Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 332 for 14 Jan 98.1.14

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 332 for 14 Jan 98.1.14

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. 332 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 14 January 1998)

ANGOLA: Timetable agreed for accomplishment of peace agreement

UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi is to meet with President Eduardo dos Santos on Friday in a step towards bringing Angola's peace process to a close. According to a timetable agreed by both sides yesterday (Tuesday), the reinstatement of government administration is to conclude on 27 January and the demobilization of UNITA forces and the retirement of its senior generals by 28 January, UNITA radio reported. Highlights of the agreement include: UNITA free to operate throughout the country from 4 February; Savimbi's special status to be publicly announced 9 February; UNITA leadership scheduled to return to Luanda on 28 February.

Annan recommends three-month extension for UN observers

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday recommended a three-month extension, until 30 April, of the UN peacekeeping operation in Angola. The UN Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), whose current mandate expires on 30 January, is already being scaled down. Under Annan's proposal, the troop component would be cut from about 1,560 to a maximum of 910 while the number of police would be moderately increased from the present 345.

UNITA hands over diamond mines

UNITA yesterday handed over diamond mines under its control in the disputed Kwangu valley of northeastern Lunda Norte province. General Higino Carneiro, deputy minister responsible for implementing the 1994 Lusaka peace agreements, said the state's Mining Development Company could now resume its activities at Kwangu, AFP reported. UNITA gave up Kwangu town last year but refused to hand over the rich diamond fields.

Meanwhile, local government authorities in northern Uije province said UNITA troops seized the town of Bewu on Monday. The provincial governor gave UNITA a 72-hour ultimatum to abandon Bewu "peacefully".

Beye recovering from heart surgery

Alioune Blondin Beye, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Angola, is recovering from heart bypass surgery he underwent in Germany. According to UN spokesman Fred Eckhard, Beye will return to Angola after convalescing.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Cholera deaths rise to 231 in Kisangani

Cholera has killed 231 people in military training camps outside Kisangani and infected 1,235 people - 80 percent of them children - UNICEF reported today (Wednesday). There have been 66 cases of dysentery which have claimed nine lives. Unhygienic conditions exacerbated by the rains have led to other illnesses including malaria and skin diseases. The majority of cases are from the Kapalata camp, located some six km from Kisangani. The camp was reportedly sheltering up to 4,000 children, mainly ex-Mai-Mai, who arrived from Goma and Bukavu under a re-education programme.

There have been few reports of cholera cases among the 600,000 people living in Kisangani town despite the limited operations of the central hydro-electric station. Water supplies have been operating on a part-time basis due to fuel donations by a local business association. Flooding forced up to 20,000 residents to flee their homes last month.

Flooding threatens Kinshasa

The governor of Kinshasa yesterday told residents to stay at home after torrential rain flooded some districts of the city. Heavy rain began early on Tuesday morning adding pressure to the already swollen waters of the Congo river which has burst its banks in several port cities up river from Kinshasa. Experts say the Congo River is the highest it has been for at least five years, Reuters reported. The town of Kalemie in the southeast has been cut off from the rest of the country since December when a bridge was swept away. Heavy flooding has also affected the town of Mbandaka around 600 km upstream from Kinshasa, after the Congo burst its banks there, state radio said.

UN reports says Zaire armed Rwandan insurgents

The former Zaire played a "central role" in arming Rwandan insurgents in violation of an international arms embargo, AFP quoted a 1996 UN report made public yesterday as saying. The report also claimed that former Hutu Rwandan government forces were "intensively training with the apparent aim of invading Rwanda." The circulation of the findings by an international inquiry commission was limited to members of the Security Council, AFP said.

ICRC driver killed by gunmen

A driver employed by ICRC in Kinshasa was killed on Monday by gunmen who stole his vehicle. In a statement, ICRC denounced the incident and said in the past six months ICRC employees have twice been the victims of car-jacking attacks.

BURUNDI: Rebel attack kills 11

Eleven civilians died in a rebel attack at Rumonge in Burundi's southern Bururi province on Sunday. Agence Burundaise de Presse said the victims were targeted by the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) for refusing to cooperate. On Friday, eleven people died in a rebel raid in the same area. According to the news agency, rumours of fresh attacks are circulating in Rumonge.

FRODEBU condemns Rukaramu massacre

The opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) has condemned the New Year's eve massacre at Rukaramu and called for an inquiry into the incident which left at least 200 civilians and rebels dead. The Burundi Net Press news agency quoted a statement from FRODEBU which also said the government was unable to provide security for its citizens and strategic positions were now in rebel range.

Buyoya wants neutral country and mediator for peace talks

Burundi's military leader Pierre Buyoya reiterated on Monday he was ready to participate in the Arusha peace process, but insisted "it be held in a
neutral territory and with a neutral team to supervise and head the negotiations." He said the government was in charge of the country and deserved to be consulted over the peace process, rather than being treated "simply as a faction." He added: "we are not willing to follow blindly without knowing where we are heading," state radio reported.

In a separate development, Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa yesterday assured a visiting OAU delegation of Dar es Salaam's continued support for the regional peace effort in Burundi. The OAU team is on a fact-finding mission aimed at reviving the stalled peace process, Tanzanian radio said.

RWANDA: Rebels raid jail in Gisenyi

A 1,000-strong rebel force succeeded in freeing dozens of Hutu genocide suspects in a jail raid early Sunday morning in northwestern Gisenyi prefecture. Three civilians and 40 Hutu militiamen were killed in the ensuing clashes with the army in Nyamyumba, state radio said. According to local officials, 68 prisoners were released from their cells, but half of them voluntarily returned to the prison.

Army kills 24 rebels in Ruhengeri

The Rwandan army killed 24 armed insurgents yesterday in northwestern Ruhengeri prefecture, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported. The army, tipped off by local residents, intercepted a "large group" of rebels and clashes ensued in the villages of Bisate in Kinigi Commune and Shingiro in neighbouring Mukingo Commune. "Operations to flush criminals out of Ruhengeri are continuing," army spokesman Major Emmanuel Ndahiro told RNA.

Health ministry reacts to cholera threat

Rwanda's health minister today announced strict hygiene regulations to contain a threatened cholera epidemic. Vincent Biruta said the measures include maintaining standards in hotels and restaurants and a ban on the sale of unsafely packed food items, RNA reported.

Nairobi, 14 January 1998 15:15 gmt


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Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 17:59:16 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 332 for 14 Jan 98.1.14 Message-ID: <>

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

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