Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 329 for 9 Jan 98.1.9

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 329 for 9 Jan 98.1.9

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. 329 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 9 January 1998)

BURUNDI: Spiral of violence continues

Rebels carried out more attacks near Bujumbura overnight Wednesday, killing a number of people. Burundi radio said rebels raided the town of Kinama in Mubimbi commune, 27 km northeast of the city, "killing people and looting several houses". The rebels had apparently divided up into three groups before launching the attack to prevent any intervention by soldiers at the Kinama military post. However, residents on night patrol were able to alert the soldiers, the radio said. Four attackers and one soldier were killed. In another incident the same night, nine people were killed and five wounded in an attack on the village of Mubone, AFP reported. Survivors of last week's Rukaramu massacre, fled to the village of Maramvya only to come under attack again there. Some of them then moved on to Mubone. Medical workers, quoted by AFP, said more than 300 people had died in the wave of violence unleashed over the New Year.

Displaced villagers returning home

A joint UN-NGO mission to the villages of Rukaramu and Maramvya yesterday (Thursday) was told by the governor of Bujumbura Rurale that displaced villagers were now returning to their homes. Measures are in place to assist the population. People from the troubled provinces of Bubanza and Cibitoke, who had found refuge in Rukaramu and Maramvya, were being kept in Mubone from where they would be returned to their home areas. The mission further observed that people were returning voluntarily to their homes in the two villages. Attempts to visit Mubone were denied by the military who said special authorisation was required from the interior ministry.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila envoy to meet exiles

An envoy of President Laurent-Desire Kabila is to meet in Brussels with exiled members of the ousted Zairean regime, in a bid to persuade them to return home. Kabila's communication adviser, Dominic Sakombi Inongo, will hold talks with exiles after the president last month urged them to come back and take part in national reconstruction, AFP said. However, those who stole state belongings have been told to return them.

Kisangani authorities urged to close Kapalata camp

International NGOs and the UN have petitioned the local authorities in Kisangani to close the Kapalata camp because it is unhealthy. Humanitarian sources say the only cases of cholera and bloody diarrhoea in Kisangani are in the camp and there have been no civilian casualties. As of yesterday, 229 people had died of cholera, but the number of new cases was decreasing, UNICEF said.

RWANDA/TANZANIA: Expelled Rwandans allowed to return to sort out affairs in Tanzania

Border officials from Rwanda and Tanzania have recommended the establishment of a commission to investigate claims by refugees forcefully repatriated from the northwestern Tanzanian region of Kagera, PANA news agency reported. The proposal followed a meeting in Ngara on Wednesday between officials from Kagera and Kibungo in Rwanda. Late last year, the Tanzanian authorities expelled thousands of Rwandan refugees, including old-caseload refugees. The refugees had complained they were not allowed to pack their belongings or move with their cattle. It was agreed the refugees could return to Kagera to sort out their affairs before 30 March and the Tanzanian authorities would reconsider the cases of Rwandans who had applied for Tanzanian citizenship, PANA reported.

SUDAN: Thousands more rebels reportedly surrendering

The number of southern rebels surrendering to the government is on the increase, according to Khartoum media reports. Sudanese radio yesterday reported that thousands of fighters had "broken away" from the rebels in Bahr el-Ghazal, parts of Equatoria, the Nuba mountains and Unity state. 'Al Gamhouria' newspaper quoted army spokesman General Abdul Rahman Siral Khetim, who described the defections as "an historic turnabout".

ANGOLA: Soldiers killed by Cabinda separatists

Separatists in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda said their forces killed 24 Angolan government troops in fighting last week. In a statement, a faction of the Frente de Libertacao do Enclava de Cabinda (FLEC), said there had been a series of clashes over the week. An army attack in Belize, northern Cabinda, was repulsed, the statement said. FLEC lost six fighters, including three during fighting near Lake Massabi on the border with Congo-Brazzaville. AFP noted that the Luanda government announced a new offensive against the rebels early last month.

GREAT LAKES: IFRC launches appeal

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched a 1998 emergency appeal seeking US$ 15.3 million for the Great Lakes region. In a press release, it said some 850,000 people in the region were in need of assistance. The victims of conflict were now being outpaced by the victims of disaster, disease and socio-economic dislocation, the release said.

Nairobi, 9 January 1998, 13:30 gmt


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Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 16:35:38 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 329 for 9 Jan 98.1.9 Message-ID: <>

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

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