UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
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IRIN Emergency Update No.179 on the Great Lakes (22 May 1997)
* Laurent-Desire Kabila, self-proclaimed president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is still working on putting together his transitional government, five days after his forces captured the capital Kinshasa. He has yet to make an official public appearance in Kinshasa. Reuters reported today that the secretary-general of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL), Deogratias Bugera, met yesterday for just under an hour at the Intercontinental Hotel with the popular leader of the opposition Democratic Union for Social Progress (UDPS), Etienne Tshisekedi. There was no word on whether Tshisekedi would be included in the new government. Radio France Internationale (RFI) said today more than 100 applicants for the post of prime minister were received by ADFL officials.
* Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday Kabila should form a broad-based government but should resist pressure from Western governments to hold quick elections.
* South Africa said it would send experts to help rebuild the DRC's economy, especially its finance system.
* Two top military officers in Mobutu's army surrendered to ADFL forces yesterday. General Amela Lokima, deputy chief of staff and governor of Kinshasa, and General Michel Elessi, commander of the forces in Kinshasa, turned themselves in wearing civilian clothes at the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital. They were jeered by a crowd of youths.
* AFP reported that up to 85 members of Mobutu's family left the Togolese capital Lome yesterday for Ndjamena in Chad. Sources said Mobutu himself may follow when his health permits.
* Botswana announced formal recognition of the new DRC government. Germany said its co-operation with Kabila would be dependent on progress in the country's democratisation.
* The ongoing airlift of refugees from Stanleyville (formerly Kisangani) to Rwanda has so far repatriated 2,993 unaccompanied minors who, along with the sick and elderly, received priority in the operation. Many are orphans, others have been separated or abandoned by their parents because of harsh conditions. Aid agencies report that through expert tracing, 70% of the children find their real families or foster homes in Rwanda within a month.
* Rwandan radio said yesterday the court of appeal in Nyabasindu, Gikongoro, sentenced one man to death and another to life imprisonment for crimes of genocide committed in 1994. The radio also said 17 people had been discovered by the authorities in Gikongoro disguising themselves as Burundian refugees to avoid being identified by neighbours and accused of genocide crimes.
* Burundi's Foreign Minister, Luc Rukingama, said today an all-party conference on the Burundi conflict would take place in Geneva next month hosted by UNESCO, AFP reported. Speaking in Brussels, Rukingama said it would be the second phase of peace talks with the rebel National Council for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD) begun in Rome in April. No date has been fixed for the conference but Rukingama suggested 14 June.
* Burundi radio said today 20 people were killed in an attack by Hutu rebels yesterday at Gitanga in southern Burundi. The radio gave no further details. AFP said gunfire was heard last night in the suburbs of Bujumbura and there were reports of rebels infiltrating the capital.
* Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation into the death of retired Colonel Pascal Ntako, who died on 11 May in Muyinga prison in Burundi. Amnesty said Ntako, who was arrested over alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate President Pierre Buyoya, had been denied medical care for diabetes. Amnesty also called for guarantees of the safety of eight other men detained on similar charges.
* Burundi radio said yesterday Tanzania had informed Burundian businessmen with goods at the port of Kigoma that they could resume trade in accordance with the resolutions of the latest sanctions summit in Arusha.
Nairobi, 22 May 1997, 14:45 gmt
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Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 16:49:46 +0300 From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <email@example.com> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Update 179 for 22 May 1997 97.5.22 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970522165556.13571N-ength: 4788
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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