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IRIN Update No. 366 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 3 March 1998)
ANGOLA: Dos Santos warns of war over UNITA's deadline failure
Following UNITA's failure to meet Saturday's deadline to demobilise, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has written to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warning of a potential war situation, Angolan TV reported yesterday (Monday). Dos Santos called for international pressure on UNITA to change its attitude.
Luanda last week threatened "dire consequences" if UNITA did not fulfil all the requirements of the 1994 peace agreement by Saturday. The government and the UN have accused UNITA of dragging its heels over demobilising its army and returning all territory to government administration. According to Reuters, more than 3,000 UNITA troops have yet to be demobilised and the government and the UN have said the demobilisation process is closed as far as they are concerned.
According to the London-based Angolan Peace Monitor, "it is clear that UNITA maintains a large, heavily armed military force." Its latest report quotes military analysts in Angola as putting the figure of UNITA troops at large as between 15,000 and 25,000. The Angola Peace Monitor also says no substantial amounts of heavy weaponry have been handed over to the UN by UNITA. The International Institute for Strategic Studies in its 1996/97 'Military Balance' report lists UNITA equipment as including tanks, large calibre field guns, and anti-aircraft missiles.
Angola observers launch diplomatic shuttle
Representatives of the United States, Russia and Portugal are involved in a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at pushing forward the country's stalled peace process, Reuters reported. The news agency quoted diplomats as saying the representatives hoped to persuade UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to issue a declaration of demilitarisation and to agree to an accelerated timetable for the extension of state control throughout the whole of Angola.
SADC calls for firmer implementation of sanctions on UNITA
The 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Monday expressed concern over the faltering peace process in Angola and called for stricter implementation of sanctions against UNITA, Reuters reported. "The situation in Angola is bad and requires the enforcement of agreed sanctions against UNITA," said Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano at the end of a one-day SADC summit in Maputo.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: At least 300 killed in Butembo: AZADHO
According to the DRC human rights group AZADHO, at least 300 people, including civilians, have been killed in clashes between the DRC army and Mayi-Mayi rebels in Butembo last week. The rights group said the killings followed the army's recapture of the town from the rebels who had launched an attack on 20 February. Young men in particular were allegedly targeted by the army as Mayi-Mayi supporters.
16 executed in Lubumbashi
Sixteen people were executed by firing squad in Lubumbashi today (Tuesday) for murder and armed robbery, AFP reported. They included two soldiers and 14 civilians. The public execution, the third this year in DRC, took place at the Wangu military camp.
RWANDA: MSF wants parliamentary probe into France's role in Rwanda
MSF on Monday called for a parliamentary commission to investigate France's role in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, news agencies reported. MSF has accused the French authorities of "having supported the regime of President Habyarimana while he made racism the pillar of his policy, going as far as planning and carry out the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsis and the massacre of opposition leaders".
GREAT LAKES: UN launches US $550 million consolidated
The UN on Friday launched a US $550 million Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for countries of the Great Lakes Region and Central Africa to meet the emergency needs of over five million people in 1998. The Appeal covers Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A press release by OCHA said the the humanitarian programme for Congo-Brazzaville is currently under preparation, and will be issued as an addendum this month.
OCHA described the humanitarian situation in the region as grave. Cross-border and internal tensions are on the increase, leaving hundreds of thousands vulnerable to attack. Over two million people are displaced throughout the region. In addition, the statement said, the food deficit has increased, social services have been disrupted and the economies have become severely debilitated. These afflictions have been further compounded by the effects of recent drought and flooding. The Appeal reflects the "complex mosaic of requirements in the region." It aims at providing the basic life-saving assistance still needed while also assisting countries in rebuilding their national infrastructures.
Nairobi, 3 March 1998 13:45 GMT
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Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 16:42:43 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 366 for 3 Mar 98.3.3 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.980303164138.4778Bemail@example.com>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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