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IRIN Update No. 436 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 12 June 1998)
SUDAN: Government plane bombs World Vision feeding centre
A Sudanese government Antonov bomber dropped six bombs around an emergency feeding centre, run by World Vision International (WVI), at Panacier in southern Sudan's Gogrial County, the NGO said in a statement issued in Nairobi today (Friday). The WVI statement said the attack took place at 11:30 a.m. local time on Thursday. There were no casualties.
SPLA rebels deny they were behind Nuba mountain deaths
SPLA rebels have vehemently denied government allegations they were responsible for the deaths of three aid workers in the Nuba mountains area of south Kordofan state earlier this week. AFP reported SPLA spokesman in Nairobi, John Luk Jok, as saying SPLA forces in the area were not aware of the incident and were not present in the precise location where the incident took place. Two WFP workers and an employee of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society were shot dead on Tuesday when the vehicle in which they were travelling drove into a hail of bullets.
UN appoints new Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs
The UN reported from its New York headquarters that
Secretary-General Kofi Annan had decided to appoint
a new Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs for Sudan.
It said Annan yesterday named Tom Vraalsen, who is
currently Norway's Ambassador to the US, to the job.
Vraalsen succeeds Robe Schaik who has announced his
resignation, effective 15 June 1998.
Meanwhile, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict left for Sudan today to try and secure the release of youths abducted by Ugandan rebels. Olara Otunnu told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council that he would ask Sudanese authorities to use their good offices to help obtain the release of children reportedly held by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
BURUNDI: Buyoya sworn in as president
Military leader Major Pierre Buyoya has been sworn in as Burundi's president - two years after taking power in a coup. The swearing-in ceremony at the Kigobe Congress Palace in Bujumbura took place on Thursday and followed agreement between his government and the parliament on a new transitional constitution. The accord is designed to pave the way for the Tutsi-led government to share power with the country's mainly Hutu opposition and end years of ethnic strife. Peace talks are scheduled to resume in Tanzania on Monday between all parties to the conflict, including rebel groups based outside the country. In his address, Buyoya urged all Burundians who had taken the path of war to take part in the mediation.
Vice-presidents named, EU hails deal
Later on Thursday, Buyoya named his two vice-presidents who, as part of the constitutional reform package, replace the premiership which has been dropped. The two men are Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, a Hutu who is currently president of the parliamentary group in the Frodebu party, and Mathias Sinamenye, an ethnic Tutsi who is currently the governor of the central bank.
Meanwhile, the European Union said the adoption of the constitutional reforms on a political platform of transition was an important step towards peace and reconciliation. In a statement, issued by Britain, the current holder of the EU presidency, the EU declared: "It is a significant gesture which offers hope that the Burundians will pursue the efforts which they have begun. This important step towards national reconciliation must be complemented by negotiations between all the Burundi parties without exception from both inside and outside the country."
RWANDA: Over 2,000 genocide suspects register to plead guilty
Some 2,086 genocide suspects held in two Rwandan prisons have indicated they are ready to confess their guilt, the Rwandan news agency (RNA) reported. The inmates made their wishes known yesterday (Thursday) to justice ministry officials visiting two prisons in Kibungo prefecture in the eastern part of the country. RNA said the new wave of confessions brought the number of genocide suspects who have applied for confessions since the public execution of 22 people last April to about 5,000.
Hutu rebels claim responsibility for attack on displaced people's camp
The armed wing of the newly-created Hutu rebel movement, the Parti en armes pour liberer le Rwanda (PALIR), has claimed responsibility for an attack last Monday on Kinihira camp in Kayove commune in the northwest prefecture of Gisenyi. It was the first such official claim by the rebel movement, which is made up of former FAR soldiers and Interahamwe militiamen. The claim of responsibility was made in a communique issued in the northern town of Ruhengeri. It denied allegations by survivors of the raid that children had been involved in the attack. At least 29 people were killed and some 20 others injured in the attack on the camp which houses about 300 Tutsis who left Rwanda in 1959 and returned to the country after the 1994 genocide, but who have not yet found housing, AFP reported.
Kagame continues with Ethiopia-Eritrea mediation effort
Vice-President and Defence Minister Paul Kagame has begun a visit to Eritrea and Ethiopia as part of ongoing efforts to mediate an end to the conflict between the two Horn of Africa neighbours, Rwandan radio reported yesterday. It said the two countries had "bestowed their trust on Rwanda in the resolution of their misunderstanding because of the ties of friendship and cooperation uniting the two countries and Rwanda". A recent joint Rwandan-US peace plan failed to stop the fighting.
TANZANIA: UNHCR concerned over "armed refugees" story in local paper
UNHCR in Dar es Salaam has expressed concern over an article in the daily Tanzanian 'Guardian' newspaper claiming armed Burundian refugees are attacking the local population. In a statement to the newspaper's editor, the UN agency said there was no evidence crimes committed in Biharamulo, Kagera region, originated from within the refugee camps. The statement acknowledged a rise in security incidents in the region, but said the escalation of conflict in Burundi and Rwanda had probably contributed to a proliferation of weapons used by "criminal elements". It did not rule out that a "small number" of refugees had engaged in criminal activities and said they could be brought to justice by the host country.
UGANDA: Death toll from technical school attack hits 80
The death toll from an attack on a technical school in Kabarole district in western Uganda on Monday by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) has risen to 80, the daily 'New Vision' newspaper reported. Meanwhile, the government said today the army would set up a tactical headquarters in Bwera near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo in an attempt to put an end to the ADF insurgency. Army Chief of Staff James Kazini said the unit would be commanded by officers and men from the region to try in a combined effort with local people to "flush out the terrorists".
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila vows to go ahead with polls
President Laurent-Desire Kabila has pledged to go ahead with planned general elections next year, with or without foreign aid, Reuters reported. Kabila told a meeting in Kinshasa last night the government was going "to stick to our timetable, even if no-one comes to our aid". "It's a challenge," he went on. "This does not mean we don't want help, but we don't want to be beggars continually." He urged Congolese to invest in the hinterland in a bid to rebuild the country's shattered infrastructure, Reuters said.
27 tax officials arrested in corruption crackdown
In a continuing crackdown on corruption, the authorities have arrested 27 tax officials in Kinshasa for alleged illegal deals. State radio said police were sent to the tax headquarters on Wednesday to break up a network of officials who had been selling driving licences, vehicle number plates and other documents illegally for personal gain.
Nairobi, 12 June 1998 14:00 GMT
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Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:03:05 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <email@example.com> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN UPdate 436 for 12 June 98.6.12 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.980612170225.28318Bfirstname.lastname@example.org>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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