reported that the South Kivu authorities are down playing tensions between Banyamulenge and other ethnic groups. At the weekend, Governor Charles Magabe denounced a "psychosis fed by unfounded reports". He described as an "exaggeration" reports of ethnic tensions. Kabila meets dos Santos DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila yesterday met his Angolan counterpart in Luanda to discuss Angola's domestic political situation and border security concerns. No statement was issued after the two-hour meeting, according to Angolan TV, monitored by the BBC. 300 intelligence officers graduate More than 300 young graduates of the Academy of the National Intelligence Agency were sworn in as security officers at the weekend, state TV reported. Chairing the ceremony, Kabila called on the graduates "to rebuild a country that has once again been ravaged." BURUNDI: Vatican reiterates opposition to sanctions The Vatican on Monday confirmed its opposition to sanctions against Burundi following talks between Pope John Paul II and Burundi President Pierre Buyoya. A Vatican spokesman said the church "will continue to speak out in favour of lifting sanctions which hit the most deprived parts of the population the hardest." Buyoya is on a tour seeking to raise the pressure in Europe for an end to the regionally-imposed embargo, AFP reported. He is expected to meet Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Patasse claims mercenary coup plot Mercenaries are being recruited in Belgium and France to overthrow Central African Republic leader Ange-Felix Patasse, he said in an interview published today. He told the French daily 'Liberation' that French elements "nostalgic about the past who want to hang on to their colonial bastion" were planning "low blows" against him, AFP reported. But he said he wanted to work with "official and democratic" France. Patasse also said he was upset about the French military withdrawal from Bangui, calling it a "fait accompli." CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: WFP says food situation precarious WFP describes the food situation in Congo-Brazzaville as "precarious", particularly for the former refugees presently accommodated in transit sites. The resumption of agricultural activities is being hampered by lack of seeds, as the existing stocks were consumed during wartime, the agency added. An estimated seven percent of the children are malnourished and WFP will pay special attention to the needs of these groups. Cholera cases continue to be

389

reported, with over 1,000 cases registered at Pointe Noire and in the Kouilou region. A mission from the local health authorities also reported many cases of typhoid fever in the hinterland. UNICEF project for war-traumatised children underway A UNICEF project to identify and assist war-traumatised children has begun in Brazzaville. In the Bacongo area, UNICEF teams have mounted house-by-house screening of children, with some 900 children between the ages of 3-17 years seen up to 21 February. A high proportion of the children exhibited signs of trauma, including aggressiveness, muteness and psychosomatic paralysis. Similar house-by-house screening exercises will be organised throughout the city. In a related project, UNICEF is collaborating with UNFPA, IFRC, the International Rescue Committee, and other organisations to provide support to victims of sexual violence in the Congo. UGANDA: Reduced crop yields expected due to flooding The Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) February report for Uganda indicates abnormallyhigh rainfalls will reduce yields for cereals and pulses in the second harvest season underway in western, central and eastern regions. Low yields are also expected for cash crops such as cotton and coffee, with cotton production for 1997/98 expected to be 40 percent down. Prices for staple food crops remain historically high, reflecting low supply and reduced access. Meteorological authorities in Uganda have warned that anomalous rainfall patterns are expected to continue through 1998, the report says. RWANDA: Akayesu hearings to end in March The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda will complete hearings on genocide defendant Jean-Paul Akayesu by the end of the month. The prosecution's case against Akayesu, a former mayor, will start winding up on 19 March while defence counsel will have their final say from 25 March, according to Fondation Hirondelle. Meanwhile, a defence lawyer said that the trial of another key defendant, former colonel Theoneste Bagosora, will not open as planned on Thursday, AFP reported. Procedural delays were cited as the reason. Presbyterian minister released The Rwandan authorities have released a Presbyterian minister and five companions who were detained on 14 February as suspected rebel sympathisers, church authorities said on Monday. The six, travelling to Kigali from western Kibuye region, were held at a gendarme post after picking up a hitch-hiker who was wanted in connection with alleged rebel activity in Kibuye, AFP reported.

