Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 367 for 4 Mar 98.3.4

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 367 for 4 Mar 98.3.4

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. 367 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 4 March 1998)

BURUNDI: Former president says "no justice" in Burundi

According to former Burundian president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, "justice does not exist" in Burundi. He told the French weekly 'L'autre Afrique' what was being witnessed was "more a settling of scores planned by the army" which operates outside government control, targeting the Hutu population. Ntibantunganya said a solution to the conflict had to be sought between the army and the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) - "the only legitimate party". The Union pour le progres national (UPRONA) "will be participating in the process as UPRONA is the army," he added.

Political party representatives invited to seminar on constitutionalism

The NGO Synergies Africa and the Institute of Federalism of the University of Freiburg have invited representatives of the "whole political spectrum in Burundi" to a seminar on "constitutional techniques of democratic coexistence and the management of ethnic conflicts." A spokesperson for Synergies Africa in Geneva told IRIN today (Wednesday) that representatives of 14 Burundian parties were expected at the 7-13 March seminar in Freiburg, as well as representatives of the government and national assembly. He said "constitutional and democratic instruments" useful for any future or ongoing negotiations would be discussed.

Buyoya visits France, Italy

President Pierre Buyoya left Burundi yesterday (Tuesday) on an official visit to France and Italy aimed at reviving ties, state radio said. He is due to hold talks in Paris with government officials, UNESCO chief Federico Mayor, and the general-secretary of the group of Francophone nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Buyoya is expected to travel to Italy on 8 March.

ANGOLA: New peace timetable under discussion

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said yesterday that representatives of Angola's Joint Commission are expected to discuss a new timetable for the completion of the remaining tasks in the peace process. Meanwhile, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Behrooz Sadry, together with the ambassadors of the three observer countries - Portugal, Russia and the United States - met with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda, and on Monday with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. They discussed the current stage of the peace process, Eckhard added.

UNITA claims lack of funds stalls demobilisation

A UNITA representative to the Joint Commission, Brigadier Horacio Njunvuvili, told Portuguese radio yesterday that in order to fully demobilise UNITA's registered residual forces, the government needs to make available the funds provided for in the 1994 Lusaka accord. "The government has to free up the funds and issue identity cards and UNOMA [UN Observer Mission in Angola] has to move the teams on the ground," Njunvuvili said.

RWANDA: French parliament examines government's role in Rwanda

The French National Assembly's defence committee on Tuesday opened an inquiry into France's role in Rwanda in the run-up to the 1994 genocide, AFP reported. A statement from the office of defence committee chairman Paul Quiles said a panel of 10 MPs would take part in the inquiry on "military operations by France, other countries and the United Nations in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994." However, the defence committee stressed that the investigation is not a fully-fledged parliamentary inquiry that could result in legal proceedings, but rather a "fact-finding mission".

Rutaganda's trial resumes

The trial of Georges Rutaganda, a senior figure in the Interahamwe militia, resumed in Arusha today. Rutaganda, whose defence counsel has expressed concern over the state of his health, appeared in court in a "very weakened state" according to Fondation Hirondelle. Rutaganda is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.

Five killed by rebels

Hutu extremists shot dead five civilians, including a baby and two schoolchildren, near Ruhengeri in northern Rwanda, AFP quoted reliable sources as saying yesterday. Rwandan troops launched a search but failed to capture the rebels.

Public sector job losses anounced

Rwandan Prime Minister Celestin Rwigema announced that 2,854 public sector jobs would be cut in early April, in a drive to improve the calibre of state employees, AFP reported. The Rwandan state sector currently employs 40,000 people, of whom 68 percent are not qualified for the posts they hold.

British parliamentarians arrive

A delegation of British parliamentarians arrived in Rwanda yesterday for a four-day tour of the country, state radio reported. The parliamentarians will examine ways of promoting bilateral relations, among other issues.

SUDAN: 350,000 face famine

Some 350,000 people in war-torn southern Sudan face famine, AFP quoted a WFP spokeswoman as saying in Geneva on Tuesday. Christiane Berthiaume said those affected were in the Bahr el-Ghazal region and included 150,000 people uprooted by fighting at the end of January in the towns of Wau, Gogrial and Aweil. Hunger was forcing people to walk four or five hours to find wild fruits, and Berthiaume said aid must be delivered quickly to stop this movement and allow people to once again cultivate their land. The last crop was planted in 1994. But since 1996, international aid has been the only lifeline because the war has made harvesting impossible, the spokeswoman said.

TANZANIA: Four districts quarantined in Rift Valley fever outbreak

The Tanzanian authorities have quarantined four northern areas after four confirmed deaths from Rift Valley fever, AFP quoted a local paper as reporting yesterday. The affected areas are Monduli, Ngorongoro and Simanjiro in Arusha district. Hai, in neighbouring Kilimanjaro district, has also been quarantined. The ministry of health warned people in areas bordering Kenya to be on their guard against the disease.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Panel to draft genocide laws

The Brazzaville government has set up an 18-judge panel to draft laws enabling prosecution for genocide and war crimes, state radio announced on Tuesday. The broadcast, monitored by AFP, said the new laws would be subject to approval by the interim parliament, the National Transition Council.

Nairobi, 4 March 1998, 15:15 GMT


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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 18:27:38 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 367 for 4 Mar 98.3.4 Message-ID: <

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

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