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IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events in Burundi 14 August 1996
Sources for the information below include UN agencies, NGOs, other international organisations and media reports. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.
# Two international commercial flights departed from Bujumbura yesterday (Tuesday) transporting some 400 people out of the country. Among them was the wife of the former president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, who fled to the US embassy two days before the military-backed 25 July coup d'etat. The Belgian airline, Sabena said that the flights would be the last for several weeks. Although the new regime is reported to have authorised the departure of former Finance Minister, Salvator Toyi who had taken refuge at the European Community Mission in Bujumbura, US officials in Washington said that Ntibantunganya was still at the US Ambassador's residence in Bujumbura.
# The US State Department said Tuesday that it intended to keep its embassy open, and none of the 23 US officials are leaving Burundi. Many embassies in Bujumbura have urged non-essential personnel to leave. Howard Wolpe, the US Special Envoy for Burundi, arrived in Bujumbura yesterday on one of the Sabena flights.
# Petrol coupons have been introduced in Burundi, limiting the quantity of petrol to 20 litres a month for private cars, 40 litres for taxis, 80 for vans used as public transport, 400 litres for trucks and buses, 200 litres for tractors and 6 litres for motorbikes.
# The new Burundi regime has sent Foreign Minister Luc Rukingama to Europe in a bid to convince European governments that sanctions are "counter-productive". Rukingama, who was not officially invited to any European country, said in Brussels on Monday that economic sanctions "will serve the cause of the extremists" and create hardship for ordinary Burundians.
# Consultations continue between the UN and other aid agencies on the one hand, and regional governments and the OAU on the other, to try to devise guidelines for the types and extent of possible exemptions to the sanctions. Both humanitarian agencies and the Burundian government report a shortage of drugs and medicine in the country.
# The Tanzanian government has announced that it will set up a panel of experts to monitor the sanctions and address the question of merchandise that is currently blocked in Tanzania. Following appeals from UN and other agencies, Tanzania on Monday also agreed to allow humanitarian aid cargo into Burundi. A WFP convoy of 210 tonnes of beans is presently in Ngara, Tanzania ready to cross the border. However, tomorrow is a public holiday in Burundi and it not sure whether the crossing will be possible.
# The Government of Rwanda on 10 August reinforced its announcement that its borders with Burundi were closed, but said that all Rwandese refugees in Burundi should contact UNHCR which will assist them to return to Rwanda. UN and other aid organisations are asked by the Rwandan Government to channel aid destined for the Rwandese camps in Burundi to Rwanda to assist in the repatriation and reintegration of returnees.
# A new UN attempt to attract troops for a rapid force
for Burundi has again failed to gather support from
the international community, UN sources reportedly
said on Tuesday. Thirty-one states were asked for troop
contributions and only one, which was understood to
be Ethiopia, has replied positively, the reports say.
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From: UN DHA IRIN <email@example.com> Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 18:36:16 +0300 (GMT+0300) Subject: Burundi: IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events 14 August 1996 96.8.14 Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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