IRIN Update 439 for 17 June 98.6.17

IRIN Update 439 for 17 June 98.6.17

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IRIN Update No. 439 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 17 June 1998)

RWANDA: Hutu rebels attack displaced camp, killing several

Hutu rebels massacred several people and injured dozens of others, some seriously, in an overnight raid on a displaced persons' camp in northern Rwanda, according to news reports today (Wednesday). Quoting survivors, AFP reported some 23 people had been killed and a further 62 injured. Earlier, ARI, a private Rwandan news agency, gave lower provisional figures for the attack on Namira camp in northwestern Gisenyi prefecture.

Genocide suspects may undergo psychiatric tests

A motion submitted before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda yesterday (Tuesday) has raised the prospect of psychiatric examinations for two men charged with genocide, Hirondelle news agency reported. The agency said that defence lawyers for former Rwandan businessman Obed Ruzindana and the former prefect of Kibuye Clement Kayishema made it known at the end of May they might bring evidence for a psychiatrist to support their case, but no details were made available at that time. The prosecution has opposed the move.

BURUNDI: Nyerere presses hard for ceasefire as part of wider initial deal

Burundi peace process mediator Julius Nyerere is pushing hard on factions attending all-party peace talks in Arusha to agree a ceasefire as a first step towards an overall accord, media organisations reported today. News reports said that since yesterday the ex-Tanzanian president had held separate meetings with all parties to push for a ceasefire as part of a wider "first-step deal" which would also see the lifting of regional sanctions on Burundi and a formal commitment by all sides to find a negotiated settlement. AFP and Reuters added that the government side reportedly agreed to put an end to hostilities and to continue negotiations, but the main CNDD (Conseil National pour la defense de la democratie) rebel group remained opposed. Diplomats remained optimistic, however, Nyerere could still achieve a breakthrough. "Everything is going very well," said Joseph Butiku, an aide to Nyerere. "The Burundians are talking to each other a lot -- they need to," he added.

UNICEF reports "alarming" food situation

The state of food supplies for children in Burundi is alarming, UNICEF warned today in a press release, adding that children under five were specifically affected. These represent 71 percent of some 35,839 people registered as suffering from chronic malnutrition. In total, more than 50,000 people are suffering from malnutrition in the country and are being treated through 248 feeding centres, including 24 therapeutic feeding centres. MSF reported yesterday that for several months malnutrition has reached alarming rates in numerous provinces in Burundi. The organisation said one indicator of the seriousness of the situation was the number of adults suffering from severe malnutrition

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Thousands of Angolans arrive in DRC

Approximately 3,000 Angolans have arrived in Katanga and another 1,500 have arrived in Bandundu over the course of the last four-five days, humanitarian sources in Kinshasa told IRIN today. However, these figures are thought to be an underestimation. UNHCR staff have been evacuated from their posts in (undisclosed) areas of Angola due to the increased insecurity. An inter-agency assessment mission will visit these two places over the next two days to assess the situation, the sources added.

Sacked Brussels envoy formally breaks with Kabila

Sacked DRC Ambassador to Belgium Justine Kasa-Vubu announced in Brussels today her final break with the government headed by DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila. AFP quoted her saying in a radio interview: "I noticed that many words were said and that the realities we are living in today contradict what the president had promised us". According to AFP, she added she didn't want to compromise her political carrier by being implicated in a plot against opposition veteran leader Etienne Tshisekedi. Kasa-Vubu, daughter of the country's first post-independence president, was dismissed as ambassador to Belgium by Kabila at the beginning of this month, but refused to stand down. Kinshasa accused her of failing to support Kabila's government and of snubbing Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha on a recent visit to Brussels. For several years, Kasa-Vubu was the Brussels representative of the opposition UDPS (Union pour la democratie et le progres social) party headed by Tshisekedi, but joined Kabila's movement after he came to power. In Kinshasa, Interior Minister Gaetan Kakudji later issued a statement formally denying Kasa-Vubu's accusations, AFP reported.

KENYA: Screening of Rwandans and Burundians starts in Nairobi

Screening of Rwandan and Burundian asylum seekers started last week in Nairobi, UNHCR told IRIN today. Similar screenings aimed at determining the status of asylum seekers have or are taking place in other central African countries, such as the Central African Republic and Angola. UNHCR estimates there are a total of some 8,000 Rwandans and Burundians in Kenya.

SUDAN: One person said killed in attack from Eritrea

One person was killed and four Eritreans injured in an artillery atttack at the weekend on a refugee camp in eastern Sudan, the Khartoum daily 'Al Usbu' was quoted as saying today. The paper, quoted by AFP, said the attack from inside Eritrea took place on Sunday on the Wad Sherifi camp for Eritrean refugees in Kassala state. The paper quoted the head of Sudan's Red Crescent Society, Omar Osman, as denouncing this "Eritrean attack" which he said was a "flagrant violation of international norms and conventions". The Eritrean government has so far not reacted to the allegation.

Nairobi, 17 June 1998 15:00 GMT


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Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 18:53:18 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 439 for 17 June 98.6.17 Message-ID: <>

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

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