Great Lakes: IRIN Update 200, 6/25/97

Great Lakes: IRIN Update 200, 6/25/97


Department of Humanitarian Affairs

Integrated Regional Information Network

for the Great Lakes

Tel: +254 2 622147

Fax: +254 2 622129


IRIN Emergency Update No.200 on the Great Lakes (25 June 1997)

* Trouble again flared up in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, after CARE's compound was subjected to a robbery last night. Humanitarian sources said the assault was carried out by armed men and the compound was extensively looted, including a car, radios, cash and personal belongings. No injuries were reported. Shooting was heard in the Katindo area of the town later the same evening. In the early hours of this morning, the army mounted cordon and search operations in the Mabunga neighbourhood, arresting anyone without an ID. Reports say hundreds of people are possibly being held at the local football stadium.

* Shooting broke out in Kisangani yesterday after DRC soldiers went on the rampage, apparently dissatisfied with the pay they had received. Local reports said Tutsi members of the army were paid in dollars, while other Congolese were paid in local currency or not at all. A number of soldiers reportedly went to the local jail and smashed down the doors. Consequently, some of the prisoners escaped, causing anxiety among the local population. Several houses belonging to aid agencies were also looted.

* Small groups of Rwandan refugees have begun emerging from hiding around Shabunda, Katchunga and Lulingu in eastern DRC, where UNHCR estimates there are some 20,000 refugees. The UN Secretary-General's spokesman told a news briefing yesterday their movement was due to relief operations in the area started by UNHCR and NGOs last week. In addition, local authorities told UNHCR staff that the large military presence in the region had been withdrawn and refugees who had been living in the villages were coming out of hiding to seek relief. According to the spokesman, they were mostly in good health. Repatriation to Rwanda was due to start later this week, he added.

* Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki arrived in Kinshasa on Monday for talks with DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila aimed at developing cooperation between the two countries, according to Congolese radio broadcasting from Bunia. The radio listed Eritrea, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia as "friendly countries" to DRC.

* Sudan has denied allegations by Eritrea that it was planning to assassinate President Isayas Afewerki. According to Sudanese radio, Minister of State for External Affairs Mustafa Uthman Ismail described the claim as "fabricated". He challenged Eritrea to put the alleged plotter on trial, saying Sudan had no officer by the name mentioned in the Eritrean statement issued yesterday. The minister accused the Sudanese opposition based in Eritrea of "insulting Sudan's reputation without any evidence".

* The Ugandan army yesterday claimed it was in control of the situation in western Uganda after rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) overran the town of Bundibugyo last week. AP quoted an army officer as saying the rebels had been pushed back to the Ruwenzori mountain area on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, reports from the area indicated civilians were still fleeing their villages in the direction of Fort Portal. AP reported that the ADF apparently has a base at Lume in DRC, in the Ruwenzori foothills.

Ugandan radio yesterday reported that teams of the local Red Cross and ICRC had started providing relief aid to victims of the fighting in Bundibugyo. It said the Red Cross had sent maize flour, beans, vegetable oil, blankets and soap to Fort Portal in addition to its emergency stocks in Kasese. Medical equipment will also be sent to the area. In a press statement, the Ugandan Red Cross said its teams wold continue to monitor the unfolding humanitarian situation. According to local sources, about 1,000 Ugandans have fled into the Boga area of DRC to escape the fighting. * Calm returned to Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, yesterday after clashes between army mutineers and members of an African peacekeeping force. Four African soldiers were reported wounded in fighting earlier in the day. The CAR Red Cross estimated over 60 people were killed in the violence which broke out over the weekend, and hundreds of people had fled the city.

* A senior officer who deserted the former rebel movement UNITA claimed the group was planning to launch a fresh war in Angola. According to AFP, Col Rafael Kassanja told reporters in Luanda yesterday that UNITA troops were regrouping in the north and centre of the country. He said UNITA had still had good military equipment "that was used in Zaire". Some 1,500 UNITA troops were involved in current fighting with army forces in northern Angola.

* The World Bank is to make available $US 125 million to Tanzania to support its Structural Adjustment Programme, although part of the amount is conditional. The Bank's representative to Tanzania, Ron Brigish, told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that $US 25 million earmarked for restructuring the National Bank of Commerce would be withheld until adequate preparations for splitting the bank's functions had been completed. Another $US 15 million would be withheld until the World Bank was satisfied with measures taken to liberalise the petroleum industry.

On Monday, the Bank held preliminary talks with the new DRC government on ways to deal with the country's huge debt burden. Finance Minister Mawapanga Mwana Nanga said separate commissions would work on domestic and foreign debt issues. The Bank's delegation leader Callisto Madavo described the meeting as very constructive.

* IRIN marks its 200th daily Great Lakes update today with a brief recap of what the network stands for and who it serves. The Integrated Regional Information Network, a unit of DHA, was formed in October 1995 to promote information exchange among the humanitarian community in Africa's Great Lakes region. IRIN currently has 1,300 direct subscribers in 47 countries who then redisseminate to many more individuals and organisations. Its work is supported by Australia, Belgium, ECHO, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA and it distributes up to 5,000 pages of news and information per day gathered in the region by a team of information officers. IRIN updates, analyses and alerts cover the range of political, economic and social issues which affect humanitarian work in the region. IRIN particularly encourages agencies and individuals to collaborate with the network in establishing and broadening information flows within the wider humanitarian community.

Nairobi, 25 June 1997, 16:00 gmt [ENDS]

[Via the UN DHA Integrated Regional Information Network. The material contained in this communication may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN DHA IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts from this report should include attribution to the original sources mentioned, not simply "DHA".]

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 19:14:44 +0300 From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Update 200 for 25 June 1997 97.6.25 Message-ID: <>

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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