Burundi: IRIN Summary of Main Events for 8/23/96

Burundi: IRIN Summary of Main Events for 8/23/96

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IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events in Burundi 23 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. IRIN does not guarantee a report every day - only when deemed necessary.

# Some 6,000 Rwandan refugees returned to Rwanda from Burundi yesterday, leaving Magara camp and crossing the border during the night. This leaves only 220 refugees remaining in the camp. UNHCR planned to distribute a five day food ration to these people today and currently has no plans to transfer these people to Rukuramigabo camp. This brings to over 50,000 the number of Rwandan refugees who have returned to Rwanda from Burundi since the beginning of August.

# There are currently only 11,220 Rwandan refugees remaining in Burundi, 11,000 of which are in Rukamarigabo camp. On Wednesday 400 went back to Rwanda, followed by a further 600 yesterday. A UNHCR spokesman estimated that up to 1,000 could leave the camp today. UNHCR, he said, was keen not to register more than 1,000 refugees today in order not to increase pressure on the Musange transit camp in Rwanda. There are currently 17,000 people living in the Butare transit camp. They are being transferred to their home communes on a daily basis; 3,262 yesterday and an anticipated 6,000 today.

# A cargo plane carrying 24 tonnes of drugs and medical materials from MSF France arrived in Bujumbura from Nairobi yesterday afternoon. The French relief agency plans to use the drugs to supply dispensaries in several locations around the country and says that these will assist more than one million people over the next three months. The MSF-chartered flight represents the first relief supplies to reach Burundi by air since the embargo imposed by Regional Governments was put in place. Rebel groups, meanwhile, were reported to be trying to impose a blocade in Bujumbura by dissuading peasant farmers from providing food. Aid workers said yesterday that they had been told of death threats against farmers. The central market as of yesterday however was said to be working normally. No major shortages were reported and food prices were stable.

# UNICEF will suspend its operations in Burundi at the end of next week unless Regional Governments relax sanctions, according to a Reuters news report. The news agency quoted Michel Sidibe, UNICEF's Representative in Burundi, as saying that "at the end of next week... UNICEF will stop working for lack of of fuel and as a result our entire immunisation programme for the year will be wiped out".

# More than 6,000 people have been killed in Burundi since the July 25 coup, according to Amnesty International. Amnesty said that it had learnt that at least 4,050 civilians were extrajudicially executed between July 27 and August 10 by Burundi Government forces in Giheta district of Gitega province. "We are disturbed that as many people have been massacred since the coup as were reported killed in the previous three months", Amnesty said. The Amnesty figures are similar to claims by FRODEBU, made on August 16, that the Army had massacred 5,000 Hutu civilians since the coup.

# A spokesman for Burundi's leader Pierre Buyoya yesterday denied the findings in the Amnesty report. According to Reuters, Jean-Luc Ndizeye said, "Amnesty International is either completely misguided or is falling into a propaganda trap. I am positive that they are misinformed and that these numbers are outrageous".

# Jean-Marie Ngendahayo, a former foreign minister in Burundi, on Wednesday appealed directly to UN Security Council Members to support sanctions against the country. He was speaking on behalf of former President Ntibantunganya, overthrown on 25 July. Ngendahayo also said the president was appealing to the international community to "help him and others leave the country".
15:20 GMT

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From: UN DHA IRIN <> Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 18:20:48 +0300 (GMT+0300) Subject: Burundi: IRIN Summary of Main Events for 23 August 1996 96.08.23 Message-Id: <>

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

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