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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-CEA Update No. 732 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 10 August 1999)
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Talks in South Africa "fruitful"
Weekend talks in South Africa among the presidents of the DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa were described as "fruitful" by news organisations. Meanwhile, BBC said South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Zuma and Zambia's Minister for Presidential Affairs Eric Silwamba were set to travel to Kisangani on Tuesday in the wake of fighting between the Ugandan-backed rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD) - Kisangani group and the mainstream RCD-Goma faction.
RCD-Goma states conditions for signing ceasefire
The leader of the RCD-Goma faction, Emile Ilunga, has indicated that his group was prepared to sign the Lusaka ceasefire agreement on the condition that the United States compels Kabila to respect the truce and that it forces him to "stop selling uranium to the Koreans," which enabled Kinshasa to acquire arms, rebel-controlled radio in Uvira reported on Monday. A third condition for RCD signature was that Zimbabwe "stop training the Interahamwe," Ilunga was quoted as saying.
"Militarists" versus "democrats" in RCD
Meanwhile, the RCD-Kisangani faction said on Monday that the crisis within the rebel movement was a reflection of the RCD-Goma group's quick "militarist" strategy, as opposed to its own "democratic line" that sought to wage a "people's war" leading to political stability in the country. In a report received by IRIN, RCD-Kisangani said the movement's militarists were "forgetting that the war is fundamentally political" and were conducting it "as if the people don't really count much." The report said, however, that the militarists were now controlling the movement's "administration, arms and resources," which made it "very difficult for democrats to function freely."
Wamba presents political platform
A separate document sent to IRIN on Tuesday by RCD-Kisangani leader Ernest Wamba dia Wamba describes an 11-point political programme, aimed at "immediately transforming, once and for all, the living conditions of our people." The programme's priorities include democratisation, promotion of sustainable peace and national cultures, rehabilitation of society and the state, and economic reconstruction. Other priority areas include army reform, health, justice, responsible and accountable governance and the establishment of an "environment favourable to the development of all social classes," the document says.
The programme supports the protection of workers from "physical, psychological and food insecurity." It denounces "hate ideologies, and a pro-revenge culture," proposes the creation of "culture houses" to promote "political, physical and intellectual healing," and supports the planning of a "national funeral" for former president Mobutu Sese Seko. The programme also proposes the establishment of an independent government monitoring agency against corruption and abuses of power. "Pillaging in all its forms" would be considered crimes against humanity, the report says. A mandatory one-year national service would be performed after university studies, it adds.
Human rights workers released
Two human rights activists from the DRC organisation La voix des sans-voix (VSV) have been released by security services in Kinshasa, VSV said in a statement received by IRIN on Tuesday. The two - Honore Kapuku and Timothee Dikwiza - had been held in custody since 27 July.
RWANDA: Over 1,200 returnees in July
The number of returnees from eastern DRC appears to be on the decline, humanitarian sources have told IRIN. However, the reduction in the rate of return could be an indication of logistical constraints since there were only a limited number of government vehicles dedicated to transporting returnees across the border, the sources said. Returnee numbers tended to fluctuate, and arrival of 30,000 more people was still possible. Returnees in Ruhengeri and Gisenyi would continue to be highly vulnerable if they returned to a commune that was not a part of a general food aid distribution programme, the sources added. Over 1,200 people are estimated to have returned to Rwanda from the DRC in July.
BURUNDI/RWANDA: Rwandan MPs expected in Burundi for talks
The president of the Rwandan National Assembly, Sebarenzi Kabuye, was set to begin a three-day official visit to Burundi, the Burundian news agency ABP reported on Monday. Kabuye will hold discussions with Burundian President Pierre Buyoya and First Vice-President Frederic Bamvunginyumvira, ABP said. The visit coincides with parliamentary sessions on peace, reconciliation and conflict resolution, organised by Burundi's Transitional National Assembly with support from the Association of West European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA).
Nairobi, 10 August 1999 15:30 GMT
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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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