IRIN Update No. 320 for Central and Eastern Africa, 12/24/97

IRIN Update No. 320 for Central and Eastern Africa, 12/24/97

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 Sender: Precedence: bulk X-URL: Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail:

IRIN Update No. 320 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 24 December 1997)

RWANDA: Rebels kill 35 more in two separate attacks

Two separate attacks blamed on rebel Hutu militiamen in western Rwanda have killed a total of 35 people, media reports quoted a military spokesman as saying yesterday (Tuesday). The reports said 17 members of a protestant pastor's family were killed overnight Sunday in the commune of Nyakabanda, in the district of Gitarama. In a second attack, the Rwandan News Agency said 18 Rwandan Tutsis, who returned to Rwanda after taking refuge in DRC, were massacred in the Kibuye administrative district in the west. "They were part of a group of 1,500 returnees. They were attacked by some 300 rebels," a military officer was quoted as saying.

BURUNDI: UN envoy says both Hutus and Tutsis are victims of crisis

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burundi has said that both Hutus and Tutsis are victims of armed clashes in the country. A statement issued by the UN's New York headquarters said that following his recent trip to Burundi, envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro of Brazil concluded that in a situation of war, it was very difficult to improve the situation of human rights. Pinheiro said that during his recent visit to Burundi, he got the sense that the authorities "are very conscious" of the fact that people on both sides are victims of the conflict. Pinheiro said that the minister of defence informed him that 500 Burundi soldiers had been punished for attacking civilians. Meanwhile, despite travel restrictions due to mine incidents and clashes between the army and rebels, the resident UN human rights observation mission was able to visit nine provinces from 4 November to 16 December. It reported that in certain provinces the human rights situation was improving, but said there were still serious , abuses occurring in Bujumbura-rurale, Cibitoke, Bubanza, Bururi and Makamba provinces.

KENYA: WFP begins Christmas airdrop

WFP said in a statement today (Wednesday) it had begun Christmas airdrops of urgently needed food to hundreds of thousands of people cut off by floods in remote areas of Kenya. At the same time, WFP said it had launched an airlift to flood victims in refugee camps in the northeastern part of the country. In a one-month operation, WFP will airdrop 1,500 mt of maize and high energy biscuits to more than 200,000 people in Elwak division of Mandera district, southern Garissa, southern Wajir and Garsen division of Tana River district.

WHO says cannot yet name mysterious disease, death toll increases

WHO said in Geneva yesterday it could not yet name the mystery disease which has hit northeastern districts of the country and urged calm as it awaited test results. Meanwhile, Kenyan radio reported a further 19 people had died of the illness in Garissa district, taking the death toll in the last two weeks to 162. The disease triggers diarrhoea, vomiting, and bleeding, causing fears it could be linked to the deadly ebola virus.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Kolelas stripped of party position

Bernard Kolelas, the last prime minister of the defeated government in Congo, has been stripped of his position as head of the Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development (MCDDI), AFP reported. It said an announcement on Radio Congo yesterday said Kolelas, who is currently in exile, was replaced by Michel Mampouya, deputy secretary general of the movement. MCDDI switched to Denis Sassou Nguesso after he ousted president Pascal Lissouba in October.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kisangani without power due to floods

Humanitarian sources reported on Tuesday that Kisangani remained without electricity and running water due to recent floods. Public schools have suspended classes. The port is still closed and one of the roads leading to the airport is partially under water. According to a local radio station, an after-dusk curfew has been instituted by authorities in certain areas for security reasons, as the city is in almost total obscurity after the sun sets. UNICEF is organising an airlift of relief supplies from Kinshasa to help respond to the situation. The supplies to be delivered include ORS sachets, BP-5 biscuits, blankets, drugs for treatment of dysentery, water purification tablets and other items.


There will be no IRIN Update on 25-26 December. The next Update will be on Monday 29 December.

Nairobi, 24 December 1997 11:00 GMT


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Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 13:13:57 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <> Subject: BOUNCE Approval required: Message-ID: <>

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

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