Consolidted Rwanda Report Update #9, August 22-30, 1994

Consolidated Rwanda Report Update #9, August 22-30, 1994

Information in this report should be checked against source materials. Information is being reported as of the date of the source. This report is a compilation of information from a variety of sources, all of which are noted. The date of the source and information is also noted. Conflicting information may be present due to the rapidly changing events in Rwanda and neighboring countries.


Refugee and displaced population figures:

     Zaire/South Kivu:        550,000
     Zaire/North Kivu:        850,000
     Burundi:                 200,000
     Tanzania:                413,000
     Uganda:                   15,000
     Total:                 2,028,000

UNHCR figures
(Geveva 7440, 8/25)


While the number of people arriving in the Cyangugu prefecture from Kibuye and Gikongoro has decreased in the past week, UNHCR estimates that as of 8/25, 20,000 people remain in the prefecture waiting to cross the Rusizi II Bridge into Zaire. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

On 8/26, the Rwanda Immigration started charging 4,000 RFR (350 RFR = US$ 1) per visa at the Rusizi II border crossing. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

UNREO reported that the Zaire authorities were not allowing Rwandans to cross into Zaire on foot. UNHCR and CARE are transporting people who are determined to leave Rwanda to sites located 85 km inland from Bukavu. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/24)

Since the beginning of the refugee crisis to 8/24, 51,597 Rwandan refugees were officially recorded crossing the Goma-Gisenyi border. Between 7/14 to 8/14, a total of 48,347 refugee deaths were reported. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/29)

It appears that only 100,000 Rwandans in the southwest sought refuge in Zaire subsequent to the pull out of French troops. However, an estimated 450,000 people remain displaced in 34 camps in the southwest and plans must be put in place in the coming weeks to facilitate their return home. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/29)

UNHCR reports that the population in Bukavu town is estimated at 30,000 to 35,000 people, with approximately 250 people per hour moving on foot out of town. They are presumably headed toward one of two refugee camps located 5 and 15 kilometers out of Bukavu. These camps are not easily accessible, they are stretched to capacity, and they do not have water and sanitation facilities. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/26)

UNHCR has received reports of 12,000 people crossing into Tanzania, possibly Burundians traversing the southeast corner of Rwanda. The press is again reporting 20 to 30 bodies in the river at Rusumo Falls with bullet wounds and with hands tied behind their backs. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/25)

UNHCR reported that at the end of July there were an estimated 387,200 Rwandan refugees in the Kagera region (Karagwe, Ngara, and Muleba districts) of Tanzania. Given that UNHCR estimates up to 5,000 refugees cross the border daily, the total number of Rwandan refugees in Tanzania has increased significantly since the end of July. (Nairobi 15166, 8/24)


A large part of the displaced population in the southwest reportedly want to return home. The IOM in coordination with UNHCR is running daily convoys from Cyangugu through Butare to Kigali. IOM also continues to transport people from Kibuye back to Kigali. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

The number of returnees from Goma has decreased to 800 - 1,000 per day. This decrease in returnee numbers may be due to a reported increase in the level of intimidation that refugees face from FAR troops. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

Given that the outflow of Rwandan refugees from Goma into Rwanda has been relatively small, CARE has reduced its program to establish three (as opposed to the six originally planned) way stations in Gisenyi, Bogoqui, and Ruhengeri. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/25)

The potential returnee population falls into three broad categories: 1) population on the move, or "spontaneous" returnees; 2) population requiring UNHCR assistance with their return, among these, vulnerable groups, such as orphans, unaccompanied minors, and the elderly, which should be given special consideration; 3) refugees who fled prior to the events of April 1994. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)

UNHCR is the agency responsible for the voluntary repatriation of refugees. UNHCR has increased its staff in Rwanda to 42 internationals. In addition to the branch office in Kigali, 4 field offices have been already opened: in Gisenyi, Gikongoro, Butare, and Cyangugu. A further field office is expected to be opened today in Kibungu, while the establishment of a field presence in Byumba is being considered. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)

Preliminary information from the Gersonys' report on their 10- day assessment of the northwest indicates that about 70 percent of the people from the area northwest of Ruhengeri have returned from Goma. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/26)

Once required supplies are in place, UNHCR will provide returnee families with a repatriation package comprising: domestic items--3 blankets per family, 2 jerry cans per family, 250 grams of soap per family, 3 mats per family; tools and seeds--with the imminent arrival of the rainy season, the rapid distribution of tools and seeds is of crucial importance to enable returnees to progress quickly to self-sufficiency. One hoe per family, together with beans, maize, cabbage, carrot and tomato seeds, will be distributed to all families of rural origin. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)

