Great Lakes: IRIN Update 292, 11/14/97

Great Lakes: IRIN Update 292, 11/14/97

U N I T E D N A T I O N S Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa

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IRIN Emergency Update No. 292 on the Great Lakes (Friday 14 November 1997)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN rights team to meet government on Monday

Members of the UN human rights investigative team will meet DRC government officials on Monday, AFP today (Friday) reported mission spokesman Jose Diaz as saying. "We were informed on Thursday evening that the mission will be received on Monday morning by the liaison committee," Diaz said. The team's three leaders arrived back in Kinshasa on Tuesday and immediately informed the government of their plan to operate two simultaneous missions - one to Mbandaka in the northwest and the other to Kisangani in the east. A meeting with government officials headed by Minister for Reconstruction Etienne Richard Mbaya is necessary, however, for the mission to receive the formal go-ahead.

Give Kabila time, urges Nzo

South Africa's Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo said in a speech on Thursday it was too early to judge whether DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila was a democrat or not, but urged the international community to give him time to prove himself. He said the new government had inherited a bankrupt country in which the infrastructure had collapsed. Like South Africa, Kabila's government could not be expected to resolve the problems caused by its predecessors overnight. "I don't agree with the United Nations or anyone who has come to the conclusion that Kabila is not a democrat... it is better if they give him a chance," Nzo said.

UGANDA: Donors pledge $750 million to Uganda

Donor nations have pledged about $750 million in aid to Uganda for the 1998 tax year and praised the government for its economic discipline, the World Bank said yesterday (Thursday). News organisations reported from Paris that the bank had also announced the aid would include $320 million in quickly-disbursed budget support while the rest would be split among project and programme aid handed out as concessional loans and grants. James Adams, the World Bank's country director for Uganda, told a news conference donors were urging the government to make greater efforts to control corruption and had expressed worries over the high levels of defence spending. The army is battling at least three rebel insurgencies. Adams said the 17-strong donor group had also urged the government to take action to make the country's electricity board and railway company more efficient and "to attract private investment in telecommunications without further delay". Separately, AFP reported the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington had granted the country a $138-million credit to support its current economic growth programme.

Rebels kill 18 in attack on Sudanese refugee camp - Monitor

Eighteen people were hacked to death and 14 others left unconscious when thugs claiming to be affiliated to the West Nile Bank Front raided a Sudanese Refugee camp at Waka, Moyo district on the night of 8 November, 'The Monitor' newspaper reported today. Witnesses said the rebels entered Uganda from Kajo-Keji in southern Sudan where they are currently camped and crossed back to Sudan the same night. Meanwhile, Ugandan radio reported President Yoweri Museveni had met with members of the West Nile parliamentary group to discuss security in the region. Museveni told the group the army had deployed heavily in the area and the number of rebel attacks was falling. According to a recent ICRC report on Uganda, some 30,000 displaced are returning to their villages in the West Nile area. Thousands of Ugandan refugees have also arrived home from DRC and Sudan. The report notes that only a few thousand internally displaced remain in the region.

BURUNDI: Army says it captured large rebel arms cache

The Burundian press agency reported on Wednesday the army had killed "many" rebels and captured a large number of weapons during a mopping-up operation in the Rumonge valley in the south of the country on Monday and Tuesday. The agency, monitored by the BBC, quoted Lieutenant-Colonel Isaie Nibizi saying two government soldiers were also killed. He declined to specify how many rebels were killed, but said the weapons recovered included 176 machine guns, 340 machine gun cartridges, six Kalashnikov magazines, and an undisclosed number of anti-personnel mines.

RWANDA: Biya authorises transfer of two genocide suspects

Cameroon's President Paul Biya has authorised the transfer of two Rwandans accused of genocide in 1994 to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, the court said in a statement today. Both suspects, Laurent Semanza and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, are accused of calling for the massacre of minority Tutsis at public meetings, distributing weapons and money to the extremist Interahamwe militia, and of ordering and organising genocidal slaughter. In 1994, Semanza was mayor of Bicumbi, a town east of Kigali, and regional president of the then-ruling MRND party. Barayagwiza was director of political affairs in the ministry of foreign affairs. Alert over arrested Rwandan journalist

Reporters sans frontieres and the freedom of expression group IFEX have issued an alert over the fate of Rwandan journalist Joseph Habyarimana. Habyarimana, editor of the magazine 'Indorerwamo', was arrested on 28 October allegedly over an article published in the 'Intego' newspaper in December which highlighted pressures on local officials to arrest Hutus accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide. The article ended with an appeal for ethnic conciliation.

Increased demand for food relief projected

Rwanda's projected harvest is not expected to improve on the past two disappointing seasons despite the arrival of the short rains. According to a new UN report, there will be an increased demand for food assistance in the country in the coming months. The rains, and pockets of insecurity, have however frustrated the movement of food relief. The report notes an improvement in the provision of shelter for returnees and those whose homes were destroyed in 1994. There have so far been an estimated 70,000 houses built compared to a government-calculated demand for 200,000 units.

ANGOLA: Government says UNITA rearming in breach of peace accords

Angola's former rebel UNITA movement has shipped heavy weaponry to new military bases and plans to rearm some of its troops in a serious breach of the 1994 Lusaka peace accords, the government charged on Thursday.. AFP also quoted the commander of Luanda's troops on the southern front, General Francisco Furtado, as saying Jonas Savimbi's UNITA had transported previously "hidden" long-range artillery and other weapons to "new command posts" and was building up military bases in the regions of Benguela and Huila in the south, Bie and Huambo in the centre and Cuando-Cubango in the southwest. UNITA's Radio Vorgan, meanwhile, stated that UNITA leaders were close to direct talks with President Eduardo dos Santos and were considering a venue and a time. UN observers have accused both sides of redeploying troops in breach of the peace accords.

SUDAN: President orders staff to draft peace plan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered his staff to draft a plan outlining his government's bid for peace with the southern rebebls, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Osman Mohammad Taha said Thursday. Taha, who gave a briefing to the head of the military junta about recent peace talks in Kenya, was quoted by the Sudan news agency as saying the peace plan would be submitted to Bashir soon. Peace talks ended in Nairobi on Tuesday, but are to due to resume in April.

Nairobi, 14 November 1997 14:00 gmt


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Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 17:35:22 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Update 292 for 14 November 1997 97.11.14 Message-ID: <>

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

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