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IRIN-CEA Update 783 for the Great Lakes (Wednesday 20 October 1999)
BURUNDI: "Political power" the cause of conflict BURUNDI: External FRODEBU urges support for Arusha BURUNDI: French Cooperation Minister arrives RWANDA: ALIR denies Interahamwe killed RWANDA: Defence lawyer slams ICTR DRC: Annan urges sides to abide by truce DRC: Tension reported within RCD-Goma UGANDA: Kazini moved to western Uganda
BURUNDI: "Political power" the cause of conflict
The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Burundi, Cheikh Tidiane Sy, has said the major cause of conflict in Burundi is political power. Addressing a press briefing in New York on Tuesday, he said ethnicity was used by the various parties as an "excuse". He stressed the need for the Arusha negotiations to stay on track and to this end, consultations had been held with special envoys from the EU, Canada and the US, among others. Discussions were underway to find a new mediator, but it would be "improper" to talk about a replacement for the deceased facilitator, Julius Nyerere, until he had been buried. Noting the deteriorating situation in Burundi, he said UN activities in the country had been "drastically reduced" and investigations were currently underway into the killings of seven Burundians and two UN expatriates in Rutana province last week.
BURUNDI: External FRODEBU urges support for Arusha
The external wing of the opposition FRODEBU party has also urged continued support for the Arusha process, the Tanzanian 'Guardian' daily reported. According to a statement by the group's information chief, Pierre Barusasiyeko, the Arusha talks were the only way of achieving peace in Burundi. He urged the international community to direct "moral and material support" towards the process. He also condemned the internal wing of FRODEBU, led by Augustin Nzojibwami, declaring any decisions taken by that group were invalid.
BURUNDI: French Cooperation Minister arrives
French Cooperation Minister Charles Josselin arrived in Bujumbura on Wednesday for a 24-hour visit, according to the private Netpress news agency. His schedule includes meetings with top government officials and representatives of international organisations such as the UN, OAU, EU and the World Bank. Josselin is expected to sign an agreement on finance for improving Burundi's justice system, Netpress said.
RWANDA: ALIR denies Interahamwe killed
The rebel Armee de liberation du Rwanda (ALIR) has denied recent reports that over 200 Interahamwe militiamen have been killed in eastern DRC. In a press release dated 14 October, received by IRIN, ALIR - which groups Interahamwe militia and ex-FAR members - claimed the Rwandan army had deployed "numerous battalions" in North Kivu after receiving "false information" that Congolese troops were about to launch an attack on Goma, aided by "white mercenaries".
RWANDA: Defence lawyer slams ICTR
The defence lawyer of a genocide suspect at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has launched a blistering attack on the court's "inefficiency" in translating documents for his client. The Hirondelle news agency recalled that the prosecution wanted to amend the indictment against Ferdinand Nahimana, former director of the Hutu extremist RTLM radio, by raising the number of charges from four to seven. Nahimana's francophone lawyer Jean-Marie Biju-Duval complained that neither he nor his client were in a position to respond because he had received the translations too late. "I understand why my Anglo-Saxon colleagues adapt better to the procedures of this tribunal," he said. "They have a centuries-old tradition of being phlegmatic. Not me." The tribunal has ordered an investigation into the translation issue.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Annan urges sides to abide by truce
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged the warring sides in DRC to abide by the ceasefire to allow a polio immunisation campaign to proceed. In a statement on Tuesday, he reminded the sides of their obligations under the Lusaka accord. The third and final round of polio immunisation is due to take place from 20-28 October. The statement said Annan "stresses the importance of this campaign to eradicate this crippling and preventable disease in the country".
DRC: Tension reported within RCD-Goma
Reports from eastern DRC have spoken of "tension" within the rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)-Goma faction. Sources in the region told IRIN there appeared to be an emerging split between a group supporting RCD leader Emile Ilunga and military commander Jean-Pierre Ondekane, and another group supporting security chief Bizima Karaha and Joseph Mudumbi who heads the territorial department. The tension may be emanating from a proposed reshuffle in the RCD administration.
UGANDA: Kazini moved to western Uganda
The Ugandan army's chief-of-staff and former head of military operations in DRC, James Kazini, has reportedly set up his headquarters in Kasese, western Uganda. According to the semi-official 'New Vision' daily, Kazini now oversees operations against the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the western region after being recalled from his post in DRC. He has been replaced in DRC by Major General Jeje Odongo.
Nairobi, 20 October 1999, 13:50 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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