IRIN Update 563 for 9 Dec 1998.12.9

IRIN Update 563 for 9 Dec 1998.12.9

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. 563 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 9 December 1998)

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Angolan reinforcements sent to Pool

Angolan soldiers have been deployed to the Pool region south of Brazzaville to reinforce government troops in the face of increasing violence in the area, news agencies said. AFP said two Angolan army companies left Brazzaville yesterday (Tuesday) for Mindouli, where Ninja militia allied to former Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas have taken control of several railway stations. Railway traffic between Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville, which resumed last week after a two-month interruption, was again suspended on Monday on account of the latest violence, AFP said.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported yesterday that Luanda has withdrawn a key mechanised brigade from the Congolese town of Kitona for redeployment in Angola where large-scale fighting has broken out against the former rebel movement UNITA. According to the dispatch, Luanda has also pulled out significant air power including fighter planes and helicopter gunships. Kitona is a rear base for Angolan forces in the Congo.

Refugees crossing to DRC

Between 7,000-10,000 people fleeing violence in Pool have crossed to the DRC, a UNHCR spokesman in Geneva told IRIN today (Wednesday). The refugees are gathered just north of Luozi in Bas-Congo province. UNHCR has sent medical kits and biscuits to Luozi, the spokesman said, adding that a mission is planned to assess the situation of the refugees.

Opposition denies UNITA links

Meanwhile, l'Espace republicain pour la defense de la democratie et de l'unite nationale (ERDDUN) denied reports that the Ninja were associated with UNITA rebels in Pool. In a statement received by IRIN today, ERDDUN said the allegation was an attempt by President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to justify the "extermination" of populations in Kolelas' home region.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Medical stocks low in Kalima

Humanitarian sources told IRIN today that medical supplies are running out in the Kalima area of the eastern province of Maniema and the situation could turn critical in the coming months. Medicine stocks were looted and no new supplies have reached the region since July. According to local sources, just under 50 percent of the population is still living in the forest, and are reportedly suffering from diarrhoeal diseases. Currently, 21 health centers and four health posts are still functioning in the area. The situation in Kalima town is calm but a large military presence was reported, the sources added.

RWANDA: Legislators call for enquiry in UN genocide warnings

A member of the US House of Representatives and a Belgian senator have called for an investigation into why the United Nations failed to act on advance warnings of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. US representative Cynthia McKinney and Belgian senator Alain Destexhe, say new evidence shows the UN knew who the genocide planners were well before the killings began, media reports said yesterday.

UN failed to recognise genocide being planned

A senior UN official has admitted the world body failed to recognise that genocide was being planned. "We did not give that information the importance and the correct interpretation that it deserved," Iqbal Riza, then assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping told BBC television, Reuters reported on Monday. Acting on behalf of the-then head of peacekeeping Kofi Annan, Riza said he refused to let UNAMIR raid arms caches an informer had told them about.

World Bank US $5 million loan

The World Bank has loaned Rwanda US $5 million for grassroots local development programmes targeting war-affected communities and other vulnerable groups. In a statement on 3 December received by IRIN, the Bank said the village-level public works and investment projects are aimed at helping promote peace and mutual trust in communities.

Resettlement planned in northwest

The government has identified sites for the resettlement of displaced populations in northwest Rwanda, and topographical surveys are currently underway, according to the latest monthly report prepared by OCHA-Rwanda. The resettlement sites, in the Cyeru and Rwerere communes, were chosen based on accessibility to water, health and educational facilities as well as agricultural land, the report said. The aim is to resettle displaced people in their areas of origin for increased safety, the report added.

BURUNDI: Another displaced camp attacked

Hutu rebels attacked a displaced persons camp south of Bujumbura on Monday, killing 25 people and injuring 20 others, the German press agency DPA said. Quoting a military spokesman, DPA said the attack took place at Buruhukiro camp in Rumonge, 62 km from the capital. AP said the army killed four of the attackers.

SUDAN: Eritrean refugees await repatriation agreement

Negotiations are continuing between UNHCR and the governments of Sudan and Eritrea for the voluntary repatriation of Eritrean refugees in Sudan, UNHCR said. There are currently 147,302 Eritrean refugees in UNHCR-supported camps and settlements in eastern Sudan, the vast majority of whom wish to return to their home country, UNHCR told IRIN. The refugee camps are also hosting 11,889 Ethiopians and 100 Somalis, while an estimated 195,331 Eritreans and 28,100 Ethiopians are living in urban areas of the country, according to UNHCR.

UNHCR has assisted 72,327 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan to go home since 1993, while 24,449 Eritrean refugees were repatriated to Eritrea in a pilot project in 1994-5. Other refugee populations in Sudan currently include about 4,400 Chadians in the west and 334 Congolese in a camp in Juba, UNHCR said.

Meanwhile, an OAU ministerial meeting on refugees and displaced persons is scheduled to be start in Khartoum this week. The meeting, from 10-15 December, aims to find durable solutions to the problem of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa, according to an OAU statement received by IRIN.

EU/ACP: EU aid should be results-oriented, report says

The European Union's development aid to African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states must be results-oriented if it is to help meet OECD development targets and in particular the aim of halving by 2015 the proportion of people living in extreme poverty. This is the conclusion of an evaluation report (Evaluation of European Union Aid (Managed by the Commission) to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries published at the end of November. The report, commissioned by EU development cooperation ministers in June 1995, says EU aid should focus on "a small number of clear objectives which should be the bottom line for aid organisations". The aid should focus on strengthening institutions and policies and donors should coordinate their action with each acting on its particular strengths. Transparency and accountability were essential to the proper monitoring of results, to improve operations and win greater public support the report said.

The full report and an executive summary can be found on the website of the European Commission's humanitarian aid directorate (DG08):

http://europa/eu/int/comm/dg08/index_en.htm The full report is under The executive summary is:

Nairobi, 9 December 1998, 13:45 GMT


Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 17:16:44 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 563 for 9 Dec 1998.12.9

Editor: Ali B. Dinar,