IRIN Update 435 for 11 June 98.6.11

IRIN Update 435 for 11 June 98.6.11

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. 435 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 11 June 1998)

RWANDA: Six genocide suspects arrested in west Africa

Six Rwandan genocide suspects have been arrested in west Africa, a press statement from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) announced yesterday (Wednesday). They were detained by the authorities of Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali and Togo on 5 and 7 June at the request of the prosecutor. One of them, Emmanuel Bagambiki, the former prefect of Cyangugu, has already been indicted by the tribunal on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The others are: Mathieu Ngirumpatse former foreign ministry director-general and president of the former ruling MRND party; Edouard Karamera, former interior minister in the interim government and vice-president of MRND; Joseph Nzirorera, former national assembly president; Juvenal Kajelijeli, former mayor of Mukingo; and Omar Serushango, a businessman and Interahamwe leader in Gisenyi prefecture.

[Note: In yesterday's update 434, first item, please note Kinihira is a displaced people's camp not a refugee camp.]

GREAT LAKES: Report notes breakdown in media-aid relationship

Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame has said that during the Zairean civil war, Rwanda "used communication and information warfare better than anyone. We have found a new way of doing things." In a paper prepared for a London conference on media coverage of disasters last month, broadcaster Nik Gowing says that Kagame's comments are part of an "ominous" pattern and a "new, undeclared doctrine of information control drawn up by the new generation of leaders across Central and Eatern Africa."

Gowing's report, focusing on the events in the Great Lakes and eastern Zaire in 1996 and 1997, states that the relationship between humanitarian agencies and the media broke down and "has not recovered", thanks to mistrust and poor handling of information. Gowing claims that Kagame also confirmed that "discrediting the humanitarian community had been a central high-risk aim of the Rwandan government's strategy in Eastern Zaire". The report, available from AlertNet (, covers the challenges and problems for complex emergency information management in a real-time news environment, using cases from the Zairean civil war. It predicts that there is a "good chance" that an "anti-humanitarian organisation and anti-media strategy" will be adopted by parties to other conflicts in future.

UGANDA: ADF rebels kill again

Rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces have struck again in western Uganda, only days after killing and abducting a number of students in an attack on their school, AFP reported, quoting the independent 'Monitor' newspaper today (Thursday). Five people, including two soldiers, were killed in the attack near Kichwamba in Kabarole district yesterday.

Six kidnapped students escape

Meanwhile, six kidnapped students managed to escape from their captors, Ugandan radio reported today. They were among a group of between 80-150 abducted after ADF rebels attacked their school in Kichwamba on Monday. A report in the 'New Vision' yesterday said the number of students killed in the attack had risen to 80. The whereabouts of 68 students are unknown, according to the school's registrar.

Human Rights Watch strongly condemned the ADF attack, accusing the rebels of "a complete disregard for the lives of civilians". "We call upon the rebel movement to immediately stop targeting civilians and to stop abducting children for forced conscription into their ranks," a statement by the human rights organisation said yesterday. In April, Human Rights Watch conducted a fact-finding mission to the Rwenzori mountain region from where the ADF operates, and quoted local people as saying the ADF were abducting civilians because they did not support their rebellion.

LRA rebels hand themselves over to army

In northern Uganda, a mixed group of 88 rebels and abductees have escaped from the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Ugandan radio reported. It said they reported to the Ugandan army in Kitgum, complete with ammunition. Some were reportedly dressed in Sudanese army uniforms.

Museveni to cut back on foreign trips

President Yoweri Museveni has said he will cut back on foreign trips to devote more time to tackling the insurgencies, according to news reports. He told a rally on Tuesday he did not attend the OAU summit in Burkina Faso because he wanted to sort out problems at home.

BURUNDI: Buyoya satisfied with OAU summit

President Pierre Buyoya returned from the OAU summit, saying African leaders had shown a better understanding of the situation in Burundi, AFP reported. He praised the OAU resolution which welcomed talks between the warring sides and suggested re-examining the regional sanctions, once peace talks resume on 15 June.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kasa-Vubu refuses to quit

DRC's ambassador to Belgium Justine Kasa-Vubu is refusing to step down after the government dismissed her last week, Radio France Internationale reported. The Agence congolaise de presse said she was sacked for not supporting the government of President Laurent-Desire Kabila. However Kasa-Vubu, who is the daughter of independent Congo's first president, maintains she was appointed by presidential decree and still considers herself as DRC's legal representative in Belgium, RFI reported. Kasa-Vubu said Kabila would have to issue another decree terminating her appointment if he wanted to sack her, according to the radio.

TANZANIA: Burundian refugees reportedly attacking locals

Armed Burundian refugees are reportedly harassing residents of Biharamulo-West district in Kagera region, according to a report in the daily Tanzanian 'Guardian'. It quoted local MP Anatoli Choya who said over 450 Tanzanians had fled their homes over the past two months. "Many of our people have lost their property and fled their houses for fear of being killed by armed Burundi refugees who most of the time plunder whatever valuable belongings they find," Choya said.

SUDAN: UN condemns killing of aid workers

The UN has strongly condemned the killing of three aid workers in the Nuba mountains area of South Kordofan state. Two WFP workers and an employee of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society were shot dead on Tuesday. Three other people were wounded. The Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Sergio Vieira de Mello, expressed great sadness over the killings, saying there was no justification for violence against humanitarian workers. In Rome, WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini said those who died would be remembered for their dedication and courage. The Secretary-General's spokesman Fred Eckhard said the UN was conducting an investigation into the affair.

WFP seeking funds to expand south Sudan operation

WFP said today it was seeking funds urgently to expand its operation in south Sudan and provide bigger food rations to hundreds of thousands of war and drought-affected people. In a statement, WFP said 300,000 new people had to be added to the feeding operation. Starting from next month, it wanted to raise monthly food deliveries from 6,500 mt to 9,600 mt.

Rebels say 20 government soldiers killed in eastern battle

The rebel Sudanese Alliance Forces (SAF) say they have killed 20 government soldiers in a battle at a mountain camp, some 42 km south of Kassala in eastern Sudan. In a statement, the SAF said the fighting took place yesterday. Reuters said there was no independent confirmation of the figures.

LANDMINES: Human Rights Watch criticises 13 African countries

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised 13 African countries for not signing the December 1997 global ban on landmines. The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction has been signed by 39 African countries, and ratified by two. Egypt is among those criticised by HRW for being the last African landmine producer. The other countries which have not signed are: Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

IRIN: New Southern Africa service launched 11 June 1998

IRIN today is pleased to launch a new service on the countries of Southern Africa. The Southern Africa service will include coverage of Angola and Zambia, which were previously carried along with our Central and Eastern Africa material. For more information on IRIN - Southern Africa, send an email to with the body "info irin-sa-service". For free subscriptions, please contact us by e-mail (, telephone or fax.

Nairobi, 11 June 1998, 14:30 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: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 17:51:34 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 435 for 11 June 98.6.11 Message-ID: <>

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

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