IRIN Update 454 for 8 July 1998.7.8

IRIN Update 454 for 8 July 1998.7.8

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. 454 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 8 July 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Tshisekedi agrees to work with Kabila

Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi yesterday (Tuesday) agreed to work with President Laurent-Desire Kabila on devising a new constitution for the country, but urged the Congolese to resist attempts to install a "new dictatorship". According to Reuters, he told a news conference that Kabila should be pressured to ensure the rule of law. The leader of the Union pour la democratie et le progres social (UDPS), recently released from internal exile, said his supporters "must work with the ADFL". "We'll work together within the framework of a news constitution we'll design together," he said.

RWANDA: Agreement with Tanzania to boost economic ties

President Pasteur Bizimungu yesterday returned home from a three-day state visit to Tanzania during which he signed an agreement on political and economic cooperation, Rwandan radio reported. He said the Rwandan government had been granted a piece of land in Dar es Salaam where it would build its own warehouses to facilitate port arrivals and departures. The two sides agreed to improve road and rail links between their countries. Bizimungu reiterated his call to the international community to help Rwanda's rehabilitation.

Over 800 Hutu youths surrender to army

Over 800 Hutu youths have surrendered to the Rwandan army in northwest Gisenyi prefecture, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Local officials said the "Hutu militia youths", who were said to have undergone training in ex-Zairean refugee camps, handed themselves over in Ngororero, Karago and Giciye areas. They reportedly helped the army retrieve military equipment, including assault rifles.

BURUNDI: Nine killed in Makamba

Nine people have been killed and seven injured by rebel gangs in southern Makamba province, the Agence burundaise de presse (ABP) reported, citing local government authorities. The attack occurred overnight Monday in Mabanda trading centre. Cattle was stolen and houses set alight, ABP said. The rebel splinter group CNDD-FDD meanwhile, claimed the army had killed 49 people late last month in the Nyanza-Lac area of Makamba.

Minister warns sanctions may harm peace process

Foreign Minister Severin Ntahomvukiye has warned that continuing sanctions may jeopardise peace efforts currently underway in Burundi. Addressing the diplomatic community in Bujumbura yesterday, he stressed lifting the embargo was an "urgent necessity for the smooth running of the peace talks", ABP reported. He asked how could the peace process succeed, while the "erosion" of living standards risked leading to an implosion of society.

Coffee production expected to rise

Burundi's coffee production is expected to rise to 25,000 mt in 1998/99 from 20,000 mt the previous year, the Burundi Coffee Office (OCIBU) announced, according to news reports. It said the increase was due to improved husbandry and the rising availability of fertilisers and pesticides, previously difficult to acquire due to the embargo. In addition, improved security had enabled many farmers to return to their fields last year, OCIBU said.

UGANDA: Museveni in South Africa after Horn mediation attempts

President Yoweri Museveni is now in South Africa, after attempting to mediate in the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict. He arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday, after earlier meeting President Isayas Afewerki in Eritrea. According to Ugandan radio, Museveni said his visit to Asmara had enabled him to "learn new things" about the border dispute between the two countries. In Addis, he said his mission was to promote peace between the conflicting sides.

SUDAN: Foreign aid agencies banned from Eritrean border area

Sudanese press reports yesterday said foreign relief agencies would no longer be allowed to operate among Sudanese displaced people on the border with Eritrea due to anti-government incursions. AFP cited the official 'al-Anbaa' daily as saying some NGOs in the Kassala area were "interfering in the country's domestic affairs by perpetrating non-humanitarian activities". The state legislative council had decided instead to encourage "self-reliance". Aid would be offered by federal and state institutions and national relief agencies, the paper was quoted as saying.

KENYA: Security forces on alert after Ethiopian rebel incursion

Kenya has put its security forces on high alert following reports of infiltration by Ethiopian rebels belonging to the Oromo Liberation Front, the 'Daily Nation' reported today. Between 700 and 1,000 OLF members have reportedly crossed into Kenya via the border points of Forole, El-hadi, Dukana and Hurri Hills and are camped out in those areas. The deputy commissioner of Kenya's Eastern province Davis Chelogoi said the rebels were heavily-armed and carried powerful communication equipment, as well as different currency bills. He warned that Kenya would not allow its territory to be used to destabilise the Ethiopian government. If the OLF rebels did not surrender, they would be considered as "enemies within our territory", he added.

Nairobi, 8 July 1998, 14:00 gmt


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Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 16:56:40 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 454 for 8 July 1998.7.8 Message-ID: <>

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

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