IRIN Update 456 for 10 July 1998.7.10

IRIN Update 456 for 10 July 1998.7.10

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. 456 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 10 July 1998)

SUDAN-UGANDA: WFP condemns killing of agency worker

WFP Executive Director Catherine Bertini has strongly condemned the killing of a WFP worker in Uganda on Wednesday. "This is a vicious and senseless killing of one of our dedicated colleagues," she said during a visit to the UN's New York headquarters yesterday (Thursday). "I call upon the Ugandan authorities to make every effort to fully investigate this tragic and inhumane act and bring to justice those found responsible," she added.

William Asiku, a Ugandan national working as a driver for WFP in the northern Ugandan town of Arua, was driving back from WFP's office in Pakelle on Wednesday afternoon, when 12 heavily-armed men suddenly appeared on the road with a rocket propelled grenade launcher and stopped the clearly marked WFP vehicle.

WFP said the men ordered Asiku, and another passenger travelling in the car with him, out of the vehicle and proceeded to rob them. The passenger managed to escape and ran to seek help. The men then dragged Asiku to the side of the car and opened fire on him, killing him immediately. They then blew-up the vehicle.

Bertini calls on world to help end fighting

Bertini also called on the international community today (Friday) to help end the fighting in southern Sudan. "The fighting in Sudan is perpetuating untold anguish among the millions of innocent people we are trying to save," said Bertini. "We ask the international community to take urgent measures and do everything it can to persuade all the combatants to put down their weapons and end this senseless suffering."

Security officers, who visited the main aid facility in Leer in the Western Upper Nile Province after an attack last week, confirmed that it had been looted and destroyed. The centre was vital for the supply of life-saving assistance for approximately 25,000 sick and malnourished Sudanese, many of them women and children.

WFP hopes to begin sending food airdrops to Leer early next week should an assessment mission this Saturday confirm that the area is still stable. Bertini said fighting in many areas of Western Upper Nile was so constant that WFP was unable to gain access to assess how many people may be in need of food. "What is clear is that the numbers of hungry are almost certainly going to rise," she said.

WFP has currently targeted 2.6 million people throughout Sudan. Of these, 1.2 million are in rebel-held areas of southern Sudan, 1.2 million others are in government-held areas of southern Sudan and the transitional zone of Southern Kordofan and Southern Darfur, and 200,000 are in northern Sudan. WFP says it needs 99,579 mt of food or US $137.6 million to feed these Sudanese from July 1998 to April 1999. So far, donors have confirmed pledges totalling 37,376 mt valued at US $59 million, leaving

a shortfall of 62,203 mt, valued at US$78.6 million. A leading international NGO has meanwhile called upon the international community to fund an extra 20 feeding centres in Sudan to avert more famine. The US Committee for Refugees warned yesterday some 2.6 million people risked starvation over the coming months. Britain said it would table ceasefire proposals next week to both sides during the visit of a junior foreign office minister.

In another incident, WFP reported aid convoys travelling by road into southern Sudan from Lokichoggio, Kenya were being blocked due to insecurity exacerbated by a conflict between the Turkana and the Toposa tribes. WFP needs to use the road to transport food through the area in order to reach nearly 50,000 people.

BURUNDI: 12 beheaded by rebels in south

Twelve people were decapitated in a rebel attack in the southern town of Kinoso, Makamba province, on Tuesday night, according to news reports today. The rebels attacked two families and beheaded the victims with machetes. They torched five houses before fleeing the area. Four other people were reportedly wounded in the attack. In a separate attack the same night in the northwest Bubanza province, three people were killed and four wounded by a rebel group at Gahongore.

UGANDA: Representatives of rebels and government hold exploratory meeting

Representatives of the Ugandan rebel movement, the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), and the government of President Yoweri Museveni met in Nairobi last week in an attempt to revive peace talks which collapsed three years ago, Minister of State Security Muruli Mukasa told IRIN today. Mukasa said he was aware of the peace initiative, but had still not been briefed on the outcome of the meeting which reportedly took place on 3 July. Uganda's daily 'New Vision' newspaper reported last week that the district chairmen of Gulu and Kitgum, Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Ochora and John Bosco Oryem respectively, travelled to Nairobi on 1 July to meet eight LRA officers.

Mukasa said there was a political will on the part of the government to try and end the conflict. "We would like to end the conflict... there is a political will and we are ready to talk if the dissidents show good faith," he said.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Opposition leader's aides arrested

Several followers of DRC opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi were arrested yesterday in Kinshasa, his party said in a press statement received by IRIN. The Brussels office of the Union pour la democratie et le progres social (UDPS) declared in the statement that armed men had entered Tshisekedi's house in the Limete area of the capital and arrested several people including members of a phantom UDPS transition government. Tshisekedi returned to Kinshasa last week after five months internal exile in his home village in Kasai Oriental.

Nairobi 10 July 1998 14:30 gmt


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Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 17:23:58 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 456 for 10 July 1998.7.10 Message-ID: <>

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

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