IRIN Update 514 for 1 Oct 1998.10.1

IRIN Update 514 for 1 Oct 1998.10.1

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 Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail:

IRIN Update No. 514 Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 1 October 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Radio reports arrival of displaced

Rebel-controlled radio in the South Kivu town of Uvira yesterday (Wednesday) said the first convoy of displaced people from Katanga province had arrived in a weakened state. The radio, monitored by the BBC, said that the first group of 313 displaced persons to arrive in Uvira included 227 children, 50 women and 36 men. Many of them were ill or malnourished, the radio reported.

Rebels say that up to 20,000 mainly Banyamulenge residents are fleeing the Vyura and Moba areas of Katanga to escape attacks against them.

No details from SADC talks

Army leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Wednesday agreed that a threat to any member of the 14-nation regional grouping could justify allied military intervention, as in the DRC, news agencies reported. Ending two days of talks in Angola, the chiefs-of-staff said they had drawn up recommendations for improving regional security, but no other details of the talks were released. President Laurent-Desire Kabila's son, Joseph, was head of the DRC delegation, AFP said.

Meanwhile, Ugandan Minister of Regional Cooperation Amama Mbabazi met with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on Wednesday to discuss the DRC crisis, Reuters said. Zimbabwe is one of three SADC countries known to be providing military support to Kabila, who accuses Uganda of supporting the DRC rebels.

Libyan ambassador speaks of "aggression"

The Libyan ambassador to the DRC said that his country is in contact with "certain Congolese leaders" to resolve the crisis "without blood being spilled", l'Agence congolaise de presse (ACP) said on Wednesday. The ambassador, Abdel Hamid Muhamed Abdou Mashiya, was reported as saying that the DRC was a "victim of aggression." Rebels have accused Libya of financing the deployment of foreign troops to support Kabila. Chad has confirmed sending troops to the DRC, but Sudan denies any military involvement in the conflict.

Meanwhile, the secretary-general of the group of francophone countries, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, has mandated former president of Benin Emile Derlin Zinsou to travel to the DRC to meet Kabila, as part of a new diplomatic initiative to resolve the crisis, RFI reported today (Thursday).

War prisoners in Boma

ACP said on Wednesday that the mayor of Boma in the western province of Bas-Congo is planning to set up a committee to monitor the situation of "prisoners of war" in his city. Meanwhile, Zimbabwean Defence Minister Moven Mahachi said on Wednesday that Zimbabwean troops deployed to support Kabila had prevented a massacre of captured Tutsi rebels by government soldiers, Reuters reported.

Plane wreck found

The wreckage of a small aircraft that disappeared last week on its way to eastern DRC from Entebbe was found on Wednesday in the Ruwenzori Mountains

of western Uganda, news organisations said. However, there was no sign of its pilot or the four passengers, including the brother of Uganda's military chief-of-staff, the reports said. Rebels of the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who operate in the crash area, claimed on Tuesday that they had shot down the aircraft and it is feared that any survivors may have been abducted by the rebels.

Meanwhile, six civilians were killed in the western Ugandan village of Chiondo near Kasese on Wednesday night during an attack by suspect ADF rebels, AP said. Quoting a Ugandan military spokesman, AP said government soldiers drove off the attackers, killing two of them.

Kenya Airways to start Kinshasa flights

Kenya Airways plans on starting a twice-weekly direct flight between Nairobi and Kinshasa before the end of the year, Reuters reported today. Pending approval from Kenyan civil aviation authorities, the Kinshasa-bound flights will depart from Nairobi on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, starting on 2 December. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines, which suspended its flights to Kinshasa at the start of the crisis in early August, intends to resume its twice-weekly service next week, Reuters said.

UNITED NATIONS: Security Council condemns attacks on refugees

The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned all attacks or use of force against refugees and other civilians, as well as against UN and other humanitarian personnel. The statement followed the Council's open debate on the report of the Secretary-General on Protection of Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees and Others in Conflict Situations. Presenting the report, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette said the current situation in the DRC was one example "where the pitiless slaughter of civilians and destruction of their means of survival is commonplace." Frechette told the Council there was a dramatic need to rethink what is meant by "humanitarian action" in today's war zones. "It is the responsibility of the Security Council to be bold, committed and determined when confronted by such crises," she said. The Council said it would review the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report.

Nairobi, 1 October 1998 14:30 GMT


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Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 17:28:29 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 514 for 1 Oct 1998.10.1 Message-ID: <>

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

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