On 8/21, UNAMIR dropped two leaflets over Goma encouraging Rwandan refugees to return to Rwanda. One leaflet displayed the U.N. seal surrounded by flags from countries participating in UNAMIR. UNAMIR conducted the leaflet drop without consulting the relief community. Upon learning of this, UNREO met with UNAMIR's public affairs officer to caution against the U.N. associating itself so visibly with the new government of Rwanda. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/25)

Focus should be placed, as soon as possible, on activities aimed at community rehabilitation in order to help returnees, displaced persons and other needy groups to re-start their lives in Rwanda and promote an early progression to self-sufficiency. It is only if these populations manage to achieve some degree of well-being that voluntary repatriation can be considered a durable solution. UNHCR's initial rehabilitation activities will be part of the comprehensive assistance program, to be developed following a needs assessment, within the overall coordination framework of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs/UNREO. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)


NGOs report that the situation in the southwest is "under control, but Bukavu is a mess." There are twelve refugee sites in the Bukavu region, most of which were created spontaneously and are not yet well organized. UNHCR is working with NGOs who are directly assigned to the camps to ensure greater organization. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/26)

The relief community believes its campaign to respond to the needs of the displaced population in the southwest was successful. While the number of Rwandans moving south toward Zaire was not as high as originally anticipated, the relief community was prepared and responded appropriately (by setting up 4 displaced camps in the Cyangugu prefecture and generating a massive flow of humanitarian assistance) to meet the needs of those who do require assistance. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/24)


The PWSS water pumping operation is transitioning smoothly and performing well to meet current needs. (Nairobi 15534, 8/29)

UNICEF is paying the cost of transporting a 10,000 gallon water tanker from Goma to the Gisenyi-Ruhengeri corridor. This will supplement the two water tankers already available to transport water to the way stations. (Nairobi 15449, 8/29)


On 8/24, WFP reported that the total food needs for the Rwanda/Burundi regional crises for the period July - December 1994 is 344,593 MT valued at $196.1 million, including purchase, freight, and internal transport, shipping and handling costs. Food contributions received to date total 62 percent of total needs. WFP bases their food requirement for the region on a WFP beneficiary population of 3,423,000: 700,000 conflict victims in Rwanda; 450,000 refugees in Tanzania; 1,350,000 refugees in Zaire; and 923,000 conflict victims in Burundi. ICRC has assumed responsibility for providing food to an additional 1 million people inside Rwanda. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

WFP reports it has stockpiled enough food in its Bukavu warehouse to feed 200,000 people for one week. WFP is currently delivering food to Bukavu via three main supply lines: 1) airlift; 2) overland transport to Goma then by barge down Lake Kivu; and 3) overland transport from Bujumbura. (Nairobi 15195, 8/24)

UNHCR and DART/Goma concur that the food composition needs to be more varied and the quantity of oil is still unacceptably low. Oil has not been included in general distributions in either Katale or Mugunga camps. (Nairobi 15422,8/26)


Initial shipments of urgently needed soap were delivered to Goma and soap is now distributed throughout the camps. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/29)

UNHCR reported that the amount of plastic sheeting delivered as of 8/23 met 80 percent of the needs in the Kibumba camp and only 10 percent of the needs in Mugunga camp. (Nairobi 15195, 8/24)


While USG's preliminary findings indicated there were no immediate, short-term volcanic threats to the Goma area, there is a still a present danger of carbon dioxide poisoning in low-lying areas and in present and proposed refugee sites. Both volcanoes pose extremely serious long-term threats. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/25)


In Zaire, in order to provide wide dissemination of information to refugees, UNHCR is benefitting from the services of independent radio stations installed by Reporters Sans Frontieres. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)


French troops who were assigned to guard the airstrip at Bukavu left on 8/24. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

UNHCR has requested that the French military remain in Goma past 9/5 (their scheduled departure date), and if possible, beyond 9/15. To date, UNHCR has not received an official answer from the French. The Israelis, who are operating a hospital in Goma, are scheduled to withdraw on 8/31. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/30)

Several U.N. Agencies and NGOs are working to establish a more comprehensive security program in Goma which would include a stronger information exchange, a communications plan, as well as an evacuation plan. UNHCR is also exploring the possibility of requesting U.N. Peacekeeping Forces to serve as a protection Force in Goma. On 8/24, a voluntary repatriation effort organized by UNHCR has violently disrupted. Suspected Interhamwe youth with local Zairois supporters attacked a group of 350 Rwandans congregating at Rugari Village, the rendez-vous point. One Rwandan leader was savagely beaten and escaped death only after a UNHCR Repatriation Officer rescued him. The assailants also attacked clearly marked U.N. vehicles. (Nairobi 15534, 8/29)



