Great Lakes: IRIN Update 266, 10/9/97

Great Lakes: IRIN Update 266, 10/9/97


Department of Humanitarian Affairs

Integrated Regional Information Network

for the Great Lakes

Tel: +254 2 622147

Fax: +254 2 622129


IRIN Emergency Update No. 266 on the Great Lakes (Thursday, 9 October 1997)

RWANDA: Army says it controls Gisenyi

The Rwandan army today (Thursday) affirmed it was in control of the situation in Gisenyi where soldiers have been battling Hutu rebel infiltrators. Army spokesman Richard Sezibera told AFP "several rebel attacks" had been repulsed around the northwestern town yesterday. The army had "beaten the rebels and pursued them," he added. The bulk of the fighting was concentrated around the airport, he explained. At least 80 rebels and two soldiers died in the clashes, according to the spokesman. A further six soldiers were injured. Humanitarian sources have indicated a number of civilians were also wounded. A Rwandan government official told IRIN yesterday the attacks were launched by a "coalition of Interahamwe, ex-FAR and their allies". The army is now reportedly carrying out mopping up operations in the area.

France rules out "slanging match" with Kigali

The French ambassador to Rwanda, Jacques Courbin, said yesterday Paris did not want to begin a "slanging match" with Kigali. The comments came after Presidency Minister Patrick Mazimhaka, in an interview with AFP, called on France to confess its "past errors" with regard to Rwanda. He said France must accept responsibility for its support of former president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death triggered the 1994 genocidal war in Rwanda.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: ADFL, Rwanda accused of refugee massacres

A human rights report, released today, alleges the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) and Rwandan soldiers were responsible for the massacre of Rwandan refugees in the former Zaire during the ADFL campaign to capture the country. The report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) was the product of a six-week mission to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report contains photographs of what are believed to be mass graves. HRW and FIDH said some roads were also "littered" with the decomposed bodies of refugees. The report also quotes eyewitnesses as saying US troops had been deployed in DRC between November 1996 and August 1997, although US officials have denied any involvement.

Rwanda, DRC discuss border security

On Tuesday, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pledged to put an end to armed groups operating in eastern DRC which threatened the security of neighbouring Rwanda, DRC television reported.Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame, on a visit to Kinshasa, and President Laurent-Desire Kabila were said to have concentrated on border security during their discussions, which the television described as "private". Earlier, speaking in Lubumbashi, Kabila reiterated that the border with Rwanda would remain closed to prevent the arrival of more refugees. He claimed the refugees had come to DRC to "cause chaos" and should go home. Kagame arrived back in Kigali yesterday, saying the visit had enabled him to "examine matters of common interest".

DRC warns Brazzaville shelling is "war declaration"

Kinshasa has warned Congo (Brazzaville) that shelling of the DRC capital amounts to a "declaration of war", and that such action would not be tolerated. According to government spokesman Raphael Ghenda, two soldiers were killed and another seriously when shells hit Kinshasa yesterday. DRC, which has sent troops to Brazzaville to act as military observers, retaliated by shelling the Congolese capital. Reports from Brazzaville suggest fighting between the warring sides of President Pascal Lissouba and his predecessor Denis Sassou Nguesso has intensified. On Tuesday, ex-president Sassou Nguesso warned civilians to leave their homes in the government-held southern districts of Bacongo and Makele-Kele. A spokesman for Sassou Nguesso said the only way to end the conflict is militarily.

CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Lissouba's "bodyguards" expelled from Namibia

Five South Africans, said to be guarding Lissouba during his visit this week to Namibia, were deported yesterday for "not following the correct procedures" when they entered the country. According to Namibian radio, there was speculation the five men were mercenaries from the South African Executive Outcomes company. However a spokesman for the company, quoted by AFP, denied its employees were involved in the Congo conflict.

BURUNDI: 12 rebels killed by army

The Burundi army killed 12 rebels on Tuesday during mopping up operations in southern Burundi, an army spokesman said yesterday. Lt-Col Isaie Nibizi said the rebels, who have rear bases in neighbouring Tanzania, were trying to establish themselves in Kazirabagemi in Makamba province.

SUDAN: One killed in bombing raid on Yei

The Sudanese airforce bombed the rebel-held southern town of Yei on Tuesday, killing one civilian and wounding three others, news reports quoted aid officials as saying.From bases in Juba, government planes have carried out around 12 bombing raids on Yei since the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army captured the town in March.

Nairobi, 9 October 1997, 14:50 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: for more information. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this report, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to]

Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 17:49:27 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Update 266 for 9 Oct 1997 97.10.9 Message-ID: <>

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

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific