IRIN Update 416 for 14 May 98.5.14

IRIN Update 416 for 14 May 98.5.14

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 Update No. 416 for Central and Eastern Africa (Thursday 14 May 1998)

BURUNDI: CNDD changes due to faction-forming attempts, new leader says

The new leader of the rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD) Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye has been speaking about the group's reorganisation. In an interview with the BBC's Kirundi service last night (Wednesday), he explained that the CNDD and its armed wing the Forces pour la defense de la democratie (FDD) were now grouped under the same leadership because there had been attempts by some of the movement's leaders to form factions. CNDD has sacked its former president Leonard Nyangoma, accusing him of trying to take too much power. Ndayikengurukiye said the group's political leaders had "not been close enough to the war front", and measures were therefore taken to stop further "disintegration". He denied morale in CNDD was low at a time when all-party peace talks are set to resume in Arusha next month. CNDD representatives would be at the talks, he added.

Rebels' strategy includes cutting off ears

Meanwhile a BBC correspondent who visited Burundi last week spoke to villagers who said Hutu rebels had punished them for "betrayal" by cutting off their ears. The villagers are Hutus, living in the hills around Bujumbura, whom the rebels accuse of not assisting them. In Isale, Bujumbura Rural province, a string of rebel attacks have brought fighting between insurgents and the army closer to the capital, the BBC report said. It added that several Hutu families were killed as they were sleeping when their houses came under rebel attack. Regional observers told IRIN today (Thursday) both PALIPEHUTU and FDD rebels are active in Bujumbura Rural. As in other parts of Burundi, the authorities are building new houses in Isale on sites close to the road which they say is for the peasant farmers' security. The BBC report says that by collecting villagers together, the move is also an attempt to deprive the rebels of local support.

In a recent dispatch, Reuters said the Isale area had been infiltrated by some 2,000 FDD rebels. It quoted Bujumbura Rural governor Stanislas Ntahobari as saying over 20,000 peasants had fled spontaneously, but local residents said the authorities had ordered people to evacuate their homes after a series of rebel attacks. According to Ntahobari, the rebels are cutting off people's ears "because the population doesn't listen anymore to what they are saying".

RWANDA: Youth on trial charged with using dogs to kill Tutsis

In Butare, southern Rwanda, a youth went on trial yesterday for allegedly using his dogs to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide, Rwandan radio reported. According to the state prosecutor, he was 15 years old at the time of the genocide. The verdict will be handed down on 25 May.

At least 36 priests guilty of genocide, rights group says

The human rights group, African Rights, has said at least 36 Roman Catholic priests are believed to have taken part in the genocide, AFP reported. In an open letter to Pope John Paul II, the group said most of the suspects were still serving the church and many had escaped to Italy, France or Belgium after the slaughter, where they were reportedly under the protection of the Vatican.

UGANDA: Third rebel ambush in a week in Gulu area

An unknown number of soldiers were killed and 14 others seriously injured on Monday in a rebel ambush in the northern Gulu area, civilian sources told AFP yesterday. The incident occurred at Lacaretot, 65 km northeast of Gulu town, and was third ambush in a week, carried out by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army. On Saturday, rebels ambushed and destroyed a military vehicle along the Gulu-Kampala road and on Wednesday they killed 10 people in an ambush on the Lira-Kitgum road, AFP recalled. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has this week been visiting the Gulu area.

ZAMBIA: Paris Club pledges US $530 million

The Paris Club of international donors yesterday pledged about US $530 million in aid to Zambia in 1998, Reuters reported. The World Bank said the government may receive more assistance later this year if it speeded up privatisation and economic reforms, and that a second donors' meeting had been scheduled for before the end of 1998. The aid pledges comprise US $235 million in programme aid, essentially balance of payment support, and US $295 million in project support, the Bank said. That support is exclusive of ongoing debt relief worth more than US $120 million. Zambia had been seeking US $300 million in project aid and US $289 million in balance of payments support. The country also needs US $70 million for public service reform.

Alleging the government's continued human rights abuse, US-based Human Rights Watch on Monday called on the Paris Club to maintain the suspension of balance of payments support instituted by a number of donor countries in 1996 over Zambia's human rights record.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION: New boss pledges to tackle malaria

The new head of the World Health Organisation, former Norwegian premier Gro Harlem Brundtland, has said the fight against malaria will be one of WHO's top priorities. In her inaugural speech in Geneva yesterday, reported by the BBC, she said that because of international travel malaria posed a global threat. The BBC commented that her announcement may signal new hope for millions of people worldwide with extra funding for both research and health-promoting measures. The disease kills an estimated 3 million people a year.

Nairobi, 14 May 1998, 14:25 gmt


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Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 17:26:46 -0300 (GMT+3) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 416 for 14 May 98.5.14 Message-ID: <>

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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