The Government of Rwanda is very concerned about the potentially explosive land ownership issue, but has yet to develop a defined policy. UNHCR is ready to support the government's effort to find a solution to this very sensitive problem so as not to endanger the already fragile agricultural land distribution in the country. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)

On August 26, the SRSG outlined the U.N. Rwanda Emergency Normalization Plan for stimulating the economy and social services of Rwanda in the short term. The plan proposes measures which the relief community should work to accomplish: (1) within the next few days (open hospitals, provide international loans); (2) within the next several weeks (encourage refugees to return home, reopen the airport to commercial traffic, restore electric and water services, reinstate telecommunication services, and de-mine); and (3) within the next several months (help the Rwandan government to restore police/judicial systems, reopen schools, train workers, repair roads, and bridges, and rehabilitate the agricultural sector. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report 8/29)

According to the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Reintegration, there are 15,424 unaccompanied minors in 6 of 10 prefectures in Rwanda. (A survey of the 4 prefectures in the southwest has not yet been conducted.) UNICEF reports that between 35-50% of the unaccompanied minors are moderately to severely malnourished. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report 8/29)


Initial assessments already made by UNHCR in communities of return, indicate that the health sector presents one of the gravest problems in the country: all medical infrastructure has been destroyed, trained personnel have left the country and no medicines or medical equipment is available. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)


The Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture lists the provision of seeds (particularly beans and corn to high altitude areas) and tools to each prefecture in Rwanda as an urgent priority. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report 8/29)

Seeds are available for distribution from the Belgian Cooperative (for a fee), UNICEF, and UNHCR. There is a reported shortage of tools. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/25)

ICRC concluded that the food security situation in the northwest was quite good (contrary to earlier presumptions), the harvest and agricultural cycles were not disrupted by civil unrest, and farmers are continuing to harvest sorghum, maize is growing, and potatoes remain unharvested. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/25)

During the past 10 days heavy rains have fallen in several areas of Rwanda. There is concern that the early rains could damage unharvested crops. Given the early rains, the need to provide seeds and tools to farmers now is an urgent priority. (Nairobi 15195, 8/24)


UNICEF reports that 2 children are killed every day in Kigali by unexploded bombs. A British Explosive Ordnance Disposal team in Kigali has discovered several unmarked minefields in public areas, and widespread unexploded shells and motor bombs on the roads and in residential areas in the city. While UNAMIR currently does not have the mandate or insurance to clear unexploded bombs, it is working with UNICEF and UNREO to improve public awareness of the bomb threats. Negotiations are underway with the RPF to identify the full extent of the minefields in the city. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/26)

There is still no solid waste disposal system in the city and concern is rising that areas will be contaminated when the rains increase. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/26)

Power for essential services in Kigali should be restored within two weeks, supported by GTZ funding. About 70% of the Kigali population has regular access to clean water. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/29)

According to UNREO, a survey by the JTF of the electrification in Kigali concluded that an estimated 90 percent of the distribution grid is intact and suitable for limited operation. Electrical grids in other parts of the country are in various states of disrepair and will require repair work ranging from periods of one week to three months. (Nairobi 15195, 8/24)

The Canadian Government has sent a team to restore the telephone system in Kigali, which based on the team's assessment will take about one week. While the telephone system may be restored in the near future, the lack of administration to bill or manage the system will remain a problem. (Nairobi 15449, 8/29)


On 8/22, the JTF released its Revised Operational Concept for the Operation Support Hope. According to the plan, the JTF Support Hope mission will: 1) maintain an airfield and distribution capability at Entebbe; 2) operate the civil-military operations Centers at Entebbe and Kigali; 3) continue to provide 24-hour airfield support services at Kigali as required; and 4) continue to provide an overall management capability of logistics operations for humanitarian relief in support of UNHCR and other nations. In keeping with the JTF Operational Concept, all US military equipment on loan will be removed from the theater no later than 9/14. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)

The U.S. military humanitarian operations (HOC)/Goma departed Goma on 8/25. DART/Goma emphasized the exemplary nature of the Goma-based military team and cites positive and collaborative relations between U.S. military, U.N. agencies, NGOs and DART/Goma. (Nairobi 15534, 8/29)

As of 8/28, there were 1,428 US military personnel assigned to Operation Support Hope stationed in the region. (Nairobi 15563, 8/30)


WFP has established a Transport Coordination Unit in Kigali to track some 600 trucks (long and short haul) available for operation in the region. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/29)

There is an ongoing dispute in Entebbe regarding who is responsible for paying to unload cargo at the Entebbe airport that the JTF is unable to unload using their equipment. Apparently, cargo loaded on several 707s consigned to UNHCR has been palletized in such a way that only Ugandan Air equipment can unload it. UNHCR claims JTF, as part of its acceptance of the airport service package, should pay Ugandan Air; JTF says its UNHCR's responsibility. Already 3-4 707 aircraft with inappropriate pallets have been unloaded and there is an outstanding bill of about $12,000 to Ugandan Air. Cargo aboard a 707 aircraft now on the tarmac will not be unloaded until this issue is resolved. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/26)


