IRIN Update 565 for 11 Dec 1998.12.11

IRIN Update 565 for 11 Dec 1998.12.11

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. 565 for Central and Eastern Africa (Friday 11 December 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: 12 presidents invited to Lusaka peace talks

Twelve regional leaders have been invited to the Lusaka summit on Tuesday to discuss ceasefire terms for the Congo conflict, the Chinese news agency Xinhau reported yesterday (Thursday). Zambian President Frederick Chiluba has invited the heads of state of Angola, Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Gabon, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. They are to agree the mechanisms to enable the signing of a truce. The summit follows a meeting of foreign and defence ministers on Monday.

Pretoria wants rebels to be at the talks

South Africa's Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo said yesterday the Congolese rebels should be admitted to the Lusaka summit if the talks are to make any progress, AP reported. According to foreign ministry spokesman Marco Boni, "this in no way suggests that South Africa is favouring the rebels." Boni did not confirm whether South Africa would attend the summit.

Zimbabwean air raids kill 20 in Kalemie

Some 20 people have been killed and 90 wounded in Zimbabwean air raids on the eastern town of Kalemie since September, AFP quoted a local hospital official as saying. The official in the rebel-held town said the hospital had performed amputations on six people and was running short of prostheses. In a separate dispatch from Kalemie yesterday, AP quoted townspeople as saying they were disillusioned with the government because of the air raids. Kalemie's population is mostly Baluba, President Laurent-Desire Kabila's ethnic group.

New Zimbabwean allied commander

A new Zimbabwean commander for allied forces in the DRC has been named. Major-General Amon Chimombe takes over from fellow Zimbabwean Major-General Mike Nyambuya, Reuters reported Zimbabwe's state news agency as saying yesterday.

Human rights situation deteriorating, General Assembly says

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday expressed "deep concern" at the deteriorating human rights situation in the DRC. In a resolution adopted without a vote, the Assembly said the situation was aggravated by the on-going conflict, with cases of summary and arbitrary execution, disappearances, torture, beatings, arbitrary arrest, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers. The resolution urged the warring parties to prevent human rights violations and to "abstain from inciting ethnic hatred or persecuting civilians on the grounds of nationality or ethnicity."

SUDAN: One in five southern Sudanese killed in civil war

At least 1.9 million people in southern and central Sudan have died as a direct result of Sudan's civil war, according to a new study by the US Committee for Refugees (USCR). The report, 'Quantifying Genocide in Southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains: 1983-1998', estimates the 15-year civil war has killed one out of every five southern Sudanese, and more than 80 percent of southern Sudan's estimated 5 million people have been displaced at some time since 1983. It estimates that more than 70,000 civilians have died of war-related causes in the first half of 1998 alone. According to a USCR statement received by IRIN, "the massive loss of live in Sudan far surpasses the death toll in any other current civil war anywhere in the world." (For more information, see USCR's website at

24 killed in Nuba fighting

A week of fighting in the Nuba mountains has claimed the lives of 20 soldiers and four civilians, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and allied northern opposition said in a statement released in Cairo yesterday. Fourteen government soldier and six SPLA fighters died in the week-long clashes that ended on Wednesday, AFP reported. The four civilians were executed for looting by government forces.

Air raid on Narus kills six

Six people were killed and 16 wounded in three-days of government bombing of the SPLA-held town of Narus, AP quoted an aid official as saying yesterday. Dan Eiffie, a spokesman for Norwegian People's Aid, said the town 25 km north of the Kenyan border, is "purely a civilian centre". He added the deaths occurred on Tuesday when a government plane dropped 14 bombs.

Malnutrition down to 9.5 percent in Wau

Preliminary results of a recent nutrition survey in Wau town indicate a "dramatic improvement" in the nutritional condition of children over the last four months, UNICEF said. In its latest weekly report from Khartoum received by IRIN yesterday, UNICEF said global malnutrition rates among children under five years of age in Wau was now 9.5 percent, down from 43.3 percent in early August.

Meanwhile, ICRC has closed its seven feeding centres and public kitchens in Wau and Tonj over the past two months on account of the improved nutritional situation. In a report received by IRIN, ICRC said it was now focusing its efforts in Bahr al-Ghazal on rehabilitation. As of mid-November, ICRC had registered over 120 unaccompanied children in Wau as part of family-tracing efforts, the report added.

UGANDA: Donors pledge US $2.2 billion

The Paris club of donors yesterday pledged US $2.2 billion in budgetary and programme aid to Uganda over a three-year period. Quoting a World Bank statement, Reuters said the donors remained concerned over rising military spending, official corruption and poor financial discipline. But, "the overall judgement by donors was that the performance level of Uganda has been very good," a senior World Bank official said. Uganda is aiming at GDP growth of 7.0 percent annually for the next three years. According to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit forecast, Uganda will fall short of its growth target but still lead the region.

Nairobi, 11 December 1998, 13:00 GMT


Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 16:23:16 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 565 for 11 Dec 1998.12.11

Editor: Ali B. Dinar,