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. 430 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 4 June 1998)
RWANDA: Donors approve aid package
The World Bank and other donors, at a meeting in Stockholm yesterday (Wednesday), agreed to provide Rwanda with US $250 million, according to news reports. The money will be used to support Rwanda's three-year economic reform programme. In a statement, the World Bank said participants in the meeting recognised Rwanda was an exceptional case and needed "exceptional financing". Donors agreed Rwanda had made "significant progress" in restoring economic and social stability since the 1994 genocide.
OAU "eminent persons" team to probe genocide
The OAU is to set up a team of "eminent persons" to enquire into the Rwandan genocide, news reports said. OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim told a news conference in Burkina Faso, ahead of an OAU summit in Ouagadougou, the group would probe "the in-depth causes of the genocide, the circumstances and its consequences in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region". The team, to be headed by former Botswanan president Sir Ketumile Masire, will also include ex-Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure and a former Liberian minister Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Salim said the enquiry would contribute to "dressing the wounds" and "avoiding the policy of impunity in Africa".
Flag, national anthem to be changed
The main political parties and government in Rwanda have agreed to change the country's flag and national anthem, the Rwanda News Agency reported today (Thursday). It quoted the government weekly 'Imvaho' as saying agreement was reached on Saturday that "the national flag, anthem and even other symbols connected with evil can be changed".
Rwandan-US mediation may stem Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is expected to make an announcement today on his government's view of a Rwandan-US brokered peace deal to resolve the border dispute with Eritrea. US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Susan Rice told a news conference in Addis Ababa yesterday that Ethiopia had provisionally accepted the plan which includes demilitarising the border and negotiations on defining the frontier. An Eritrean official pointed out to IRIN today that an Eritrean government statement on 14 May had already issued similar recommendations. A Rwandan government statement today said the mediation effort was aimed at promoting a peaceful and durable settlement of the conflict and "to prevent a war which will cost many lives and undermine regional stability".
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Human rights report "will not be toned down", UN says
UN spokesman Fred Eckhard has said a report by the UN team which probed alleged human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo will probably be released to the public. "When I say it will not be suppressed, censored or toned down, that suggests it is going to be released," he told a news briefing on Tuesday. Secretary-General Kofi Annan confirmed to CNN yesterday the report "will not be watered down", but news media say there are strong indications it will first be shown to President Laurent-Desire Kabila as a courtesy.
300 ex-FAZ soldiers integrated into army in Lubumbashi
Over 300 ex-FAZ soldiers, who returned from exile, have been officially integrated nto the new Congolese army, PANA news agency reported. It said they returned to DRC from Zambia in December and are now in Lubumbashi where Kabila, who met them on Saturday, said he had asked them to "behave like citizens of this country and no longer like predators". PANA said over 10,000 former soldiers have sought refuge in countries such as Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya and the Central African Republic.
Oppostion editor get a year's jail sentence
The editor of the opposition 'Alarme' newspaper has been jailed for a year by a court in Kinshasa accused of threatening state security, Reuters reported. The editor, Bosange Yema, was arrested and detained in in February. His newspaper had published an open letter from opposition leader Joseph Olenghankoy, now also imprisoned, which warned against the "emerging Kabila dictatorship".
BURUNDI: EU delegation visits
A three-country delegation from the European Union arrived in Bujumbura yesterday on a one-day visit to Burundi. State radio quoted a British minister and member of the delegatio Tony Lloyd as saying the EU recognised the changes taking place in Burundi. He said the delegation planned to talk to hold wide-ranging talks in Burundi, adding that the country was going through a "very signficant period". During talks with Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira, the delegation expressed concern that the internal peace process was taking precedence over the external process, the radio said. Ndirima replied that the two processes were complementary. The delegation was due to arrive in Kinshasa today.
GREAT LAKES REGION AND CENTRAL AFRICA: Slow response to UN appeal
Over 90 percent of the UN's proposed humanitarian programmes for 1998 in Central Africa remains unfunded. The figures, released today by OCHA, show that US $49 million is available against an overall requirement of nearly US $574 million. Non-UN programmes have fared better, attracting US $79.8 million. Just over half (51 percent) of total humanitarian funding in the region so far this year is supplied by the USA. Several UN agencies have received no pledges at all, while none has received more than 17 percent of its needs. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata last week said she was "very worried" about UNHCR's global funding position. OCHA's Financial Tracking System collects information on donations from UN agencies, NGOs and donors.
CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: Affected populations number over 2.5 million
Figures compiled by OCHA indicate that "affected" populations, including refugees, returnees and displaced people in the region total over 2.5 million. Of this, 1.7 million people are displaced while refugees number about 760,000. The displaced population breakdown is given as follows: Burundi: 669,171; Congo-Brazzaville: 200,000; DRC: 129,000; Rwanda: 96,729; Uganda: 620,000. Another 13,000 children are classified as unaccompanied. The figures are updated by the UN regional humanitarian adviser's office.
Nairobi, 4 June 1998, 15:10 gmt
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FDate: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 18:18:58 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 430 for 4 June 98.6.4 (fwd) Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.980604181813.6525Aemail@example.com>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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