IRIN Update 369 for 6 Mar 98.3.6

IRIN Update 369 for 6 Mar 98.3.6

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. 369 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 6 March 1998)

ANGOLA: Joint Commission meets over UNITA demobilisation

Angola's joint commission is meeting today (Friday) following UNITA's failure to meet yesterday's (Thursday) midnight deadline for a declaration on demoblisation. According to the UN observer mission to Angola (MONUA), UNITA still has some 1,200 residual forces to demobilise. A spokesman told IRIN today that the government was insisting on a demobilisation declaration from UNITA without delay. On media reports that UNITA retained substantial numbers of troops outside the demobilisation process, he said "MONUA has no proof. It is possible that UNITA has some extra soldiers."

Angolan ambassador says UNITA supplied through Zambia

The Angolan ambassador to Lusaka, Augusto Emanuelle, yesterday charged that weapons destined for UNITA were transiting through Zambian territory. According to AFP, he warned that "it is in the interests of the Zambian government to address the situation." The ambassador also said that UNITA troops had entered refugee camps near the Zambia-Angola border and turned them into military bases.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Conflicting reports over Uvira's stability

Concerned with the defence of their community, Banyamulenge soldiers in Uvira are refusing to be posted outside the region and are opposed to the arrival of DRC army reinforcements. In a report by Radio France Internationale yesterday, Isidore Resuampoe, spokesman for the Banyamulenge Association in Uvira, said Banyamulenge troops were being transferred out of the province because of their ethnic origins. He described the arriving DRC soldiers as including elements of the former FAZ who were behind the "extermination" of the Banyamulenge. The broadcast said tension remained high in Uvira.

However, according to DRC state radio in Bukavu, the situation had returned to normal with the military authorities in control of South Kivu. Bukavu was also calm, with soldiers that had fled into the hills around Uvira having returned to their units. Their reintegration followed the intervention of army chief, Commander James Kabare. The radio said two soldiers were publically shot for indiscipline.

Donors meet over DRC trust fund

International donors are due to meet in Stockholm today (Friday) to discuss the guidelines of a proposed trust fund for the DRC. The group - dubbed "Friends of Congo" - met in Brussels in December. The donors agreed in principle to create the trust fund, but they did not discuss its likely size, Reuters said.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Opposition says reconciliation pact "artificial"

The spokesman for an alliance of 11 Central African Republic opposition parties described Wednesday's national reconciliation pact as "artificial". Abel Goumba told Gabonese African No 1 radio "the head of state is not making things easy in any way for the opposition or for the African mediators." Gabonese Defence Minister General Idriss Ngari said on Radio France Internationale on Wednesday that restructuring problems confronting the CAR army remain unresolved.

The national reconciliation pact was unanimously signed by the 400 delegates to the reconciliation conference who held a one-week meeting in Bangui to find a final solution to the country's two-year crisis. The French foreign ministry today described the adoption of the pact as the "first step in the process of the re-establishment of peace and stability".

RWANDA: MSF concerned over French parliamentary committee probe

MSF said on Thursday it was concerned that a French National Assembly committee plan to study the role of the French military in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide would be neither impartial nor independent, Reuters reported. "In contrast to a parliamentary inquiry, the openness, impartiality and independence of an information mission would not be guaranteed," MSF said in a statement.

UN special rapporteur's grim genocide testimony

The former UN human rights commission special rapporteur, Rene Degni-Segui, yesterday testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the cases of Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana, both accused of genocide crimes. According to Fondation Hirondelle, he described how he had seen "scattered skulls, thousands of broken bodies" at Nyarubuye, in eastern Rwanda. In Nyundo, Gisenyi prefecture, he described ditches full of bodies. In the cemetery, some people had been buried alive, he said. He claimed all sides in the conflict had committed atrocities.

Nairobi, 6 March 1998, 13:30 gmt


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Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 16:21:15 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 369 for 6 Mar 98.3.6 Message-ID: <>

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

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