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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 777 for the Great Lakes (Tuesday 12 October 1999)
BURUNDI: Arusha talks to resume BURUNDI: Donors meet BURUNDI: New group urges further security measures BURUNDI: CNDD-FDD claims government rejected proposal BURUNDI: PALIPEHUTU warns of "intensifying" war BURUNDI: Nutritional situation improving DRC: JMC to conclude Kampala meeting DRC: Meningitis kills 13 UGANDA: Libyan peacekeepers go home UGANDA: Army kills 11 rebels RWANDA: ICTR welcomes Rwandan representative
BURUNDI: Arusha talks to resume
Postponed consultations among six major sides taking part in the Arusha peace process will now be held on Monday [18 October] in Dar es Salaam. According to a press release from the Office of the Facilitator, the negotiating committees will reconvene in Arusha in early November. Analysts note that following the illness of the facilitator, Julius Nyerere, there had been much speculation as to the future of the Arusha process. The Dar talks - between the government, the national assembly, the pro-Tutsi UPRONA and PARENA, and the pro-Hutu FRODEBU and CNDD - should have taken place on 4 October. The press release said three senior members of the facilitation would visit countries of the region, including Burundi, for consultations and briefings. In addition, the chairman of the fourth committee, Ambassador Georg Linke, was due in Burundi to acquaint himself with the situation of displaced and regrouped people.
BURUNDI: Donors meet
Late last month Linke chaired a Burundi donor meeting in Austria which reviewed the state of the peace talks and the possibility of resuming bilateral aid, OCHA-Burundi reported in its latest information bulletin. Donors remained supportive of the concept of "expanded" humanitarian assistance, but the resumption of bilateral aid was likely to remain on hold as many governments awaited the outcome of the Arusha talks. Donors expressed interest in funding Burundi's judicial sector.
BURUNDI: New political group urges further security measures
The newly-established political grouping, Convention nationale pour la paix et la reconciliation (CNPR), noting the continuing violence in the country, has urged the government to boost measures to protect the population. In a press release sent to IRIN on Tuesday, the CNPR observed that Interahamwe and ex-FAR troops were "strongly implicated" in the violence plaguing Burundi. The press statement said the CNPR was satisfied the protection sites were ensuring the population's security in Bujumbura Rural province. It also expressed satisfaction with the government's intention to negotiate with rebel factions and said it would support the authorities in this endeavour. The CNPR, which was formed earlier this month, groups the main UPRONA and FRODEBU parties and the small mainly-Tutsi parties - ANADDE, MSP-INKINZO, PIT, PL, PRP and RADDES.
BURUNDI: CNDD-FDD claims government rejected proposal
Meanwhile, the leader of the rebel CNDD-FDD faction, Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye, claimed the violence was continuing because the army "is not willing to negotiate or lay down arms". In an interview with Gabonese radio, he said his group had expressed willingness to hold direct talks with the government. "On 9 July, we issued a statement which outlined the crucial points for the restoration of peace in the country, but the government has rejected this proposal," he said.
BURUNDI: PALIPEHUTU warns of "intensifying" war
Another rebel group, PALIPEHUTU-FNL, warned it would "continue and intensify" the "armed struggle" until the "political demands of the majority are met". In a statement, received by IRIN on Tuesday, PALIPEHUTU said it resorted to arms "because the peaceful way was inconclusive". "However, our organisation remains open to peace talks as long as its dignity is not compromised," the statement said. It warned Hutu refugees in neighbouring countries and elsewhere not to return to Burundi "where the cause of their exile is ever present".
BURUNDI: Nutritional situation improving
The nutritional situation in Burundi is improving, but remains precarious, the OCHA-Burundi information bulletin said. Malnutrition rates ranged from five to 15 percent compared to 10 to 23 percent in early 1998. The decrease can be attributed to factors such as a gradual return to agricultural activity, increased accessibility to health and nutritional centres and support given to households through food distributions. Some areas such as Makamba and Bujumbura Rural provinces were too insecure for assessments to be carried out, OCHA said.
The bulletin also said thousands of health workers were mobilised throughout the country to undertake a polio vaccination campaign from 15-17 September, targeting over 1.2 million children. The campaign covered 97 percent of the territory and a follow-up is planned for 14-16 October.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: JMC to conclude Kampala meeting
The first full meeting of the Joint Military Commission (JMC) charged with overseeing the DRC ceasefire was due to wind up in Kampala on Tuesday, Ugandan Presidential Press Secretary Hope Kivengere told IRIN. She said participants would meet President Yoweri Museveni later in the day. The spokesman for the UN's Mission in Congo (MONUC) Pierre Massart also told IRIN Tuesday's discussions would focus on political issues. On Monday, participants discussed technical matters, he said. The Secretary-General's spokesman told a press briefing the UN representative at the Kampala meeting was expected to request written security guarantees from the JMC. A UN technical survey team would soon leave for the DRC to assess conditions for the possible deployment of 500 military observers, the spokesman said.
DRC: Meningitis kills 13
WHO says an outbreak of suspected meningitis near Lubumbashi has killed 13 out of 28 reported cases. Some 8,000 people are at risk and investigations are being carried out. The disease first broke out in the area on 4 October and WHO in Kinshasa has sent medical equipment to the locality.
UGANDA: Libyan peacekeepers go home
A 35-man Libyan contingent, which has been in Uganda since May this year on a peacekeeping mission for DRC, has now left the country, Presidential Press Secretary Hope Kivengere confirmed on Tuesday. She told IRIN that since the signing of the Lusaka agreement, there was no need for the Libyan team to "go it alone in the peacekeeping effort". "They could now just be part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC," she said. The contingent arrived in Uganda in accordance with an agreement signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and DRC President Laurent Kabila in the Libyan town of Sirte in April. A statement from State House, Kampala said the contingent had been recalled since the Sirte initiative had been "integrated" into the Lusaka accord.
UGANDA: Army kills 11 rebels in west
The Ugandan army recently killed 11 rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in a new offensive in the Kabarole and Kibaale districts of western Uganda, the semi-official 'New Vision' newspaper reported on Monday. The offensive reportedly began three weeks ago after the rebels killed 20 civilians. An unspecified number of rebels were also arrested in the operation, the paper said.
RWANDA: ICTR Registrar welcomes Rwandan representative
The Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Agwu Okali, has hailed the appointment of a Rwandan representative to the court. According to the Hirondelle news agency, he told reporters on Monday the tribunal needed "that kind of channel". "We need someone who can tell the Rwandan government what is going on here from their own perspective. And we welcome the two-way feedback," he said. Rwanda last month named Martin Ngoga, former public prosecutor in Butare, as its representative to the ICTR. He was due to arrive in Arusha on Tuesday for preliminary discussions. Okali said the tribunal planned to travel more to Rwanda and "bring the information to the people".
Nairobi, 12 October 1999, 12:50 gmt
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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999
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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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