IRIN Update 458 for 14 July 1998.7.14

IRIN Update 458 for 14 July 1998.7.14

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. 458 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 14 July 1998)

BURUNDI: Two aid workers feared dead

One local aid worker was killed and another is missing, presumed dead, following an ambush on their vehicle on Saturday by suspected Hutu rebels, UN humanitarian sources told IRIN today (Tuesday). The two, one man and one woman, both worked for the Austrian Relief Programme (ARP). They were attacked when they were returning to Bujumbura from Citiboke province on Route 5 at Gihungwe in the Gihanga region. The body of the woman, an agronomist, was found near the abandoned vehicle. She had been macheted to death. The body of the man, the driver of the vehicle, was not located, but it is believed he was also killed.

In a separate incident yesterday (Monday), a local staffer with Children's Aid Direct (CAD) was shot in the leg when a group of armed men erected a "phoney" roadblock at Mitakataka on Route 9. However, the staffer escaped with his life after the vehicle in which he was travelling turned round and fled the area. The sources said the proximity of the two attacks indicated the same gang may be responsible.

WFP says 300,000 suffer from hunger

WFP told IRIN today that some 300,000 people were suffering from hunger in Burundi after four years of civil conflict despite recent progress towards a political settlement. News organisations yesterday reported WFP official Jean-Luc Siblot as saying in Geneva that insecurity because of ethnic strife was still affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Siblot, who recently completed a three-year term as operations director in the country, said humanitarian problems were alarming and that more than 600,000 people - a tenth of the population - were displaced and had no access to their land. WFP sources confirmed that about half of these people need food assistance.

Ugandan envoy pleased with Burundi peace process

A special envoy of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has hailed moves towards peace in Burundi after holding talks in Bujumbura yesterday with President Pierre Buyoya, AFP reported. The envoy Ruhuna Ruganda, who was carrying a message from Museveni for his Burundian counterpart, told reporters Uganda hoped the conflicting sides in Burundi would find a peaceful solution when they meet again in Arusha next week. "I am very happy with the progress made by the Burundian authorities," AFP quoted Ruganda as saying. Uganda has previously taken a tough line towards Burundi, especially with regard to lifting the regional embargo imposed in 1996.

RWANDA: More than 30 killed in World Cup final attack

Some 34 people were killed in an attack by suspected Hutu militias on a hotel where people had gathered to watch Sunday's World Cup final, news organisations reported. They said the attack took place in Tare, some 35 kilometres northwest of the capital Kigali. Survivors were quoted as saying the attackers used petrol on many of their victims who were burned beyond recognition. Some of the dead were killed with machetes. Others were shot. At least 25 bodies were buried in a communal grave next to the hotel. Others were left around the burnt-out remains of the building.

In a graveside speech, the governor of Kigale-Rurale, Wellars Gasamagera, told peasants to remain vigilant and avoid collaborating with Hutu insurgents scattered across the central African country's volatile northwest. "What is quite sure is that some people among the population were a part of this plot," Gasamagera told Reuters. "But for us, it's hard to tell who among them is responsible."

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Security-Council condemns massacres

The Security Council yesterday condemned massacres, other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law committed in former Zaire, now DRC. In a presidential statement issued late on Monday in New York, the 15-member Security Council also called on both the governments of Rwanda and DRC to investigate without delay the allegations found in the report of the Secretary-General's Investigative Team to that region.

The UN said in a statement that the report of the human rights mission contained the Secretary-General's assessment that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda "led directly to the violence of the 1994-96 period in eastern Zaire." "That same violence," the Secretary-General continued, "resulted in the creation, in September 1996, of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo-Zaire (AFDL) and its successful military campaign against the regime of President Mobutu Sese Seko."

The team's report, dated 29 June 1998, details extensive violence which took place in various parts of eastern Zaire, especially in areas bordering Rwanda. In its summary, the mission noted the "Democratic Republic of Congo has shown no interest in fulfilling its obligation, under international law, to investigate responsibility for the serious violations of human rights." Both the governments of Rwanda and DRC have dismissed the report as inaccurate and based on false information.

Acting chief of staff nominated

DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila has named by presidential decree a new army chief of staff, AFP reported. It said Celestin Kifua, previously police chief, had replaced James Kabare who was nominated in another decree as "special military adviser to the staff" of the Congolese armed forces (FAC). According to AFP, Kifua was an ex-FAZ general. He later joined Kabila's movement and was given the job of reorganising the police force.

SUDAN: WFP says thousands head to government-held towns

WFP said today that thousands of Sudanese were pouring into government-held garrison towns to escape fighting and food shortages. The agency said in a statement the fighting was being conducted by small bands of armed men, who are loyal either to one or the other side in the ongoing civil war. It said they had launched attacks and raided local villages, causing thousands of people to flee. WFP said the greatest influx was into the government-held town of Wau with an average of 2,500 people arriving every day for the past two weeks. WFP is feeding some 50,000 people who have arrived in Wau since the beginning of May, the statement said. "In Aweil, Bahr al-Ghazal, at least 9,000 people need humanitarian assistance. In Abyei and Meiram, West Kordofan, more than 15,000 are being fed by WFP," it added.

HUMANITARIAN: EU suspends official following suspected aid fraud

The European Commission said today it had suspended an official on suspicion of defrauding European Union humanitarian aid programmes to former Yugoslavia and Africa's Great Lakes region. "The Commission has started a disciplinary procedure against one official suspected of involvement... the official in question has been suspended," Reuters news agency quoted Commissioner Anita Gradin as telling the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Gradin is responsible for fighting fraud in EU institutions. Gradin said the suspected fraud related to irregularities in the implementation of aid contracts signed in 1993 and 1994. She declined to give other details at this stage.

TANZANIA: Tanzania sets up Nile basin committee

Tanzanian Water Minister Pius Ng'wandu has launched a joint technical advisory committee of Nile River Basin countries, the state-owned 'Daily News' reported today. AFP reported the paper said the committee's main function would be to advise the governments of Burundi, DRC, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda on better use of Nile Basin waters, including Lake Victoria, for the benefit of all peoples of the region. The committee, comprising representatives from all 10 member countries, was established following a decision at the group's Sixth Council of Water Ministers Conference, held at Arusha in northern Tanzania in March.

Nairobi, 14 July 1998 14:30 gmt


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Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 18:07:30 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 458 for 14 July 1998.7.14 Message-ID: <>

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

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