390

TANZANIA: Rift Valley Fever and "malaria" outbreaks reported Tanzanian medical and veterinary teams are struggling to control an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever and another disease they class as "malaria" that is ravaging the northern region of Arusha, the state-owned 'Daily News' reported today. Nairobi, 10 March 1998, 15:00 GMT [ENDS]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to [email protected] Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

391

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 18:14:56 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 372 for 11 Mar 98.3.11 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 372 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 11 March 1998) US-AFRICA: Museveni organises regional summit for Clinton Uganda plans to host 10 regional leaders at a meeting with US President Bill Clinton in Kampala later this month. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday (Tuesday) that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki have confirmed their participation. He did not name the other heads of state who will attend. According to Kenya's 'Daily Nation', the presidents of Kenya and Tanzania have been invited. Regional security and African-US relations are on the summit's agenda. Clinton plans Kigali stopover Clinton will stop briefly in Kigali during his African tour, but security concerns will restrict him to the airport, AFP reported the 'Washington Post' as saying today (Wednesday). The 25 March stopover will include a public event to "address and acknowledge the genocide and the humanitarian crisis that ensued," a senior official said. ANGOLA: Luanda legalises UNITA as part of peace process The Angolan government today legalised the former rebel UNITA movement and gave it full party political status as part of moves to advance a stalled peace process. An official statement announced the government had lifted "all obstacles" banning UNITA activities and said the movement "may exercise its activities across the whole of the territory". Reuters quoted government officials saying the move followed UNITA's formal declaration on Friday of military demobilisation - a key requirement for officially ending Africa's longest running civil war. The UNITA action allowed the adoption of a new timescale for implementation of the Lusaka accords which must now be completed by 1 April. UNITA

392

welcomed today's government move but said it was more of a symbolic gesture because UNITA, which has 70 members of parliament in Luanda, has been registered as a political party since 1992. Both sides remain deeply suspicious of each other and continue to trade accusations of peace accord violations. On Tuesday, Angolan state television said UNITA had attacked army positions in Huila while UNITA's 'Black Cockerel' radio said government forces were poised to attack their Jamba stronghold from Namibia. KENYA: Politicians interrogated over Rift Valley violence A number of Kenyan politicians have been interrogated in connection with the ethnic clashes that rocked parts of Rift Valley Province at the beginning of the year. Police Commissioner Duncan Wachira said yesterday those questioned had made "provocative" statements that could have fuelled the violence in Nakuru and Laikipia districts in which at least 127 people died, local media reported. Wachira did not name the politicians that had been questioned, but said the findings of a two-week long police probe would be forwarded to the attorney-general. Kibaki denies DP involvement The Democratic Party has denied allegations made by President Daniel arap Moi on Monday that it was involved in the January-February clashes. DP Chairman Mwai Kibaki challenged the government to take to court any DP leader implicated in the violence. CID boss Noah arap Too has meanwhile refuted allegations that the security forces were slow to react to the killings. Maize duty waiver announced The government has announced a duty waiver on maize imports to cover an estimated 7-9 million bag shortfall in local production. The 25 percent duty waiver will be effective from 1 April to June 30, but subject to review, local media reported today. Kenya consumes 30-32 million bags annually, but domestic production is forecast at 23 million bags during the 1998 harvesting period due to the impact of El Nino. RWANDA: Bagasora trial postponed The trial of colonel Theoneste Bagasora will not open on 12 March as initially scheduled, the ICTR has confirmed. Quoting an anonymous source, Fondation Hirondelle said the hearings of the prosecution witnesses might not start before "next summer". Bagasora, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, is the highest-ranking officer of the former Rwandan army to face trial in Arusha.

