Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 333 for 15 Jan 98.1.15

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 333 for 15 Jan 98.1.15

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. 333 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 15 January 1998)

RWANDA: General Dallaire to testify at Rwanda tribunal

The UN Secretary-General has waived the diplomatic immunity of Major-General Romeo Dallaire, paving the way for him to appear as a witness before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the UN's Central News service reported yesterday (Wednesday). Dallaire, the former Force Commander of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), has been summoned to appear as a witness for the defence in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Dallaire's immunity waiver is limited to the charges made against the accused. UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said the immunity was waived because the ICTR was a tribunal set up by the Security Council with which the UN was required to work. Akayesu, a former mayor in Rwanda's Taba commune, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Major arrested for negligence over Mudende attack

A senior army officer has been charged with negligence over the Hutu rebel attack on the Mudende refugee camp last month which left more than 300 people dead. Army spokesman Major Emmanuel Ndahiro told Reuters the officer, with the rank of major, will face a court martial along with other troops involved in the incident. "The feeling (in the army leadership) is that this man failed to appreciate the seriousness of the situation at the time of attack," Ndahiro said.

Prisoners released for "showing good will"

A group of Hutu prisoners, who gave themselves up to the local authorities rather than accompany Hutu rebels who had freed them, have been released for "showing good will", AFP quoted officials as saying on Wednesday. The 34 ex-inmates at Nyamyumba, in northwest Gisenyi prefecture, returned to the jail after a rebel raid at the weekend sprang some 30 other prisoners.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Conference gives Sassou Nguesso three-year term

Congo-Brazzaville leader General Denis Sassou Nguesso secured overwhelming support yesterday from participants at a reconciliation forum to remain in power for three years until elections are held, AFP said. Winding up the conference on the country's transition to democracy, Sassou Nguesso said no-one should do anything to "put unity in peril" and asked "forgiveness in the name of a reconciled nation" from victims of the four-month civil war. Meeting for ten days in Brazzaville, the conference agreed on a political programme to be overseen by a 75-member national transitional council to be chaired by former minister of education, Justin Koumba. The forum, attended by 1,420 delegates from political parties, public institutions and professional groups and associations, also agreed to set up trials for alleged war criminals.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Mobutu generals rearrested after custody release

According to Radio France Internationale, three former Zairean generals allegedly involved in a plot to kill DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila, were yesterday re-arrested by South African security agents immediately after they were released by a Pretoria court. The three men, Kpama Baramoto, Mudima Mavua and Ngbale Nzimbiwere, had been charged with entering the country illegally. They had been detained since December.

Zimbabwean arms firm official arrested

An official from Zimbabwe's state arms manufacturer was detained for a week in the DRC this month in a mix-up over sample uniforms, Harare's private 'Financial Gazette' reported today (Thursday). Zimbabwean Defence Minister Moven Mahachi confirmed the incident, Reuters said. Sources told the paper that customs officials in Lubumbashi thought army uniform samples the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) official was carrying were similar to those worn by anti-Kabila rebels. During the war to oust Mobutu, Zimbabwe supplied Kabila's forces with uniforms, the paper reported. ZDI says it has signed deals worth US $106 million with the DRC government. The two countries signed a bilateral trade agreement last October and a number of Zimbabwean companies have announced investment deals worth over US $29 million.

Zambia/DRC sign cooperation agreements

Zambia and DRC have signed a package of communication and transport agreements, Zambian state radio, monitored by the BBC, reported yesterday. At a meeting of the Zambia-DRC Joint Permanent Commission, the two countries agreed to set up the first direct bilateral telecommunication services and to tarmac their common roads. An agreement is also expected on the regulation of lake and river services. Other areas of cooperation include trade, the environment, education, sports, and culture.

Rains slow UNHCR repatriation programme

Despite weather-related transport difficulties, UNHCR has repatriated 2,109 DRC refugees from Tanzania to Uvira in three operations since the beginning of the year. The state of the road has, however, prevented the ferrying of returnees to Baraka.

BURUNDI: Army begins mopping-up operations in Bujumbura Rurale

The Burundian army killed 72 Hutu rebels and lost four of its own men at the end of three days of fighting in Bujumbura Rurale, Agence Burundaise de Presse said yesterday. Army spokesman Lt-Col Nibizi Isaie added there had been no civilian deaths and villagers in the Nyambuye zone had been evacuated and would be resettled after mopping-up operations.

SUDAN: Army claims rebels surrendering

The Sudanese army claimed on Wednesday that 150 rebels had surrendered to government troops in East Equatoria province in the south of the country. Army spokesman General Abdul Rahman Sir al-Khatim said he expected more rebels to give up in the coming days, AFP reported. The announcement comes on top of persistent government reports of the surrender of large numbers of Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Bahr al-Ghazal region further north. The latest report said more than 10,000 civilians and armed men had flocked into Bahr al-Ghazal from rebel areas, with the government appealing for relief supplies to help the new arrivals. However, Wednesday's announcement was the first report of rebels defecting in Equatoria in the southernmost part of Sudan, AFP said.

KENYA: IFRC calls for greater support to combat haemorrhagic disease outbreak

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, efforts to contain the outbreak of what is thought to be Rift Valley Fever in Kenya's flood-stricken Northeastern Province and southern Somalia are being hampered by limited logistical resources. IFRC warned in a statement today that the disease continues to spread, and it believes the region may be faced by a new and more virulent strain of the fever which has so far claimed more than 450 lives in the two countries. "We are focusing on prevention and control but without proper surveillance to follow up on disease reports from outlying areas we are hampered," the statement said. IFRC points out: "we are unsure precisely what we are dealing with ... We are seeing some strange phenomena and there may be something else out there."

ACT launches flood appeal

The NGO consortium Action for Churches Together (ACT) has launched a US $239,000 flood relief and rehabilitation appeal for Kenya. The appeal is based on an assessment mission that visited the northeastern Tana River area in late December. The planned response comprises an immediate intervention to provide emergency relief followed by a three-month rehabilitation programme to assist targeted families.

Nairobi, 15 January 1998 15:25 gmt


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Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 17:24:36 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 333 for 15 Jan 98.1.15 Message-ID: <>

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

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