Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 336 for 20 Jan 98.1.20

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 336 for 20 Jan 98.1.20

Department of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrated Regional Information Network
for Central and Eastern Africa

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IRIN Update No. 336 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 20 January 1998)

BURUNDI: More fighting reported near Bujumbura

Humanitarian sources told IRIN today (Tuesday) that at least one civilian was killed in a rebel attack on a military position near the capital Bujumbura on Sunday. AFP reported that three rebels were killed in the attack and three soldiers injured. On Monday, it said, fighting was reported at Tenga, 20 km northeast of the capital. No further details were immediately available.

Meanwhile, UN sources say that on the night of Saturday 17 January and Sunday 18 January, sporadic shooting in Gihosha-Gikongo, an area adjacent to the Kamenge zone on the outskirts of Bujumbura, prompted the population of the quarter - estimated at 400 households by local authorities - to flee their homes. It would appear that some people attempted to return on Sunday, and it is feared that some of them may have been caught in further fierce exchanges of firing that broke out in the Gihosha/Kamenge area before dawn.

CNDD say they will go to Arusha

A representative of Burundi's rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) movement said today his organisation would be present - at least at the margins - of a seminar opening in Arusha, northern Tanzania tomorrow on "Conflict Resolution in Africa". Innocent Nimpagaritse, CNDD representative in East Africa, told a press conference in Nairobi his movement would take the opportunity to lobby regional and international organisations, but said there were currently no talks taking place between CNDD and the government of Major Pierre Buyoya and none planned. "We are waiting for them to come back to negotiate ... if they do not come back, we will continue to try and force them back," he said.

The conference, which is sponsored by the Nyerere Foundation, brings together representatives of the United Nations, regional governments, and numerous international institutions. AFP reported that the government in Bujumbura would take part in the conference despite its poor relations with Tanzania. It quoted officials as saying President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda would open the seminar and Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa would deliver the closing address. Tanzanian founding president Julius Nyerere, who is mediating in the Burundi conflict, will deliver a keynote speech at the conference.

Diplomatic sources contacted by IRIN today said they were not aware of any particular development on the Burundi peace process which may emerge at the Arusha meeting, but one diplomat told IRIN there did appear to be an "opportunity" given the collection of attendees at the event. A Burundian diplomatic source said he hoped "some contacts may take place outside the main conference room" to move the Burundian talks forward. Arusha is still acceptable to Bujumbura as the venue for the first formal round of talks between the Burundian government and other political parties, he said. Addis Ababa has been proposed by Bujumbura as a future venue for negotiations, the source added. The recent fighting near Bujumbura "does not change anything", he said.

UGANDA: Museveni to host regional economic summit

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is hosting a two-day 13-nation summit on Africa's economic future on Friday and Saturday this week. Jim Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, is expected in Kampala on Thursday. Countries invited are: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The meeting will address the following topics: Leader's own vision for Africa's future; Investing in infrastructure; Promoting regional integration and trade; Using existing and building new human and institutional capacity; Maintaining ODA flows; Conflict prevention management and resolution

RWANDA: Two people killed in Gisenyi rebel ambush

Two people were killed and six wounded in a rebel ambush yesterday on a taxi in Kanama commune, 15 km east of Gisenyi. A second ambush was foiled when soldiers arrived on the scene, local media sources told IRIN today. The attack, on the Gisenyi-Ruhengeri road, occurred on the same day that 35 employers of the Bralirwa beer company were killed when their vehicle was stopped by rebels in Nyamyumba commune. Rubavu, Kanama and Nyamyumba are the centre of rebel activity in the northwest, local analysts say.

Kagame says insecurity limited to northwest

Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame said in an interview published today in the Belgian daily 'Le Soir' that the situation in Gisenyi was "still problematic", AFP reported. He added: "We find ourselves between warfare and a sort of low-level conflict, but we must remember that these troubles are limited to the regions of the northwest and that the rest of the country is calm." Kagame began a four-day official visit to Brussels on Monday.

KENYA: FAO says Rift Valley Fever an international disaster

FAO has categorised the outbreak of the haemorrhagic disease Rift Valley Fever as an international disaster, according to the BBC. The UN agency fears that infected mosquitos and animals may spread the disease across national borders. It is already estimated to have killed more than 400 people in flood-swept northeastern Kenya and southern Somalia.

