IRIN Update 419 for 19 May 98.5.19

IRIN Update 419 for 19 May 98.5.19

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

Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail:

IRIN Update No. 419 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 19 May 1998)

RWANDA: 11 children killed by presumed Interahamwe militiamen

At least 11 children were killed and three wounded in a night attack on their boarding school in northwest Gisenyi prefecture, AFP reported, quoting hospital sources. The attack occurred overnight Sunday at Nyamyumba school in Kivumu. A hospital official said some of the victims received serious bullet wounds. The children were aged between 11 and 17. According to a BBC report, suspected Interahamwe militiamen were behind the attack.

Ibuka urges mass trials for those who admit genocide

The genocide survivors' organisation, Ibuka, has called for mass trials for those who confess to crimes of genocide, Rwandan radio reported. At a meeting in Kigali, Ibuka also called for a revision of the way the public prosecutor's office works. It criticised the release of genocide suspects on the grounds the government had insufficient resources, the radio said.

Number of genocide deaths higher than estimated

A commission set up by the education ministry says the number of people killed in the 1994 genocide is higher than originally estimated, the All Africa News Agency reported today (Tuesday), citing the latest issue of the Rwandan 'Liberation' newspaper. Estimates have varied between 500,000 and one million, but the commission's report puts the figure at 1,364,000. The commission's survey was conducted on a commune by commune basis and the report is the first based on "research", according to the newspaper.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: South Africa offers development experts to DRC

South Africa's Deputy President Thabo Mbeki has pledged to send South African experts to the DRC to assist in financial, infrastructural and human resource development, the 'Sunday Independent' reported. Mbeki made the announcement after meeting President Laurent-Desire Kabila for three hours on Friday after the abrupt cancellation of a regional summit. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said Mbeki urged Kabila to cooperate with the international community and temper his stance on human rights issues. "We must work to stabilise Congo, not only for our own growing economic links. If it explodes it will affect nine other countries on its borders and we will all lose," Pahad said. The South African development experts are due to arrive in Kinshasa within two weeks.

BURUNDI: Speaker briefs Nyerere on internal peace process

Parliament Speaker Leonce Ngendakumana, who met Burundi mediator Julius Nyerere in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, said he briefed the former Tanzanian president on the new partnership between the Burundi government and national assembly, ahead of all-party peace talks due to resume in Arusha on 15 June. According to Burundi radio, he told Nyerere the new understanding between the two institutions erased some of the conflict between them. Nyerere reportedly told Ngendakumana he was in favour of Burundi's internal peace dialogue, which complemented the external peace process he was mediating.

FROLINA says military campaign continuing

The rebel Front pour la liberation nationale (FROLINA) says it is pursuing the military campaign it relaunched last November. Spokesman Venerand Ndegeya told IRIN today the organisation's armed forces "are in the field" and claimed the international media were misrepresenting events on the battlefield. He said FROLINA was elaborating a military plan "which will enable our forces to protect more adequately the unarmed civilians", as well as a flow of information "so that responsibility for each action is claimed by our own troops and not by some other groups, which so far has been the case most of the time".

ETHIOPIA/ERITREA: OAU warns of regional instability if conflict worsens

The OAU has offered to mediate in the growing border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia, warning that the conflict could destabilise the whole region. "I am concerned that this unfortunate crisis, if allowed to escalate, will have serious consquences for the two countries," OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim said yesterday (Monday), according to PANA news agency. "It could also destabilise the region." He urged the two countries to resolve their differences peacefully, amid reports that both sides were massing troops in the disputed border area. Djibouti President Hassan Gouled Aptidon on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and US deputy Secretary of State for Africa Susan Rice are currently shuttling between the two countries, although the Ethiopian government yesterday said it would not countenance mediation until Eritrea withdrew its troops. According to AFP, Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame has arrived in Addis Ababa.

EAST AFRICA: Regional integration inches closer

The East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda on Friday took a closer step towards regional integration with the announcement of a joint legislative assembly, supreme court and monetary union, PANA news agency reported. In a statement released in Nairobi, the three East African Cooperation members announced they would also establish a common market and promote regional trade by removing outdated tariffs. Meanwhile joint military exercises involving the three countries and US troops are set to take place in Kenya's Turkana district between 17-26 June, Kenyan radio said. The focus of the exercises will be "disaster management".

KENYA: Hundreds homeless after Lake Victoria bursts it banks

Lake Victoria has burst its banks for the first time in 36 years, leaving hundreds of people homeless, the 'Daily Nation' reported today. The overflowing lake, caused by abnormal rainfall in western Kenya, has also destroyed hundreds of hectares of crops in Nyanza province. The 'Daily Nation' said a disaster relief committee has gone to affected areas.

UN inquiry team into illegal arms sales arrives in Nairobi

Members of the relaunched UN International Commission of Inquiry into illegal arms sales to Rwanda have arrived in Nairobi, according to a UN spokesman. He said the four-member commission, led by Mahmoud Kassem of Egypt, would collect information and investigate reports related to the sale, supply and shipment of arms to the former Rwandan government and militias. They would also identify parties involved in illegal arms sales and make recommendations aimed at preventing the illegal flow of weapons in the Great Lakes region.

UGANDA: 30 rebels said killed by army

The Ugandan army says it has killed 30 rebels from Allied Democratic Forces in the western Bundibugyo district and destroyed several rebel training camps, the state-owned 'Sunday Vision' reported. Colonel Charles Angina, the second division commanding officer, said the operations took place at the end of last week between Kabango, Bumate and Kakuka areas. He said the army managed to thwart the rebels' attempts to begin training captives. Angina added that ADF conditions in their Ruwenzori mountain hideouts were "very precarious and inhuman".

Museveni meets Congolese counterpart

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his visiting Congolese counterpart Denis Sassou Nguesso yesterday issued a communique calling for greater efforts towards peace and security in the Great Lakes region. They also urged closer regional consultations, according to Ugandan radio. The two leaders stressed the need to strengthen African economic integration and as such agreed to boost cooperation between their two countries. Museveni hailed Sassou Nguesso's efforts in bringing about national reconciliation in Congo, the radio added. During talks on Sunday, Museveni told his guest he had always been opposed to dividing Africa into anglophone and francophone groups, and he was happy to note these divisions were now breaking down.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Troops battle Cocoyes militia in south

Government forces on 10 May reportedly launched a military offensive against Cocoyes militia allied to former president Pascal Lissouba in the Mouyondzi area of southern Congo, according to the latest edition of 'La Semaine Africaine' weekly newspaper. The start of the offensive followed failed attempts to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the six week-old Mouyondzi crisis, the newspaper said.

'La Semaine Africaine' also reported that Cobra militiamen who supported Denis Sassou-Nguesso during the 1997 civil war and have since been integrated into the national army are largely undisciplined and "have a taste for rape, looting and extortion". The despatch of former Cobras to the Pool and Niari regions has resulted in many residents from those areas leaving their villages and sleeping in the forests, it added.

Nairobi, 19 May 1998, 14:15 gmt


[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 17:15:24 -0300 (GMT+3) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 419 for 19 May 98.5.19 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.980519171356.8778A-://

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

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific