IRIN Update 562 for 8 Dec 1998.12.8

IRIN Update 562 for 8 Dec 1998.12.8

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. 562 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 8 December 1998)

BURUNDI: OCHA "extremely concerned" for displaced

Attacks against displaced populations in Burundi have increased significantly, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said yesterday (Monday) in New York, quoting an OCHA statement. Eckhard said OCHA was "extremely concerned" about the reported increase in violence against displaced persons in camps. OCHA called on all parties to respect universal humanitarian principles and human rights and to avoid a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country, the spokesman said.

Gihungwe attack detailed

Humanitarian sources in Burundi said the rebel attack on the Gihungwe displaced camp in Bubanza on 2 December - in which at least 20 people were killed - was followed by a second attack at the same site the following afternoon. Some 300 people fled to Nyamitanga in neighbouring Cibitoke province, the sources added. Human rights monitors were attempting to gain access to the Gihungwe camp.

Meanwhile, humanitarian sources told IRIN there has been a detectable increase in insecurity in Bujumbura rurale and that the heaviest and most prolonged fighting since January was heard on the outskirts of the capital during the night of 2-3 December.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: 125,000 vulnerable people need food aid

Humanitarian sources told IRIN today (Tuesday) that 125,000 vulnerable people, of which a large majority are displaced, need urgent food assistance in South Kivu, eastern DRC. In a report received by IRIN, they said that important food deficits were reported in the province as agricultural activity has been paralysed notably because of the massive population displacement and the lack of seeds and other agricultural inputs. The report stressed that the identification of the vulnerable population was incomplete.

It also noted that supplementary feeding programmes were required to assist some 10,000 severely malnourished children, adding that malnutrition rates were likely to increase next year as a result of the disruption of this year's planting season. Meanwhile, it is estimated that 40 percent of the health facilities in South Kivu were destroyed or looted, including nine referral hospitals, the report said.

DRC-NAMIBIA: Soldiers killed in DRC offensive

A Namibian soldier was killed and at least seven others injured during a military offensive in the eastern rebel-held town of Moba, 'The Namibian' newspaper reported. The body of the soldier and those injured, all members of the Fifth Battalion of the Namibian Defence Force, were flown to the capital Windhoek at the weekend. No further details were given of the incident which reportedly occurred last week. According to official figures, only two NDF soldiers have been killed in the Congo conflict.

ICRC visiting over 3,500 war-related detainees

ICRC is currently visiting over 3,500 persons (civilian internees, POWs and other detainees) held in relation to the DRC conflict both inside the country and abroad. Among those are 43 Rwandan soldiers that have been transferred to Zimbabwe, and 15 Zimbabwean soldiers who were captured in the DRC, ICRC in Nairobi told IRIN.

UNHCR denies major influx of DRC refugees to Rukwa

UNHCR's Dar es Salaam office has denied a reported daily influx last month of hundreds of DRC refugees into the Rukwa area of Tanzania. Spokesman Vincent Parker told IRIN today that a UNHCR mission sent to the area on 29 November found only 432 new arrivals. He said an unspecified number, reluctant to be transferred to refugee camps, had scattered into the surrounding villages. Parker said a total of 16,343 DRC refugees had entered Tanzania since the Congo conflict began on 2 August.

SUDAN: NPA reports bombing of Chukudum

Government planes bombed the town of Chukudum in eastern Equatoria on Monday morning, the NGO Norwegian People's Aid said. In a statement received today by IRIN, NPA said an Antonov aircraft dropped six bombs on the town, but no casualties were reported. NPA, which runs a hospital and medical training school in Chukudum, said the bombing "aimed at disrupting normal life from returning to areas under SPLM/A control."

UGANDA: Nine people killed in Bundibugyo attacks

Three people were killed and four wounded on Sunday in an Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel attack on a displaced persons camp at Kirindi trading centre in the western district of Bundibugyo. The semi-official 'New Vision' reported yesterday that it was the second attack in less than a week in the district. On 1 December an ADF raid on Mutiti village killed six people.

Meanwhile, rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) reportedly abducted 18 people in an attack on a displaced camp in the north. AP quoted a local radio as saying 20 heavily-armed rebels raided Anaka camp on Sunday.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Patasse's party ahead in first round vote

The Constitutional court in Bangui announced yesterday that 45 out of 109 assembly seats had been filled in the first round of the legislative elections, press agencies reported today. They added that President Ange-Felix

Patasse's party, the Mouvement de liberation du peuple centrafricain (MLPC), had won 27 of those seats, while the opposition was taking 15 seats and independent candidates three. The second round scheduled for Sunday 13 December will decide candidates for the remaining 64 seats, as none had received 50 percent of votes.

UNITED NATIONS: UNICEF focuses on education as "fundamental right"

UNICEF today launched its annual 'State of the World's Children' report focusing on the urgent need to secure the "fundamental human right" of quality education for every child. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy noted that more than 130 million children of primary school age in developing countries, including 73 million girls, were growing up without access to basic education. Nearly a billion people, two-thirds of them women, will enter the 21st century unable to read, the report warned. "The world can no longer afford such an enormous waste of human potential," it said.

UNICEF called for the political will to expand the education revolution - in danger of stalling due to a dearth of resources in the developing world - to encompass high-quality learning and a child rights approach. The goal is 'Education For All', in which accessible, gender-sensitive schooling, where the State is a key partner, provides the foundation for "learning for life". The report stresses that: "Education is one of the best investments a country can make in order to prosper." (The 'State of the World's Children 1999' report is available on UNICEF's web site at

Nairobi, 8 December 1998, 15:00 GMT


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Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 18:34:55 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 562 for 8 Dec 1998.12.8

Editor: Ali B. Dinar,