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IRIN Update No. 428 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 2 June 1998)
RWANDA: Rebels produce newspaper outlining their cause
Rebels in northwest Rwanda appear to be publicising their insurgency with the emergence of a publication outlining their aims. According to AFP, the paper 'Umucunguzi' (Saviour) is published in Gisenyi, mainly in Kinyarwanda but with some articles in French. It names the rebels' political wing as the Peuple en armes pour liberer le Rwanda (PALIR), with its armed wing the Armee pour la liberation du Rwanda (ALIR). The paper describes the Rwandan Patriotic Army as an "army of occupation" and urges Rwandans to take up arms. The May edition contains a map, claiming rebels are active in half the country and predicting victory. It also forecast an upsurge of fighting in the central prefecture of Gitarama. In June 1996, PALIR issued a statement describing itself as a "resistance movement" against the RPA and named its armed wing as the Front de Resistance Interieure (FRI). It denied targeting unarmed civilians.
Thousands demonstrate against insurgents
Over 30,000 people yesterday demonstrated peacefully against the rebel insurgency in Mbogo commune of Kigali Rurale prefecture, the Rwanda News Agency reported. It quoted the local mayor Habiyaremye Oswald as saying the protest "was a manifestation of the people's opposition to those who incite violence in the country".
University professor sentenced to death for genocide
A court in Butare yesterday (Monday) sentenced a university professor to death for genocide crimes, after which he seriously injured three people on his way back to prison. The Rwanda News Agency said Professor Geoffrey Gatera, who headed the medical faculty at the national university, wrestled the steering wheel from the driver of the vehicle taking him back to prison and crashed into a bicycle and another car, seriously injuring the three people. He was charged with involvement in the massacre of hundreds of Tutsis who came to the university hospital in Butare seeking refuge.
Meanwhile six people were sentenced to death in the southwest prefecture of Cyangugu, accused of killing five UN human rights workers last year, AFP reported. It cited RNA as saying the five men and one woman were identified as "infiltrators" when the verdict was handed down on 26 May.
Rwanda, ex-Yugoslavia joint appeal court to sit in Arusha
The joint Appeal Court of the Rwandan and ex-Yugoslavia war tribunals is due to sit in Arusha, Tanzania, on 8 June, according to the independent Hirondelle news agency. It will the first time it sits in Arusha and is expected to consider two appeals, one involving the possibility of collective trials and the other a plea on false testimony.
Chiluba holds talks with Bizimungu
Zambian President Frederick Chiluba paid a brief visit to Kigali yesterday where he met his Rwandan counterpart Pasteur Bizimungu, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Bizimungu's spokesman Joseph Bideri said they discussed bilateral and regional ties. RNA said Bideri refused to give more details, but the agency noted that both Zambia and Rwanda are members of the six-country group which formed a "regional initiative" following the overthrow of ex-Zairean president Mobutu Sese Seko.
UN team investigating illegal arms sales re-instated, Annan confirms
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has confirmed the resumption of work by an international commission investigating illegal arms sales in the Great Lakes region. He said the four-man commission re-established its base in Nairobi on 13 May and resumed contacts with relevant parties in the region. The activities of the commission will be financed from the UN Trust Fund for Rwanda, Annan said in a letter to the president of the Security Council.
UGANDA: Six die in rebel ambush
At least six people died when rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked and burned a bus in the northern Kitgum area yesterday, AFP reported. It recalled this was the second ambush in as many days in the Kitgum region. On Sunday, two people were reported killed when their vehicle came under rebel attack.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Refugees in Sudan reportedly want to return
Sudan's ambassador to Kinshasa, Hayard Hassan, has said some 3,600 DRC refugees in Sudan have indicated their desire to return home, PANA news agency reported. He said the two countries were discussing ways to facilitate the repatriation of the refugees who include both civilians and soldiers. According to DRC Interior Minister, the decision follows President Laurent-Desire Kabila's appeal to Congolese exiles to return home and take part in national reconstruction.
Five ministers sacked in cabinet reshuffle
Kabila last night reshuffled his cabinet, sacking five ministers and expanding the government from 29 to 37 members, AFP reported. They include four state ministers, 26 ministers and seven deputy ministers. ADFL Secretary-General Deogratias Bugera comes in as state minister to the presidency. The five who lost their portfolios are under arrest for alleged corruption.
Kabila meets Tshisekedi
Kabila has reportedly met opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi, AFP said, quoting an anonymous government official. No official details of Saturday's talks have been given. Kabila refused to confirm the meeting on his return to Kinshasa yesterday, but the government official described the talks as "very tense", adding they focused on reconstruction and reconciliation. Kabila earlier this year banished Tshisekedi to his home area.
ANGOLA: UNITA proposes new date for handover of territory
UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said on Monday that UNITA had proposed a 25 June date for turning over to the government its four remaining strongholds of Andulo, Bailundo, Nhareya and Mongo, in the centre of the country. The offer follows UNITA's failure to abide by a 31 May deadline set by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye. Eckhard said UNITA had proposed that the technical preparations for the handover be finalised from 17-21 June. According to AFP, in weekend talks between senior UNITA and UN officials, UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi asked Beye for a period of reflection to allow UNITA to come up with concrete proposals for implementation of the final clauses of the 1994 peace agreement.
ZAMBIA: Kaunda cleared of coup charges
Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda was cleared of charges of advanced knowledge of last year's coup attempt when he appeared in court on Monday, news media reported. Attorney-General Bonaventure Mutale told the judge that the state was dropping all charges against Kaunda and his personal bodyguard, Mofyci Kaulungombe. Kaunda had been charged with concealing information of the coup bid. He appeared in court with some 80 other people accused of involvement in the foiled putsch.
Nairobi, 2 June 1998, 14:15 gmt
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Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 17:28:15 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 428 for 2 June 98.6.2 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.980602172715.16203Aemail@example.com>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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