Great Lakes: IRIN Update 220, 7/30/97

Great Lakes: IRIN Update 220, 7/30/97


Department of Humanitarian Affairs

Integrated Regional Information Network

for the Great Lakes

Tel: +254 2 622147

Fax: +254 2 622129


IRIN Emergency Update No. 220 on the Great Lakes (Wednesday 30 July 1997)

[Please note IRIN's information exchange meeting will be held on Friday 1 August at 9 am. There will be no meeting next week. The next one will be held on August 13]

* The office of former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere has announced that Burundian all-party peace talks will take place in Arusha on August 25. Nyerere, who is mediating in the Burundi conflict, yesterday held talks with foreign envoys and UN/OAU Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Mohamed Sahnoun to set a date for the meeting. However, Burundi's Institutional Reforms Minister Eugene Nindorera told Burundi radio the talks had been postponed because Nyerere was not properly prepared. He said Nyerere would send envoys to Burundi to meet the relevant sides to prepare for the meeting.

* A statement issued by Burundi's main opposition party, FRODEBU, has urged the Tanzanian authorities to protect its leaders exiled in Tanzania, claiming their lives are in danger. According to the statement, reported by Tanzania radio, some FRODEBU members were planning to kill members of the party's National Executive Committee residing in Kigoma and Dar es Salaam. Last month, the statement said, Tanzanian-based party president Jean Minani and his spokesman Hassan Rukara survived attempts to kill them.

* Ethiopian leaders refused to unilaterally lift remaining sanctions against Burundi, according to the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA). President Pierre Buyoya visited Addis Ababa on Monday to discuss the peace process underway in his country. ENA said Buyoya had explained in detail that there was a marked improvement in peace and security since he took power in Burundi a year ago.

* Zambian President Frederick Chiluba on Monday announced his goverment would provide training for policemen in DRC. Speaking in Dar es Salaam, he also said Zambia would help DRC manage its economy, PANA reported. It was up to southern African countries to help Kabila's government, he added.

* The French foreign ministry yesterday announced that DRC Economy Minister Pierre-Victor Mpoyo was on a private visit to France and had been received by the Secretariat of State for Cooperation. Earlier, the ministry had denied any knowledge of Mpoyo's visit, which was announced by DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila.

* WFP says about 12,000 Ugandans have returned home from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last few days after fleeing fighting in the Bundibugyo area last month. They escaped to Beni, where about 15,000 Ugandans still remain.

* Uganda has complained to Kenya over the detention of about 100 Ugandans in Nairobi, as part of a Kenyan crackdown on foreigners. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, summoned the Kenyan high commissioner Peter ole Nkuraiyia to protest against the "detention and harassment" of Ugandans. Ugandan radio said she pointed out that the Ugandans have been held in Kenyan jails for two weeks. She urged the Kenyan authorities to either charge the Ugandans or free them if they were innocent.

* Two buses carrying 129 refugees - predominantly Rwandan and Burundian - were driven under police escort to Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya today, eyewitnesses told IRIN.

* UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi on Monday urged the Cote d'Ivoire authorities to try and arrange a meeting with Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos. In an interview with Ivorian television during a visit to Abidjan, he said he expected to meet dos Santos "within a few days". The former Angolan rebel leader asserted that the peace process was not in danger, neither would war break out again.

An Angolan official meanwhile, described the military situation in Lunda Norte province as "still worrisome". The province's deputy governor responsible for defence affairs, Alcides Pereira, said the Angolan army was on standby. "We expect the international community ... to understand that the situation is somewhat desperate," he said. He warned that if UNITA endangered property, sovereignty and security of residents, "we will take action".

UNITA radio today claimed Angolan forces were attacking Rwandan, Burundian and DRC refugees the moment they entered Angolan territory. It quoted sources as saying UNITA "deplored the Angolan government's behaviour towards African brothers trying to find sanctuary in Angola". The International Organisation for Migration warned that the Angolan peace process was faced with the greatest threat of failure since the signing of the Lusaka peace accords in 1994. It said the continuation of the Rapid Demobilisation Programme (RDP) was essential at this "particularly fragile moment" in the peace process, although the security situation was causing some delays in resettlement operations. IOM appealed for continued support to enable it to continue with its contribution to RDP.

* Operation Lifeline Sudan reports that bombs were dropped on the south Sudan town of Labone on July 23, resulting in at least 14 civilian casualties. The town, which is in Eastern Equatoria, has an estimated displaced population of 32,500.

* The Congolese (Brazzaville) peace process was at an impasse today after ex-president Denis Sassou Nguesso rejected "in its entirety" a draft peace plan put forward at talks in Gabon over the weekend. Pro-Sassou Nguesso Radio Liberte said only a "transition period led by a public salvation government can re-establish peace", adding that keeping President Pascal Lissouba in power "threatens peace and stability".

* The UN's mid-term review of the consolidated inter-agency appeal for the Great Lakes emergency, launched in March 1997, points out that the international community must remain alert to changing needs in the region. The amount donated so far represents about 65.5 percent of total needs, but the review notes that the funding available has been restrictive in its choice of agencies. It described the appeal so far as "generous but narrow in perspective" and urged donors to focus on all the needs in the region.

Programmes and activities within the appeal were expanded to include life sustaining assistance to victims of the conflict in Congo (Brazzaville), while maintaining activities in DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Central African Republic. The appeal's original requirements of US$ 324.5 million have been revised to US$ 313.1 million. The total funds currently available amount to US$ 205 million, leaving a shortfall of US$ 107.9 million. UNHCR has been able to secure funding to meet 65% of total needs, WFP has covered 100% of its needs in cash projects and 97.7% of its needs in food aid, and DHA 26.9%. This compares to 0% of total needs required by UNESCO, UNV and FAO. In other important fields such as those addressing children's needs and human rights, UNICEF has secured 19.1% of funding and UNHCHR 22%. Donations reported to DHA for non-UN humanitarian programmes in the region (mainly NGOs and the Red Cross movement) totalled US$ 153 million.

Nairobi, 30 July 1997, 14:30 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, 30 Jul 1997 18:14:18 +0300 From: AFP News from IRIN <> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Update 220 for 30 July 1997 97.7.30 Message-ID: <>

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

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