393

32 bandits arrested Police in the southern Rwandan Butare Prefecture have arrested 32 bandits who had been looting communes in the area, the Rwandan News Agency reported yesterday. Officials in Butare said among those arrested were several ex-FAR. TANZANIA: Health minister tours disease outbreak region The outbreak of a mysterious disease, which reportedly claims 20 to 30 lives a day in northwestern Tanzania, has prompted a visit by Health Minister Aaron Chiduo, a local paper said today. Chiduo and a four-man team of experts are collecting blood samples from affected people for laboratory tests, the English-language daily 'The African' reported. On Sunday, Muleba area MP Wilson Masilingi told a meeting of his constituents living in Dar es Salaam that the unknown disease had killed 665 people in seven months, and that it was continuing to claim between 20 and 30 lives daily, AFP said. BURUNDI: Nutritional survey confirms high child malnutrition rates A nutritional survey by the British NGO Children's Aid Direct (CAD) in Bubanza province has recorded an overall malnutrition rate of 17.2 percent among children aged 6-59 months. Severe malnutrition was 4.5 percent. The results of the survey, conducted among 900 children last month, compares with the 19.5 percent and 9.2 percent respectively from CAD's last baseline survey undertaken in August last year. According to an OCHA report, the continued high malnutrition rates can be attributed to general poor food security at the household level with an average caloric daily intake of only 988 kcal (as opposed to a normal intake of 1,900 kcal) despite a slight improvement in quantity and variety of diet. The price of an average food basket has increased by 130 percent since the imposition of the 1996 embargo, according to FAO data. SUDAN: Khartoum wants positive outcome from IGAD talks Sudan's government said it is committed to a positive outcome from next week's InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace talks. External Relations Minister Mustafa Uthman Isma'il said he hoped other countries participating in the 16 March meeting in Djibouti will work towards peace, state TV reported. He also urged European ambassadors to pressure southern rebels to accept its offer of a ceasefire so humanitarian aid can be delivered unhindered. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Draft constitution debate DRC's Constitutional Commission on Monday adopted several articles of the draft constitution, l'Agence Congolaise de Presse (ACP) reported. It gave no details of the approved articles. According to humanitarian sources, although the draft has not been made public, some of its provisions are already being discussed by the media in Kinshasa. These include the alleged stipulation that the number of political parties be restricted to three.

394

UGANDA: Army kills five rebels in ambush The Ugandan army killed five rebels when they laid an ambush to rescue 42 people abducted by the insurgents in the north earlier this week, local newspapers reported. All the hostages, most of them children abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), were rescued during the encounter near the town of Palabek in Kitgum district on Monday. Lieutenant Colonel Hudson Mukasa told reporters that the rebels were heading toward southern Sudan with the captives when they fell into the ambush, AFP said. GREAT LAKES: UK pledges at donor meeting The UK is donating three million pounds (about US $4.9 million) to UN programmes in the Great Lakes. Of the total, 250,000 pounds is earmarked for OCHA's work in the region, while the remainder is for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' operations in Rwanda and Burundi. The announcement was made at a briefing of donor nations in Geneva today, where UN agencies presented the 1998 UN's consolidated appeal for the Great Lakes and Central Africa. The appeal includes Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and a revised US $23 million for Congo-Brazzaville. The total requirements are for US $573 million. The latest figures have also been released for last year's Great Lakes appeal, which raised about US $280 million for UN programmes in the region. Other humanitarian agencies and programmes received about US $248 million. This year's appeal includes various rehabilitation and reconstruction proposals, a new approach which today received endorsement from a number of donor nations. Ambassador Berhanu Dinka, the UN's regional humanitarian advisor, told the meeting that humanitarian responses would have to be integrated into rehabilitation and reconstruction needs, given the mixed situation in the region. GREAT LAKES: Red Cross Movement appeals for US $110 million The ICRC's annual appeal for Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, included as an annex to the two-volume UN document (available in hard copy from IRIN) amounts to 143,528,006 Swiss Francs (about US $96 million), while the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies seeks 21,930,000 Swiss Francs (about US $ 14 million) to finance regional programmes benefitting 850,000 people. Nairobi, 11 March 1998, 14:45 GMT [ENDS]

