IRIN Update 363 for 26 Feb 98.2.26

IRIN Update 363 for 26 Feb 98.2.26

U N I T E D N A T I O N S Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa

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IRIN Update No. 363 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 26 February 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Uvira tense as troop movements reported

Humanitarian sources reported today (Thursday) that Congolese troop reinforcements are on their way towards Kamanyola from Bukavu. The Kamanyola border with Rwanda was closed today. Humanitarian sources also told IRIN that Uvira was very tense, with most shops and offices shut. Further troop movements are reported from Kalemie towards Uvira.

Newspaper editor arrested

The editor in chief of the opposition paper 'Le Potentiel' was arrested in Kinshasa yesterday (Wednesday). News agencies suggested that Modeste Litunga's detention was linked to articles denouncing the arrest of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Meanwhile, opposition militants said on Wednesday they had called off a strike planned to protest at the government's banishment of Tshisekedi from Kinshasa, Reuters reported. 'Le Potentiel' claimed on Wednesday the cancellation had been dictated by Tshisekedi himself.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Judge asks UN to investigate alleged genocide

Congo-Brazzaville has approached the UN to appoint a special rapporteur to investigate alleged genocide perpetrated by the country's former leadership, state radio, monitored by AFP, announced on Wednesday. A Congolese judge, Massengo Tiasse, told the radio that he would seek international arrest warrants against exiled former president Pascal Lissouba and prime minister Bernard Kolelas. "All political and military figures as well as journalists who colluded in genocide will be arrested and tried," he said.

OCHA report outlines humanitarian challenge

An OCHA report identifies four broad target areas for humanitarian intervention in Congo-Brazzaville. These include: support to the recovery process; enhanced assistance to most-affected vulnerable groups; strengthening of reconciliation efforts; and the empowerment of local and national administrations. The overall objective of humanitarian operations is to assist affected populations to return to a state of normality. The initiatives compliment the government's own broad recovery strategy.

The report outlines the geographically distinct humanitarian conditions in the country. The northern regions largely escaped the physical destruction of the civil war, but were affected by the transit of large numbers of displaced fleeing the fighting. The five southern regions received upwards of 350,000 to 400,000 displaced people and in later stages of the war serious fighting. Brazzaville was the theatre of most of the conflict, but again can be divided into three zones: the devastated city centre, the eastern sector in which 75 percent of houses have been destroyed, and the comparatively less damaged western portion. [The full text of the report is available from OCHA-Geneva]

TANZANIA-RWANDA: Fresh Rwandan refugees arrive

According to UNHCR-Tanzania, 237 Rwandan refugees arrived in Ngara between 1-21 February. They are being temporarily accommodated at Mbuba transit center pending their transfer to Mkugwa camp in Kibondo. The new arrivals are in addition to the 114 recorded in January. During the same February period, 141 Burundian refugees arrived in Ngara, in addition to the 1,028 registered last month.

UNHCR, in collaboration with the Tanzanian government, is to deploy 278 additional police to the refugee camps in Kagera and Kigoma in an effort to retain their civilian character. UNHCR will ensure that the extra police - 100 in Kagera and 178 in Kigoma - are equipped and well-trained. They will be required to maintain a 24- hour presence in the camps, monitor unauthorised movements, patrol roads and perform basic law and order functions. UNHCR stressed that any combatants found in the camps will be separated, pointing out that 40 individuals have already been removed.

Warning over mystery livestock disease

Tanzania's ministry of health has issued an alert over a possible outbreak of Rift Valley fever in the Arusha region, state radio reported yesterday. According to the ministry, a mystery disease has killed livestock in the area. The ministry urged the public to take precautions. It said that Rift Valley fever could have spread from neighbouring Kenya.

RWANDA: Dallaire says ready to testify again

The former commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, said today he was willing to testify again before the UN tribunal probing Rwandan war crimes, news agencies report. Dallaire gave evidence for a full day on Wednesday in the trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former mayor accused of genocide. At the start of the proceedings, prosecutors said they would summon him in at least one other trial. Last month, the UN Secretary-General lifted Dallaire's immunity so he could testify before the court but limited the measure to Akayesu's case. In an emotional day of testimony in Arusha yesterday, Dallaire said he had been unable to stop the 1994 slaughter because of a lack of resources and peacekeepers.

SUDAN-KENYA: Khartoum invites Kenyan foreign minister for talks

The Sudanese government said on Wednesday it had invited Kenya's Foreign Minister Bonaya Godana to visit ahead of a planned new round of talks between the government and southern rebels to be held in Kenya in April. Federal Relations Minister, Ali al-Haj Mohammad, who is also a Sudanese delegate to the peace negotiations, told the daily 'Akhbar al-Youm' that the invitation was issued so Godana could acquaint himself with recent political developments in Sudan, AFP reported.

Nairobi, 26 February 1998 14:30 GMT


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Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:51:01 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 363 for 26 Feb 98.2.26 Message-ID: <>

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

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