Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 315, 12/17/97

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 315, 12/17/97

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 Update No. 315 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 17 December 1997)

RWANDA: Rwandan army units enter Goma

Rwandan army units entered Goma yesterday (Tuesday) as Congolese Tutsi refugees continue to spontaneously cross the border after the Mudende camp massacre. Aid workers also told IRIN a brief clash in the town between the Rwandan soldiers and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) troops left two dead.

Decision on Congolese refugees postponed

Talks between senior Rwandan and DRC officials to decide on the options of repatriation, relocation or resettlement of DRC Tutsi refugees have been postponed until tomorrow (Thursday), humanitarian sources told IRIN. The meeting was due to have taken place today (Wednesday). Kigali has stressed that adequate security is the minimum condition for any voluntary repatriation and the DRC authorities are expected to present their proposals at the meeting, the sources said. Kigali is also evaluating relocation and resettlement in Rwanda.

Rebel attack on ministers' convoy

Hutu rebels staged an abortive grenade attack on the convoy of DRC Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo and his Rwandan counterpart Sheikh Abdul Karim Harerimana in Rwanda's northwestern Gisenyi prefecture, Congolese TV reported on Monday. The TV bulletin said the "grenade-throwers were overpowered on the spot" and three were killed. The ministers continued with their visit to the mass grave of the victims of last week's Mudende refugee camp massacre, and addressed survivors sheltering at the nearby Nkamira transit centre.

Minibus ambush kills 19

Hutu militiamen are believed responsible for the killing of 19 people in an ambush of a minibus taxi in the north of the central Gitarama prefecture yesterday, the private Rwanda News Agency reported. The attack took place at around 8.00 a.m. local time. Only one of the passengers managed to escape.

EU special envoy to discuss Rwanda with Meles, Salim

The EU's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Aldo Ajello is due in Ethiopia on Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim. The talks are expected to focus on Rwanda, AFP said. Meles recently suggested that the OAU set up a panel to analyse the response of the international community to the Rwandan genocide. Ajello is currently in Kigali for talks with the authorities on the security situation in Rwanda.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Angolan troops to leave "as soon as possible"

Congo-Brazzaville leader Denis Sassou Nguesso said in Paris yesterday Angolan troops that helped him to power in October would leave the country "as soon as possible". "The causes which justified the presence of these soldiers are starting to disappear," he told Radio France Internationale. Speaking after an hour-long meeting with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Sassou Nguesso also said questions of national reconciliation and elections would be discussed at a forum in Brazzaville next month.

Sassou Nguesso meets Elf boss

AFP reported Sassou Nguesso also met Philipe Jaffre, the head of the French oil company Elf-Aquitaine. He said after the talks he hoped the management of his country's oil resources could be improved "in the interests of the government, which has enormous reconstruction needs." He said his government was "looking at financial questions, the price of crude, sales, and earnings for Congo ... There's no secret, we are also looking at the important question of secured loans." He added: "the Lissouba government borrowed nearly 3.5 billion francs (US $600 million) against Congo's oil assets. These are large sums with very heavy servicing terms which seriously undermine the state's wealth."

ANGOLA: Dos Santos and Savimbi discuss peace process

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi have exchanged letters over the countries stalled peace process. On Monday, the pair held a telephone conversation to discuss a planned face-to-face meeting and the extension of state administration into UNITA's strongholds of Andulu and Bailundo, UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt told a press briefing in New York yesterday. Both men have pledged to meet in Angola by the end of December, AFP reported.

UGANDA: Cholera cases rise

The number of cholera patients in Kampala's Mulago Hospital has hit 100, the official 'New Vision' reported today. It quoted the hospital director as saying the epidemic is spreading rapidly due to the heavy rains, and extra beds were needed to set up emergency field clinics in the areas of the city struck by the outbreak.

LRA abduct 28, army intensifies operations

The paper, meanwhile, said Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels abducted 28 people attending a wedding ceremony at Apac over the weekend. It also reported that at least 12 rebels were killed in Kitgum and Gulu districts in "fierce" army attacks on LRA hideouts.

BURUNDI: Amnesty fears for detained opposition leader

Amnesty International is "extremely concerned" for the safety of Etienne Mvuyekure, the former secretary-general of the opposition Rassemblement du peuple burundais (RPB), arrested at the beginning of November. In a statement, the rights group said the prison authorities have denied access, and it "fears he is at risk of torture and 'disappearance'". According to Amnesty, Mvuyekure was arrested apparently as a result of accusations made against him of possible links with an armed opposition group.


Due to the hilday period, IRIN's next information exchange meeting will take place at IRIN's offices in Gigiri on 7 January.

Nairobi, 17 December 1997 14:45 gmt


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Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 18:28:45 +0300 From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 315 16 Dec 97.12.17 Message-ID: <>

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

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