IRIN Update 432 for 6-8 June 98.6.8

IRIN Update 432 for 6-8 June 98.6.8

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. 432 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 6-8 June 1998)

RWANDA: Eight more genocide suspects sentenced to death

A court in Rwanda has sentenced another eight people to death for their part in the genocide of 1994, news organisations reported yesterday (Sunday). Rwandan radio said the verdicts were delivered after a trial last Thursday and Friday at the Butare court of first instance. All eight had pleaded guilty to involvement in killings and other crimes against humanity in Ngoma commune in Butare prefecture. Several hundred people have now been convicted since the first genocide trial opened 18 months ago and some 120,000 others are in prison awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, judges at a three-month mass trial last week sentenced 32 Rwandans to life imprisonment for their role in the genocide. Nine other defendants were acquitted while three received suspended life sentences, AFP reported on Saturday. Three other defendants in the original indictment died in custody during the trial and two others were not tried as they were under 18 years of age. The group Avocats sans Frontieres (Lawyers without Borders) was quoted as saying it welcomed the mass trial as it "allowed the course of justice to be speeded up and led to a better scale of sentencing."

Official says BBC interview with Hutu extremist "unacceptable"

Rwanda has reacted angrily to a BBC interview with one of the leaders of extremist Hutu rebels. The Rwandan news agency quoted Emmanuel Gasana, political adviser to Vice-President Paul Kagame, as saying it was "unacceptable" that a radio of the calibre of the BBC could give a "voice to such genocide criminals". Gasana said the government was planning to ask for an explanation.

In the interview, which was broadcast last Thursday, rebel leader Shyaka Komeza of the Parti en armes pour liberer le Rwanda (PALIR), accused the Kigali government of unjustly imprisoning people and abuse of human rights. "These days people in Rwanda are jailed in areas filled with water which has been mixed with salt. They also lock up people in containers, put fire under them so that they heat up, they cook people," he alleged.

BURUNDI: Buyoya promulgates transitional constitution

President Pierre Buyoya on Saturday promulgated Burundi's transitional constitution, approved on Thursday by the national assembly. Twelve political parties will be represented in the enlarged parliament, according to AFP. Both the mainly-Hutu FRODEBU party and the mainly-Tutsi UPRONA party have expressed reservations over the constitution, but Buyoya urged support for the changes. "The accord we have just signed concerns all Burundians," he said, after the signing ceremony with National Assembly Speaker Leonce Ngendakumana.

A Burundi analyst told IRIN the transitional constitution signified an end to the conflict between the Buyoya government and the national assembly. He said the sides were aware there may be a chance to resolve the Burundi conflict peacefully rather than by force and that there was now a "minimum amount of trust" between the two institutions.

CNDD slams government-parliament partnership

The rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) has condemned the new partnership between the government and the national assembly, accusing parliament of "betraying" the sovereignty of the people. In a statement, signed by its new leader Colonel Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye, the joint CNDD-FDD (Forces pour la defense de la democratie) described the signing of the transitional constitution as an "act of high treason". The CNDD-FDD said it would "continue the struggle until the restoration of constitutional and institutional legality".

OAU set to try and circumvent sanctions issue

Burundi's appeals for sanctions against it to be lifted do not feature in a draft resolution on the country drawn up by ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), AFP reported on Saturday. OAU states opened their annual summit today (Monday) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea overshadowing the event. OAU member states are also deeply divided on the question of sanctions against Burundi and the embargo imposed by its neighbours. A draft document, drawn up by foreign ministers, says simply the summit leaders "take note" of domestic developments in Burundi and welcome the "national debate" between the country's political players. On Sunday, Libya and Burundi signed an agreement to restore diplomatic ties. A statement by the Libyan news agency JANA said the move would "strengthen cooperation between the Libyan and Burundi peoples".

SUDAN: More fighting in east

Sudanese rebel radio, monitored by the BBC, claimed the capture of two garrisons near Kassala in northeastern Sudan on Saturday. The rebel umbrella group, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said that the attacks on Shalalob and Haladai also led to the capture of three tanks and

other military hardware. The official SUNA news agency reported today that the governor of Kassala had declared a "general mobilization" after an alleged attack on a mosque at Derousah village in Hemeshkouraib area.

Sudanese military spokesmen continue to deny claims from the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) that the garrison of Ulu, in southern Blue Nile Province, has fallen to rebel forces. The German press agency DPA reports that an army spokesman told the Khartoum Sunday newspaper 'al-Wan' that Ulu was still under government control. Both sides acknowledge heavy fighting and casualties in the area, which analysts regard as significant, both for being near the Roseires hydro-electric dam, and as being in the "transitional" zone between northern and southern Sudan.

For further background on the Blue Nile area, readers are referred to a special report carried by IRIN on 21 May 1998.

Machar meets Garang

Sudanese rebel leader John Garang met with Riak Machar in Uganda at the weekend. Machar leads a group of former rebels who have signed a deal with Khartoum, but news reports state the meeting, brokered by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, was fruitless.

WFP launches new airlift, MSF warns on nutrition

WFP is purchasing 4,300 mt of food in northern Sudan for delivery to rebel-held southern Sudan, a statement released yesterday says. A new air operation will use the government-held town of Al-Obeid as a base for dropping food to beneficiaries in Bahr al-Ghazal. The new route will reduce costs and improve the rates of delivery, WFP stated. A Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) statement today said the "current capacity of OLS is not sufficient to meet the needs". MSF called for a "significant increase in capacity", while saying that their supplementary (dry ration) food programmes were not helping half of the intended children because the food was being shared between too many within the family. The nutritional situation in Bahr al-Ghazal is "seriously deteriorating", MSF said.

UGANDA: Aid agencies targeted in latest outbreak of insecurity

More insecurity incidents have been reported in northern and western districts and several aid agencies have been targeted in the latest outbreak, according to WFP's latest weekly report. WFP said one of its own convoys was ambushed on 1 June and seven people were killed. An Oxfam convoy was ambushed on the same road, the report said. A special feeding centre at Pakelle - a settlement for Sudanese refugees - was looted and, in Gulu, a camp for displaced persons was attacked and food looted. The report said most of the incidents took place between 1-5 June

ANGOLA: UNITA says there is still room for talking

Against a backdrop of growing tension, former UNITA rebels, accused of failing to stick to the letter of a peace agreement, say there is still plenty of room for dialogue and agreement. Portuguese radio reported a UNITA communique issued after a high-level meeting last Friday as saying that at the next UN Security Council meeting on the Angolan peace process, the international community should only be thinking of the reconciliation of the Angolan people. Meanwhile, the deputy provincial governor of Uige Province said that following attacks on the communes of Beu, Sacandica and Cuilo-Futa by the "enemies of peace" some 60 children had sought refuge in DRC.

Nairobi 8 June, 1998 15:30 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: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 17:54:36 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 432 for 6-8 June 98.6.8 Message-ID: <>

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

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific