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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 775 for the Great Lakes (Friday 8 October 1999)
BURUNDI: Annan concerned over displacements BURUNDI: Sites "lesser of two evils" DRC: JMC to meet in Kampala DRC: 11 refugee children reunited with families DRC: Joint police force for Kisangani DRC: 200 Rwandan rebels killed RWANDA: Minister speaks on resignation
BURUNDI: Annan concerned over displacements
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed concern over "alarming developments" in Burundi, particularly the forced displacement of people in Bujumbura Rural province. In a statement on Wednesday, he called on both the government and the rebels to "end attacks on the civilian population and abide by international humanitarian law and principles". He urged them to take all measures to ensure that those affected could return to their homes as soon as possible.
BURUNDI: Vice-President says sites "lesser of two evils"
Meanwhile, First Vice-President Frederic Bamvuginyunvira of the opposition FRODEBU party visited the Ruyaga and Buhonga regroupment sites on Thursday, Radio Umwizero reported. Donating 12 mt of assistance to the sites, he acknowledged the situation was difficult "but can be defended by the government's mission of protecting people against armed gangs". "We are obliged to express ourselves like Socrates," he said. "One chooses the lesser of two evils. The situation here is not as bad as has been described by people...special efforts have been made in relation to vital needs such as water, food and sheeting."
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: JMC to meet in Kampala
The Joint Military Commission (JMC), charged with overseeing the DRC ceasefire, is to hold its first full meeting in Kampala on Monday, UN sources told IRIN. Preliminary meetings have been held in Lusaka and since the rebels signed the Lusaka accord, the full session can now go ahead.
DRC: 11 refugee children reunited with families
Eleven Congolese refugee children, among the "forgotten" DRC refugees in Sudan, have been reunited with their families in Kisangani, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday. The children had been living in the camps in Juba and were found by the ICRC's tracing programme. Eight brothers and sisters, whose parents died a year ago, were reunited with their uncle, and three other children with their father.
DRC: Joint police force for Kisangani
DRC rebels along with troops from Rwanda and Uganda have formed a joint police force in Kisangani, news organisations reported. AFP quoted the military commander of the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)-Goma, Jean-Pierre Ondekane, who said the unit - composed of 47 men from each side - was put in place a week ago to ensure security in Kisangani. The force is reportedly led by a Ugandan officer, Nabote Mugume, whose deputies are Pierre Naganire from Rwanda and Commander Byona of the RCD.
DRC: 200 Rwandan rebels killed
Over 200 ex-FAR and Interahamwe militiamen have been killed in a major swoop by joint RCD and Rwandan forces in eastern DRC, the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported. It cited RCD sources who said the operation was launched a week ago in the Goma area. Some 4,000 Rwandan rebels had reportedly been massing at bases between the Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo volcanoes preparing for attacks on Goma, Gisenyi and Ruhengeri. A further 100 Rwandan rebels were captured, RNA said.
In a separate incident on Wednesday, RCD rebel forces killed seven Rwandan militiamen and captured two others plus a number of Mayi-Mayi warriors on the Ruzizi plain, south of Bukavu, RNA reported.
RWANDA: Minister speaks on resignation
Social Affairs Minister Charles Ntakirutinka, forced to resign after a parliamentary vote of no-confidence on Wednesday, said he quit out of respect for the law. He told the BBC Kinyarwanda service on Thursday he believed he had given convincing answers to parliament regarding the corruption charges against him. "However parliament has the right to decide whether the answer was convincing or not," he said. Anastase Gasana, currently Minister in the President's Office, was also asked to resign by parliament. Rwandan radio said the two could also appear in court on corruption charges.
Nairobi, 8 October 1999, 12:00 gmt
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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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