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IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events in Burundi 16 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.
# The foreign ministers of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zaire, along with representatives of the governments of Ethiopia and Cameroon, met in Kampala today (Friday) to review sanctions against Burundi. A press release issued at the close of the meeting said that the sanctions "will be comprehensive". Ministers have banned travel to their countries by members of the regime. As far as humanitarian aid is concerned, "only human medicines and "emergency basic food aid to Rwandese refugees" would be exempted from the embargo, the statement said. A regional coordination committee is to be set up in Nairobi to monitor sanctions and will hold its first meeting on August 31st.
Regional countries, supported by other African states, are blocking Burundi's trade and transport following the 25 July military-backed coup d'etat. Zambia also announced today that it was joining the sanctions with immediate effect. Zambia exports cement and sugar to Burundi. Humanitarian exemptions for UN cargo travelling by road from Tanzania had already been agreed, but other issues remain unresolved. Among them were the status of international NGO cargo and personnel, fuel and other items.
# Citing a foreign source close to the Burundian army, The Guardian newspaper today alleged that the Burundian army has killed "several thousand" civilians in a wide-ranging offensive since the coup.
# On Thursday 15 August, a spokesman for FRODEBU, the Burundian party which won the 1993 elections, and to which President Ntibantunganya belongs, threatened expulsion for any member who joins the new transitional assembly. According to news reports, the rebel CNDD's leader, Leonard Nyangoma, today rejected overtures from Buyoya to participate in a "national debate", saying "we have decided to continue battling all the putschists".
# The Burundian Army is reported to have had an indifferent reaction to the UN report questioning the role of the Army in the 1993 assassination of Melchior Ndadaye, Burundi's first Hutu president. The report pointed the finger at Colonel Jean Bikomagu the military chief of staff at the time of the 1993 and still in office, but failed to produce enough evidence to proceed with prosecution. A spokesman for the Army is reported to have said, "if some soldiers are punished, no problem".
# The Burundian Army reported yesterday (Thursday) that rebel groups had blocked the principal route north from the capital to Rwanda in two places. Reporters travelling on the route said that all settlements for a distance of 30 miles north of Bujumbura had been abandoned and that military roadblocks had been erected in some places. # Earlier in the week, Radio Burundi announced the appointment of four new governors, including replacements in the troubled provinces of Cibitoke and Gitega.
# UNHCR reports that 1,200 Rwandans voluntarily repatriated
from Burundi during the week ending 15 August 1996.
17:05 GMT Nairobi
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From: UN DHA IRIN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 20:04:29 +0300 (GMT+0300)
Subject: Burundi: IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events 16 August 1996 96.8.16
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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