Cases of a less virulent form of the disease have been reported this week in Rift Valley province, a humanitarian source told IRIN today. An MSF-Belgium spokeswoman said she was concerned by "the outbreak of the disease in areas not affected by floods."

Locust invasion feared

According to Kenyan police reports, locust swarms are believed to be massing along the northern border with Ethiopia, the 'Daily Nation' said today. The paper added that conditions are "fertile" for a locust invasion. Meanwhile, the country-wide death toll in flood-related incidents has risen to 94, KBC radio reported yesterday.

ANGOLA: UNITA wants security arrangements revised

A UNITA delegation called today for a revision of security arrangements for the planned meeting between their party leader Jonas Savimbi and President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The UNITA delegation, in Luanda to prepare for the talks, rejected the provision of two bodyguards to each UNITA official, AFP reported.

Police discover UNITA arms caches

Angolan police have discovered arms and ammunition caches linked to UNITA at Milunga in the northern Uije province, press reports said Monday. Among the weapons seized were RPG-7 rocket-launchers and mortars. UNITA recently handed Milunga back to government forces in line with the 1994 peace accord.

TANZANIA: Washington writes off US $15 million debt

The United States has written off US $15.1 million of the US $20.13 million Tanzania owes to its Export-Import (EXIM) Bank. The US Information Service said in a statement on Monday that the United States also agreed to reschedule the remaining debt and arrears at low interest rates under an agreement signed between the two governments. "Further substantial reduction of Tanzania's debt will be determined by the country's full implementation of all external debt agreements signed with other foreign creditors," the statement added.

Cholera kills 57 in Mwanza

Fifty-seven people out of 651 infected with cholera have died since the beginning of January in Mwanza province. According to the provincial authorities, regular health checks are to be instituted in schools and the sale of food banned in their vicinity. Eateries and hotels are to be inspected daily, Tanzanian radio said yesterday.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: EU ready to support reconstruction programme

The EU is ready to renew cooperation with Brazzaville on infrastructural projects, following last week's national conference which agreed a political transition programme. According to AFP, EU representative Frederik Baron said yesterday Brussels's support would commence once security was reestablished and the government presented a programme for national reconstruction. An EU mission is currently in Brazzaville to evaluate the work of humanitarian organisations and their funding needs.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Rains threaten Bukavu-Uvira road

Torrential rain has caused landslides on the Bukavu-Uvira road and there are fears that continued storms could block the route, humanitarian sources report. Prices have already doubled in Uvira due to the difficulty in transporting goods along the traditional Dar es Salaam-Kigoma-Uvira supply line. Importers are now exploring the Mombasa-Uganda-Goma link. Meanwhile, the railway bridge from Kalemie to Kindu has collapsed which has forced UNICEF to find an alternative route to ferry supplies.

TANZANIA/GREAT LAKES: Refugee figures update

According to UN sources, the total assisted refugee population in Tanzania stood at 346,703 as of 31 December, 1997. The following is a breakdown by location and country of origin.

Lugufu Camp in Kigoma Congolese, 30,522; Nyaragusu camp in Kasulu District Kigoma Region, Congolese 44,341; Mtabila 1&2 in Kasulu District, Kigoma Region, Burundians 53,985; Muyovosi camp in Kasuluy District, Kigoma Region, Burundians 28,037; Mtendeli camp in Kibondo District, Kigoma Region, Burundians 29,897; Kanembwa camp in Kibondo District Kigoma Region, Burundians 16,081; Nduta camp in Kibondo District, Kigoma Region, Burundians, 31,150; Mkugwa camp in Kibondo District, Kigoma Region, Mixed marriages 1,286.

Lukole camp in Ngara District Kagera region, Burundians, 107,348; Mwisa camp in Karagwe District Kagera Region, Rwandese 52; Mkuyu camp in Handeni District, Tanga Region, Somalis 3,000; Kigwa camp in Tabora Rural District, Tabora Region, 1,004.


IRIN's fortnightly information exchange meetings will resume tomorrow (Wednesday, 21 January) at 9.00 a.m. at IRIN's offices in Gigiri.

Nairobi, 20 January 1998, 15:00 gmt


[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 18:32:54 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 336 for 20 Jan 98.1.20 Message-ID: <>

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

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