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IRIN Update No. 295 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 19 November 1997)
BURUNDI: Buyoya rejects claims of involvement in 1993 coup plot
Burundian leader Pierre Buyoya has dismissed claims of involvement in the 1993 attempted military coup in which president Melchior Ndadaye was killed. A statement issued by the presidency yesterday (Tuesday), stressed that no report had ever implicated Buyoya in the coup plot. The allegation was made over the BBC's Kirundi service by Lieutenant Jean Kamana, who stands accused of being one of the main coup plotters. Kamana alleges he was carrying out orders from his superiors. The statement said the claim, coming four years after the event, was a lie "instigated by circles opposed to the government". It was a ploy to derail the peace process, the statement concluded.
22 killed in separate attacks
Fourteen employees of a tea factory in Buhoro in the troubled province of Cibitoke were killed by rebels on Sunday night, according to an interior ministry statement. In another rebel attack, eight people were killed and six wounded in Mutimbuzi, 15 km north of Bujumbura. Local residents, quoted by AFP, said a gang armed with rifles, machetes and knives launched the raid on Saturday night.
UNHCR notes difficult access to Burundians expelled from DRC
UNHCR said some 2,000 Hutus expelled from Democratic Republic of Congo had arrived in Burundi's combat zones where the agency was unable to gain access to most of them. Rwandan and DRC Hutus were thrown out, along with the Burundians, UNCHR said. Some of these were refugees from the 1994 conflict in Rwanda. The DRC government has described those being expelled as "infiltrators" and a threat to security. UNHCR also reported a new influx of refugees into Rwanda fleeing continued fighting in Burundi's Cibitoke province. Several dozen Burundians and over 1,000 Rwandans had arrived in Rwanda over the past week. According to UNHCR, some of the Rwandans claimed they were expelled. DRC radio meanwhile reported that Burundi will soon reopen its consulate in Bukavu.
UNHCR to be streamlined
News reports note UNHCR is planning substantial cutbacks next year, due to dwindling donor contributions and fewer crises. Spokeswoman Pam O'Toole, quoted by Reuters, said the agency's financial situation for the beginning of next year "remains worrying".
ACF finds 14 percent of children malnourished in Kayanza camps
A nutritional survey undertaken by Action contre la faim (ACF) in displaced camps in Kayanza province has found the average malnutrition rate among children aged six to 59 months to be 14 percent, of which 2.4 percent are severe cases. The report, carried out between 29 July and 7 August 1997, recommends enhancing food security by continuing targeted food distributions in the most vulnerable camps. DHA Burundi reported a joint UN-NGO mission on 13 November, for the first time since early this year, was authorised to travel to Rumonge province via the lake route. The mission found that security along the road was better than anticipated, with commercial traffic circulating and people carrying out normal activities.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: NGO organisation warns against restricting cooperation
A DRC NGO organisation, the Conseil National des ONG de developpement du Congo (CNONGD), has called on the government to create better conditions for international cooperation, both direct and indirect. Responding to a government proposal last month which suggested putting an end to indirect cooperation via NGOs, the CNONGD said it shared the authorities' concern over the resumption of international cooperation "in the normal way". However, it warned that restricting cooperation risked "suffocating" the country, and stressed that NGOs sought neither to replace government activities nor to rival them.
Newspaper editor to be freed
President Laurent-Desire Kabila has decided that editor of the opposition 'Phare' newspaper should be released from detention, DRC television reported yesterday. Luboyayi Polydor was detained two months ago for an article in his paper alleging Kabila was creating a presidential guard, similar to the Division Speciale Presidentielle (DSP) of former president Mobutu.
RWANDA: Genocide suspect pleads not guilty
A suspect at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha yesterday pleaded not guilty to six counts of involvement in the 1994 genocide. According to an ICTR press release, Alfred Musuma, a former tea factory director in Kibuye prefecture, entered the plea during his initial appearance before Trial Chamber 1.
KENYA: Thousands facing starvation due to floods
Thousands of Kenyans face starvation because food supplies cannot reach flood-hit areas in the northeast, Reuters said, quoting local officials. Torrential rains have submerged huge areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, and destroyed roads, bridges and houses. Kenyan Minister of State John Koech, who toured the Garsen area and flooded parts of Tana district at the weekend, was mobbed by desperate villagers, Reuters reported. According to the local press, some 60,000 people are in need of assistance.
Cholera kills six in Coast province
Six people have died of cholera in Coast province and 76 people have been diagnosed as suffering from the disease, Kenyan press reports said today (Wednesday). According to Coast provincial medical officer Dr S.K.Shariff, the deaths occurred in Mombasa and Malindi. The outbreak of the disease was due to poor hygiene and heavy rains which have been lashing the region causing floods and blocking sewers. Shariff added that the government had introduced measures to contain the spread of cholera.
CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Two pledges received for flash appeal
The UN Inter-Agency Flash Appeal for Congo-Brazzaville has so far received two pledges. The Canadian government has donated US $360,000 to ICRC and the Swedish government US $394,000 for a Swedish church-related NGO. The US $17.7 million appeal was launched on 10 November for a three-month period to tackle the humanitarian needs of the country. DHA is tracking financial contributions against the requirements set out in the appeal.
Food distribution underway in Brazzaville
WFP today (Wednesday) started food deliveries in Brazzaville, the first distribution since the end of the five-month civil war. A WFP press release said food was being handed out to some 20,000 people still affected by the conflict. The food consignments were taken by boat from Kinshasa across the Congo river, and will be distributed by Catholic Relief Services and Caritas. The statement said about 60 percent of the capital's population had returned to the city and faced acute food shortages and outbreak of disease.
UGANDA: Eight killed in rebel attack
At least eight civilians were killed by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the western Kabarole district on Monday, the 'Monitor' newspaper reported yesterday. It quoted local officials as saying the villages of Nkoma and Kibaale came under attack, causing residents to flee. The villages are located 16 km from an army camp.
Nairobi, 19 November 1997, 14:10 gmt
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Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 17:19:09 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 295 97.11.19 Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.971119171744.31663Aemail@example.com>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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