IRIN Update 364 for 27 Feb 98.2.27

IRIN Update 364 for 27 Feb 98.2.27

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrated Regional Information Network
for Central and Eastern Africa

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IRIN Update No. 364 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 27 February 1998)


Amid reports of continuing tension in the Bukavu/Uvira area, acting DRC army chief Commander James Kabare arrived in Bukavu yesterday (Thursday). Reports said he was due to arrive in the border town of Kamanyola today (Friday) to lead negotiations with various military units. Humanitarian sources reported that the Uvira border with Bujumbura was partially closed. The road to Bukavu is already closed, as is the border with Rwanda.

Flooding still affecting villages in Kisangani area

CRS in Kisangani says that despite the fact flood waters are receding, some villages in the area are still completely inundated. Severe flooding last December left many people homeless and provoked an outbreak of cholera. Still badly affected are villages along the axis west of Isangi to Lokutu and beyond, provoking concern as the rains of late March-April mark the river's traditional flooding period.

RWANDA: ICTR trying to find perpetrators of Kabgayi rape

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is trying to establish responsibility for the brutal rape of numerous women and young girls at a camp near Runda, outside the capital Kigali in 1994, AFP reported. Six investigators from the court have been travelling round the area, attempting to interview witnesses to the rapes at Kabgayi camp. However a court magistrate told AFP the issue of security "is causing witnesses to clam up and they are increasingly hesitant about speaking out".

Life imprisonment for genocide suspect

A court in Butare has sentenced a defendant to life imprisonment on genocide charges, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Tharcisse Karuranga, a former driver and mechanic, denied the charges saying he was sick at the time of the massacres in his home commune of Mbazi.

Gasana criticises human rights organisations

Rwandan Foreign Minister Anastase Gasana has criticised some international human rights organisations for "always giving false information about the human rights situation in the country without considering the effects of the 1994 genocide", Rwandan radio reported today. During a meeting with a visiting Amnesty International official, Roger Clark, the minister said organisations such as AI should instead help the government "inculcate the culture of respect for human rights into its citizens".

BURUNDI: Bagaza accuses authorities of violating his rights

Ex-president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, who was recently released by a military court after being accused of plotting to overthrow President Pierre Buyoya, has charged that the authorities violated his rights. "The Buyoya government locked me up without any valid document, I was not brought before any magistrate and I was not allowed to receive members of my family or lawyers," he said, according to AFP. He claimed his house was still under army surveillance.

UGANDA: 17 LRA rebels killed in "fierce fighting" in Kitgum

Seventeen rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), including a top commander, were killed by security forces during "fierce clashes" in the northern Kitgum area over the weekend. According to the state-owned 'New Vision' daily, there were no army or civilian casualties in the battle "said to be one of the bloodiest in Kitgum this year".

SUDAN: 80 government soldiers killed, rebels say

Sudanese rebels said yesterday (Thursday) they killed 80 government soldiers and took 14 captive in an attack in eastern Sudan, Reuters news agency reported. In a statement, the opposition National Democratic Alliance, said its forces staged a "sweeping and devastating ambush", about 76 km southeast of Kassala. A large cache of weapons was also seized, according to the statement.

ANGOLA: UNITA rules out demilitarisation by end-February deadline

The former rebel UNITA movement has ruled out total demilitarisation by the end-February deadline. In a statement, broadcast by UNITA radio today, the movement's standing committee said the remaining troops could not be demobilised "effectively or with dignity". "The demobilisation exercise is the sole responsibility of the MPLA government and the international community," the statement added. It claimed the government "has neither started nor does it intend to disarm civilians in cities, notably Luanda. This is a fundamental task to prevent the massacre of thousands of innocent people as happened in October-November 1992."

Nairobi, 27 February 1998, 14:00 gmt


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Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:10:00 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 364 for 27 Feb 98.2.27 Message-ID: <>

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

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