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IRIN Emergency Update No.210 on the Great Lakes (11 July 1997)
* The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has released 27 people out of the 34 abducted in a raid on a Sudanese refugee camp at Mongula, Moyo district, last Saturday. The abductees were released in two groups of 12 and 15, with one person escaping. Six people are still with the rebels, UN sources told IRIN today.
* Rwanda has returned an Air Zaire Boeing 737 stranded in the southwest of the country since 7 April 1996, Radio Rwanda reported today. The plane, which had landed at Kamembe, was flown back to Goma, eastern DRC Wednesday. Rwandan officials claimed that ammunition was found on the plane, which carried 35 people, while Zaire claimed bad weather had forced it to land inside Rwanda when heading for Bukavu from Kinshasa.
* UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants tangible measures to deal with arms stockpiles and the growing traffic in weapons in Central Africa. In a message to a ministerial meeting Wednesday of the Permanent United Nations Consultative Committee on security affairs in the central African sub-region held in Gabon, Annan expressed concern over the often illegal trade in particularly small and light weapons. "These arms are often in the possession of civilians, which contributes to the expansion of crime and banditry," he said, and noted that expenditure on weapons could be redistributed to more constructive ends. The meeting began Monday and ends today.
* State-owned Sudanese TV said Thursday that Khartoum regarded as non-binding the IGAD Declaration of Principles on Sudan agreed at the regional summit in Nairobi this week. The broadcast said that President Omar al-Bashir had accepted the declaration on the grounds that the parties to the conflict would be free to accept or reject elements of the document. That interpretation differs from the communique issued at the end of the summit in Nairobi Wednesday which stated that the principles were the basis of a peace settlement. George Benjamin, a spokesman of the main rebel group the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, said in Nairobi that a ceasefire in the 14 year civil war would only come as a result of "a comprehensive agreement" based on the IGAD proposal.
* A fresh ceasefire is expected to be signed Monday in Brazzaville ahead of new peace talks, AFP reports. President Pascal Lissouba agreed to sign the accord in person, as demanded by his rival and predecessor Denis Sassou Nguesso. The ceasefire proposal was contained in a new peace initiative by Gabonese President Omar Bongo delivered to the two sides in Brazzaville, Thursday, by joint UN/OAU Special Representative envoy Mohamed Sahnoun. Senegal has designated Brig. Gen. Charles Nelson as commander of the proposed multinational peacekeeping force to be sent to Congo. Around 800 Senegalese troops are preparing to leave for Brazzaville once the deployment wins official UN Security Council approval and logistical arrangements are completed. The planned force of between 2,000 and 2,500 men will be based at Maya Maya airport in the Congolese capital, the scene of bitter fighting. Troops loyal to Lissouba and Sassou Nguesso have been clashing since June 5 when government soldiers attempted to arrest Sassou Nguesso. An earlier ceasefire deal, agreed by the rival factions on June 17, has been repeatedly violated. The new ceasefire proposal is along the same lines as one put forward on July 1. It includes a freeze in the positions of the two sides and a ban on their military resupply.
* More than 6,000 people fleeing fighting in north-eastern Angola have arrived in the small diamond mining city of Nzaji, straining food supplies in the area. The civilian population in the region has been affected by an Angolan army campaign to drive UNITA rebels out of the diamond-producing area bordering the DRC. State radio accused UNITA of mounting new operations in the northern Uije province. Interior Minister Andre Pitra said troops of the former Zairean regime had infiltrated the region and joined UNITA forces in several villages in the area. A study by UN agencies and humanitarian organisations found that at least 13.8 percent of refugee children in the town of Maludi were suffering from severe malnutrition. Japan has donated six million dollars in humanitarian aid to Angola and Sweden a further 6.3 million dollars towards the demobilisation of former combattants.
* More than 300 former army rebels returned to their barracks in Bangui in a peaceful end to a long-running mutiny in the Central African Republic, AFP reports today. "There only remains a minority, made up of those who fled into the bush," that have not reported, according to an official of the committee monitoring the peace accord. The recent conflict was sparked by the June 20 slaying of a soldier with the MISAB African buffer force. It was the latest in a series of three army mutinies since May 1996, and was finally ended through international mediation led by former Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure.
Nairobi, July 11 1997 15:09 GMT
[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: email@example.com 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: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 18:14:34 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Update 210 for 11 July 1997 97.7.11
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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