UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
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. 372 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 11 March 1998)
US-AFRICA: Museveni organises regional summit for Clinton
Uganda plans to host 10 regional leaders at a meeting with US President Bill Clinton in Kampala later this month. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday (Tuesday) that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki have confirmed their participation. He did not name the other heads of state who will attend. According to Kenya's 'Daily Nation', the presidents of Kenya and Tanzania have been invited. Regional security and African-US relations are on the summit's agenda.
Clinton plans Kigali stopover
Clinton will stop briefly in Kigali during his African tour, but security concerns will restrict him to the airport, AFP reported the 'Washington Post' as saying today (Wednesday). The 25 March stopover will include a public event to "address and acknowledge the genocide and the humanitarian crisis that ensued," a senior official said.
ANGOLA: Luanda legalises UNITA as part of peace process
The Angolan government today legalised the former rebel UNITA movement and gave it full party political status as part of moves to advance a stalled peace process. An official statement announced the government had lifted "all obstacles" banning UNITA activities and said the movement "may exercise its activities across the whole of the territory".
Reuters quoted government officials saying the move followed UNITA's formal declaration on Friday of military demobilisation - a key requirement for officially ending Africa's longest running civil war. The UNITA action allowed the adoption of a new timescale for implementation of the Lusaka accords which must now be completed by 1 April. UNITA welcomed today's government move but said it was more of a symbolic gesture because UNITA, which has 70 members of parliament in Luanda, has been registered as a political party since 1992.
Both sides remain deeply suspicious of each other and continue to trade accusations of peace accord violations. On Tuesday, Angolan state television said UNITA had attacked army positions in Huila while UNITA's 'Black Cockerel' radio said government forces were poised to attack their Jamba stronghold from Namibia.
KENYA: Politicians interrogated over Rift Valley violence
A number of Kenyan politicians have been interrogated in connection with the ethnic clashes that rocked parts of Rift Valley Province at the beginning of the year. Police Commissioner Duncan Wachira said yesterday those questioned had made "provocative" statements that could have fuelled the violence in Nakuru and Laikipia districts in which at least 127 people died, local media reported. Wachira did not name the politicians that had been questioned, but said the findings of a two-week long police probe would be forwarded to the attorney-general.
Kibaki denies DP involvement
The Democratic Party has denied allegations made by President Daniel arap Moi on Monday that it was involved in the January-February clashes. DP Chairman Mwai Kibaki challenged the government to take to court any DP leader implicated in the violence. CID boss Noah arap Too has meanwhile refuted allegations that the security forces were slow to react to the killings.
Maize duty waiver announced
The government has announced a duty waiver on maize imports to cover an estimated 7-9 million bag shortfall in local production. The 25 percent duty waiver will be effective from 1 April to June 30, but subject to review, local media reported today. Kenya consumes 30-32 million bags annually, but domestic production is forecast at 23 million bags during the 1998 harvesting period due to the impact of El Nino.
RWANDA: Bagasora trial postponed
The trial of colonel Theoneste Bagasora will not open on 12 March as initially scheduled, the ICTR has confirmed. Quoting an anonymous source, Fondation Hirondelle said the hearings of the prosecution witnesses might not start before "next summer". Bagasora, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, is the highest-ranking officer of the former Rwandan army to face trial in Arusha.
32 bandits arrested
Police in the southern Rwandan Butare Prefecture have arrested 32 bandits who had been looting communes in the area, the Rwandan News Agency reported yesterday. Officials in Butare said among those arrested were several ex-FAR.
TANZANIA: Health minister tours disease outbreak region
The outbreak of a mysterious disease, which reportedly claims 20 to 30 lives a day in northwestern Tanzania, has prompted a visit by Health Minister Aaron Chiduo, a local paper said today. Chiduo and a four-man team of experts are collecting blood samples from affected people for laboratory tests, the English-language daily 'The African' reported. On Sunday, Muleba area MP Wilson Masilingi told a meeting of his constituents living in Dar es Salaam that the unknown disease had killed 665 people in seven months, and that it was continuing to claim between 20 and 30 lives daily, AFP said.
BURUNDI: Nutritional survey confirms high child malnutrition rates
A nutritional survey by the British NGO Children's Aid Direct (CAD) in Bubanza province has recorded an overall malnutrition rate of 17.2 percent among children aged 6-59 months. Severe malnutrition was 4.5 percent. The results of the survey, conducted among 900 children last month, compares with the 19.5 percent and 9.2 percent respectively from CAD's last baseline survey undertaken in August last year.
According to an OCHA report, the continued high malnutrition rates can be attributed to general poor food security at the household level with an average caloric daily intake of only 988 kcal (as opposed to a normal intake of 1,900 kcal) despite a slight improvement in quantity and variety of diet. The price of an average food basket has increased by 130 percent since the imposition of the 1996 embargo, according to FAO data.
SUDAN: Khartoum wants positive outcome from IGAD talks
Sudan's government said it is committed to a positive outcome from next week's Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace talks. External Relations Minister Mustafa Uthman Isma'il said he hoped other countries participating in the 16 March meeting in Djibouti will work towards peace, state TV reported. He also urged European ambassadors to pressure southern rebels to accept its offer of a ceasefire so humanitarian aid can be delivered unhindered.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Draft constitution debate
DRC's Constitutional Commission on Monday adopted several articles of the draft constitution, l'Agence Congolaise de Presse (ACP) reported. It gave no details of the approved articles. According to humanitarian sources, although the draft has not been made public, some of its provisions are already being discussed by the media in Kinshasa. These include the alleged stipulation that the number of political parties be restricted to three.
UGANDA: Army kills five rebels in ambush
The Ugandan army killed five rebels when they laid an ambush to rescue 42 people abducted by the insurgents in the north earlier this week, local newspapers reported. All the hostages, most of them children abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), were rescued during the encounter near the town of Palabek in Kitgum district on Monday. Lieutenant Colonel Hudson Mukasa told reporters that the rebels were heading toward southern Sudan with the captives when they fell into the ambush, AFP said.
GREAT LAKES: UK pledges at donor meeting
The UK is donating three million pounds (about US $4.9 million) to UN programmes in the Great Lakes. Of the total, 250,000 pounds is earmarked for OCHA's work in the region, while the remainder is for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' operations in Rwanda and Burundi. The announcement was made at a briefing of donor nations in Geneva today, where UN agencies presented the 1998 UN's consolidated appeal for the Great Lakes and Central Africa. The appeal includes Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and a revised US $23 million for Congo-Brazzaville. The total requirements are for US $573 million.
The latest figures have also been released for last year's Great Lakes appeal, which raised about US $280 million for UN programmes in the region. Other humanitarian agencies and programmes received about US $248 million.
This year's appeal includes various rehabilitation and reconstruction proposals, a new approach which today received endorsement from a number of donor nations. Ambassador Berhanu Dinka, the UN's regional humanitarian advisor, told the meeting that humanitarian responses would have to be integrated into rehabilitation and reconstruction needs, given the mixed situation in the region.
GREAT LAKES: Red Cross Movement appeals for US $110 million
The ICRC's annual appeal for Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, included as an annex to the two-volume UN document (available in hard copy from IRIN) amounts to 143,528,006 Swiss Francs (about US $96 million), while the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies seeks 21,930,000 Swiss Francs (about US $ 14 million) to finance regional programmes benefitting 850,000 people.
Nairobi, 11 March 1998, 14:45 GMT
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Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 18:14:56 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 372 for 11 Mar 98.3.11 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.980311181414.29775Aemail@example.com>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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