IRIN Update 422 for 22 May 1998.5.22

IRIN Update 422 for 22 May 1998.5.22

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. 422 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 22 May 1998)

RWANDA: Thousands of "collaborators" return from hiding

Over 4,000 people have returned home to Gisenyi prefecture from the Virunga mountains where they were "collaborating with infiltrators to destabilise peace and security", Radio Rwanda reported yesterday (Thursday). The report stated that a temporary camp had been established in Rwerere commune for those who are "disassociating" themselves from rebel "infiltrators". The Rwanda News Agency, quoting officials in Ruhengeri and Gisenyi, reported yesterday that as many as 50,000 people may have returned to the northwestern regions over the last month.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Troops, rebels clash near Goma

More details have emerged over an incident near Goma earlier this week in which some 30 people were killed. AFP quoted diplomatic sources in Kinshasa as saying a gunfight broke out between government troops and unidentified rebels last weekend on the Butembo-Goma road. The Belgian embassy in Kigali confirmed a 24 year-old Belgian national was among the dead. He had reportedly been on a visit to Goma from Kampala.

AZADHO warns of "human rights disaster"

The banned human rights organisation AZADHO is "very concerned" about the sentences handed down by a military court to three opponents of the Kinshasa regime. In an interview with French radio, Guillaume Ngafa, AZADHO chairman, said that the use of military courts was a "perfect instrument of repression and death". One of the three, Arthur Z'ahidi Ngoma, a UNESCO employee in poor health, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and is now free to leave the country if he wishes, according to state TV yesterday.

NGO registration process announced

The Congolese official news agency ACP reported yesterday that NGOs will be "rigorously checked" during a registration process that is to begin immediately. The announcement was made by a vice minister in the interior ministry, Mulumba Katchy, on Wednesday.

SUDAN: UK consortium launches appeal

Twelve members of the UK-based NGO group Disasters Emergency Committee launched an appeal for Sudan yesterday. The document quotes Oxfam's David Bryer saying "humanitarian aid can make a difference, but we can't make the crisis go away. A long term solution will only come with peace."

"Devastation" in Twic county, Bahr al-Ghazal

Armed militia allied to the Khartoum government, have killed an unknown number of civilians and burnt villages and markets in a series of raids starting on 4 May in Bahr al-Ghazal. A spokesman for Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) told IRIN today that several villages in Twic county, northeast of Gogrial were "devastated" by the "punitive" attacks. Up to a thousand men, travelling on horseback, were involved in the attacks NPA, said.

UGANDA: Displacements due to attacks, flooding

Humanitarian sources confirm thousands of people have been displaced after a rebel attack on the northern Lira area last Saturday. Some 7,000-8,000 people are sheltering in schools where they are being registered by the local authorities. Meanwhile the local government in the eastern Moroto area says 743 people have been displaced due to flooding. Homes and much of the recently-planted sorghum and finger millet crops have been destroyed. WFP says it is providing an initial one month's supply of food through NGOs and parishes, but urges agencies to visit the area and provide further assistance.

ANGOLA: UN staff attacked, one killed

The UN Secretary-General's spokesman has announced that a UN interpreter was killed in an attack in Malange province on Tuesday, and a military staff officer and a civilian police officer were wounded. The spokesman told reporters in New York that the Security Council was told yesterday that "no significant progress had been made in concluding the remaining provisions of the Lusaka Protocol." The 1994 Lusaka protocol is the peace framework agreed between the Angolan government and UNITA.

RWANDA: Charges against Alphonse Nteziryayo

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) announced yesterday that Alphonse Nteziryayo, former commanding officer of the military police and later prefect of Butare is jointly charged with Sylvain Nsabimana, the previous prefect of Butare, who has already pleaded not guilty to five counts. Nteziryayo, facing six counts, is charged with ordering and participating in "the killing of all surviving Tutsis in the prefecture of Butare." He was transferred to Arusha from Burkina Faso earlier this week. The ICTR now has 24 accused persons in its custody.

Sendashonga killing still in dispute despite arrests

While repeating denials of official involvement, a Rwandan government spokesman, Wilson Rutayisire, told Reuters yesterday he did not believe the Kenyan police's version of events. The Kenyan police say one of the three people arrested for the murder has confessed, saying Sendashonga and the suspect's father had fallen out over an illict financial transaction.

UGANDA-SUDAN: Uganda released Sudanese POWs unconditionally - Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda yesterday told reporters Uganda's release of 42 Sudanese prisoners of war was "unconditional". Uganda still holds 72 other Sudanese POWs. An ICRC spokesman today (Friday) confirmed to IRIN reports that the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was due to release more than 20 Ugandan schoolgirls but that the plan was put back. Uganda accuses Khartoum of supporting the LRA. Museveni told a news conference that the LRA "need to be defeated by force," reports PANA.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Cocoyes militia leaves Moukoukoulou dam

The Government and rebellious Cocoyes militia signed an agreement on 14 May ending the crisis in the Mouyondzi area of southern Congo, La Semaine Africaine weekly newspaper reported on 21 May. At a symbolic peace ceremony held in Mouyondzi on 16 May, the insurgents handed over their weapons to government negotiators, led by President Denis Sassou-Nguesso's cabinet director, Isidore Mvouba, and the minister of transport and civil aviation, Martin Mberi, the newspaper reported. As a result of the agreement, Cocoyes militia left the Moukoukoulou hydroelectric dam, which they had been occupying since the start of the hostilities in early April, according to the newspaper. It added that under the agreement, undisciplined Cobra militiamen posted in the Bouenza region will be replaced by members of the national police. Last week, La Semaine Africaine reported that the government had launched an offensive against the Cocoyes insurgents in Bouenza.

Nairobi, 22 May 1998, 14:50 gmt


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date: Fri, 22 May 1998 17:55:58 -0300 (GMT+3) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 422 for 22 May 1998.5.22 Message-ID: <>

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

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