395

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 17:59:15 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 373 for 12 Mar 98.3.12 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] IRIN Update No. 373 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 12 March 1998) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Attacks on Banyamulenge soldiers "routine" A source close to the South Kivu authorities told IRIN today (Thursday) that three Banyamulenge soldiers were killed by Mayi-Mayi assailants at Buyakiri, northwest of Bukavu, on Tuesday night. The sources said other Congolese soldiers were unharmed, and claimed the soldiers were killed on the basis of their ethnicity. After the attack, the MayiMayi "melted into the local villagers", the source said, adding: "These attacks are becoming routine." RWANDA: Human rights campaigner dies Andre Sibomana, one of Rwanda's leading human rights activists, died on Monday after an illness lasting several weeks. Sibomana, a Roman Catholic priest and journalist, was described by Amnesty International as a "staunch and uncompromising defender of human rights and a defender of the truth." He was apostolic administrator of Kabayi diocese, in Gitarama prefecture, director and editor of the catholic magazine, 'Kinyamateka', as well as a senior official of the Association rwandaise pour la defense des droits de la personne et des libertes publiques. He denounced abuses under successive governments. BURUNDI: Mysterious disease reported in Ruyigi A mysterious disease has appeared in Ruyigi province. According to the Azania news agency the feet swell up and small pockets of liquid appear under the skin which then quickly turn in to puss. Rashes then develop which make the infected person scratch themselves. The disease was first sighted in Karuzi. Over 100 cases have so far been registered in local hospitals. Medical sources fear the disease is highly contagious and could spread quickly if not

396

combatted. Humanitarian sources say WHO is expected to send an expert to the area on Friday. Buyoya returns from European trip Burundi President Pierre Buyoya returned home on Tuesday after a trip to Europe aimed at winning support for an end to the regional embargo on his country. Buyoya told reporters the trip had been a success, saying the French and Italian authorities had decided to restart cooperation "in all its forms". CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: UN details Congo-B appeal The UN, detailing how it would spend a revised US $23 million appeal for the Republic of Congo, has said priority attention would be given to emergency rehabilitation of health centres, schools and private houses and child vaccination and preventive health programmes. Special attention will also be given to those traumatised by the civil war, particularly women and children. Support would be provided to the reconciliation efforts, peace education and human rights programmes, the UN said in New York. The appeal, part of this week's wider consolidated appeal for the Great Lakes and Central Africa, also promotes efforts to revitalise the agricultural economy, enhance food security, improve access to clean water and adequate shelter, and ensure reasonable health services for all people in need. The Republic of Congo is recovering from last year's four-month civil war that displaced some 650,000 of the country's three million people. Children reported dead in capital bomb blast Media reports from Brazzaville say at least eight children were killed when a shell abandoned during the recent civil war exploded. The BBC said the children were reported to have been playing with the shell in an empty house in the northern suburb of Mikalou. It quoted correspondents saying there had been numerous accidental explosions in Brazzaville since last year's civil war in which forces loyal to Denis Sassou Nguesso overthrew the former president, Pascal Lissouba. Opposition accuses Angolan army of occupation An opposition group Espace republicain pour la defense de la democratie et de l'unite nationale au congo-brazzaville (ERDUN) has accused the Angolan army of reinforcing its occupation of key towns in the country. In a press release received by IRIN, it said the Angolan army's "permanent" presence was on the pretext of defending Congo-Brazzaville against external aggression. CAR: Washington gives blessing to UN peacekeeping force The United States has given its support for a UN peacekeeping force to take over from an inter-African force in the Central African Republic, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said. "I was grateful to hear that they will support this peacekeeping operation," Annan told reporters

397

after meeting on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The UN Security Council is expected to decide by 16 March whether to create the peacekeeping force proposed by Annan. Most of the council's members are in favour of the idea, but up to now the United States had serious reservations of a financial nature, AFP said. The new peacekeeping operation for Bangui will have an initial mandate of three years. It will take over from the inter-African force charged with enforcing peace agreements signed in January 1997. TANZANIA: ACT appeal for four million facing food shortage Nearly four million people are facing an acute food shortage in Tanzania, the NGO consortium Action by Churches Together (ACT) said in an appeal for emergency flood and drought assistance. Some 700,000 people are unable to afford commercial food because of rising prices, ACT warned. WFP and FAO say roads priority in food relief A joint report by WFP and FAO says Tanzania's critical food supply situation is "heavily influenced by transport and accessibility". The report concludes that the immediate priority for any appeals for international assistance for Tanzania "should be focused on transport constraints and moving food as soon as possible to areas of need rather than on injecting further quantities of relief food," Reuters reported yesterday (Wednesday). The report was based on a joint assessment mission conducted at the request of Tanzania in January. KENYA-US: Nairobi not offended by ommission from Clinton itinerary Kenya does feel snubbed by President Bill Clinton's decision to skip Nairobi during his upcoming visit to Africa. Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister Bonaya Godana told Reuters that relations between Kenya and Washington are cordial. "If you look at Mr Clinton's itinerary you will see the countries he is visiting are of a particular type," Godana said. "They have either recently emerged or are emerging from changes ... this seems to be the theme." He added that Clinton had personally written to President Daniel arap Moi inviting him to a regional summit in Kampala at the end of the month. Godana admitted that Kenya's international reputation had "taken a battering" in recent months. "Sometimes, without doubt, we feel we are being held to different standards," he said. "We are not a country of angels, but we feel we are nevertheless far ahead of many neighbours in terms of our progress." Albright unlikely to accompany Clinton US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is not expected to accompany Clinton on his African tour. "At this point, it looks like the pros of her staying in Washington or of being available for other activities outweigh the cons of her not going," State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters on Wednesday. Nairobi, 12 March 1998, 14:30 GMT

398

X-URL: http://www.reliefweb.int/emergenc/greatlak/latest.html Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 12:45:48 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa Subject:

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 11-98 6-12 Mar 98.3.13 Sender: [email protected] To: [email protected] MIME-version: 1.0 Precedence: bulk UNITEDNATIONS Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: [email protected] [The weekly roundup is based on IRIN daily updates and other relevant information from UN agencies, NGOs, governments, donors and the media. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.] Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Weekly Round-up 11-98 covering the period 6-12 Mar 1998 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Banyamulenge end mutiny Several hundred Banyamulenge soldiers have ended their mutiny in eastern DRC after being granted amnesty. The soldiers returned to Bukavu at the weekend. But not all the grievances they outlined during a week of "tense" negotiations had been immediately addressed, a senior official told Reuters. The mutiny and clashes with other factions of the army were sparked by attempts to integrate the Banyamulenge with ex-FAZ and to send them out of their region of origin. The deserting Banyamulenge also said they feel inadequately compensated in the current military hierarchy for the key role they played in the war. The officials said there were no new plans to move the Banyamulenge out of the region where anti-Tutsi sentiment threatens their families. Authorities say ethnic tension exaggerated AFP reported that the South Kivu authorities are playing down tensions between Banyamulenge and other ethnic groups. At the weekend, Governor Charles Magabe described as an "exaggeration" reports of communal tensions. However, a source close to the South Kivu authorities told IRIN that Mayi-Mayi attacks on Banyamulenge soldiers, on the basis of their ethnicity, "are becoming routine".

399

Governor says 51 people died in Butembo attack More details have come to light about the alleged killing of 300 people by DRC soldiers in Butembo last month. The DRC human rights group AZADHO said the army retaliated against the local population after the temporary occupation of the town by rebel Mayi-Mayi fighters. Local sources told IRIN civilian victims had been buried in mass graves by the military. However, according to North Kivu Governor, Leonard Gafunde, 51 people - rather than 300 - died in the Butembo operation. Responding on Monday to the controversy over the alleged reprisals by the army, he said: "all troublemakers must be suppressed. If the population is cooperating with the enemy, they have to be treated accordingly." UN team complains of witness harassment The UN human rights investigation team in DRC has complained that two witnesses it interviewed in the northwest Mbandaka region have been arrested, Radio France Internationale reported. The mission also said its members were being tailed by the authorities. However, spokesman Jose Diaz told IRIN on Monday the team's activities were continuing in Mbandaka. He added that the security situation in eastern DRC did not permit investigations there at the moment. Team members had left for Angola where they will interview Rwandan refugees, he said. Refugees in the Central African Republic and Congo-Brazzaville had already been interviewed. ANGOLA: Luanda legalises UNITA as part of peace process The Angolan government on Wednesday legalised the former rebel UNITA movement and gave it full party political status as part of moves to advance a stalled peace process. An official statement announced the government had lifted "all obstacles" banning UNITA activities and said the movement "may exercise its activities across the whole of the territory". Reuters quoted government officials saying the move followed UNITA's forma