On Saturday, 8/6, all Dutch television stations broadcast a major "Live Aid" type appeal for Rwanda by Dutch Aid Organizations. As of 8/26, the appeal had raised about $40 million to be used by the Dutch NGOs (EG, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cress, etc.) for their activities in Rwanda and in neighboring countries. In addition the Dutch Government will pay $385,000 for ten Dutch Military personnel to assist in developing the airfields in the Goma (Zaire) and Cyangugu (Rwanda) camps. (THE HA 5419, 8/29)

Given its successful campaign in the southwest, the relief community will now focus on the following: the need to establish a contingency plan for Burundi; reconstruction issues in Rwanda; and monitoring and responding to human rights abuses in Rwanda. (BHR/OFDA Daily Report, 8/24)

WFP recently established a Food Aid Coordination and Information Center (FACIC) in Nairobi to collect and disseminate information on the food aid pipeline in the greater horn region. WFP and individual donors will be able to use this information to better manage the food aid pipeline. (Nairobi 15195, 8/24)


Among the UN agencies, a special relationship is being established between UNHCR and the UN Human Rights mechanism. UNHCR field protection officials will work in close cooperation with the human rights observers and monitors, sharing with them information and concerns related to the overall security situation of returnees. (Geneva 7393, 8/24)


Alleged Rwandan war criminal Felicien Kabuga, proprietor of the Hutu radio station, "Thousand Hills," was expelled from Switzerland on 8/18. He was issued a Swiss visa in Kinshasa, which the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) tried to cancel after he left Rwanda and entered Switzerland on 6/13. (Bern 4480, 8/24)


With the continuing influx of refugees into the Ngara district in Tanzania, plans to relieve overcrowding in Benaco have been put on hold. As a result, the Benaco camp population continues to grow, and is now more than two times its capacity. (UNHCR estimates the Benaco capacity is 70,000 refugees). (Nairobi 15166, 8/24)

The GOT Minister of Defense who passed through Ngara on 8/21 on his way from Bujumbura to Dar es Salaam, shocked the UNHCR Rep by telling him that the refugees must be repatriated and if it took placing Tanzanian troops in eastern Rwanda to achieve this that is what he would do. Former President Nyerere is supposed to visit the camps on 8/26 and it is suspected that he might tell the refugees they must return home. If this is to be his message, grave concerns are being raised about his security as rumors are already being heard in the camps that he will be stoned by the refugees for the support he has purportedly shown previously to Tutsi elements. (Dar es Salaam 5357, 8/24)

There is no evidence of any Hutus returning or planning to return to Rwanda from Tanzania. The presence of the RPF on the other side of the river and continuing reports of acts of violence against Hutus brought by new arrivals discourage any such thought. The bodies fished from the river and the few arriving with wounds also serve to erase any consideration of returning from the already traumatized minds of Hutu refugees. (Dar es Salaam 5357, 8/24)

In Benaco camp in Tanzania, mortality rates are 2.2 people per 10,000 per day (crude mortality) and 6.45 people per 10,000 per day for children under five. Malaria and "bloody" diarrhea are the leading causes of death. Health conditions are significantly better in Lumasi than in Benaco due to better sanitation, greater availability of clean water, and less crowded conditions. According to MSF, the water in Benaco is clean and safe. However, refugees continue to collect clean water in dirty containers, thereby causing unnecessary health risks. (Nairobi 15166, 8/24)

In the Tanzanian camps, keeping up with the demand for water even at the minimal level of 3 to 5 litres per day per refugee is a difficult task. (Dar es Salaam 5357, 8/24)


On 8/23, the Governor of Cibitoke Province reported that 120 houses were destroyed in Buganda, Cibitoke Province. It was reported that a group of armed individuals (likely Hutus) attacked and burned the homes of between 10-20 Tutsis living in the northwest section of Burundi in Buganda of Cibitoke Province. The Burundian military were called in. It is unclear what happened next, but in the end 100-110 additional Hutu homes were destroyed (most likely by the Burundian military). There were no reported deaths but one women was shot in the heel as she fled. She did not witness who shot her. The governor has reported that the population can identify the group of armed individuals and hence it is likely that the armed individuals come from Cibitoke Province and are not a band that had crossed over the Zaire/Rwandan border (which is less than 20 kilometers away). (Mike Junge, HRDO/Bujumbura, 8/24)

With the death of Jose Lopez Herrera, a UNHCR Field Representative on 8/13 in Kirundo, UNHCR has stopped its operation in Kirundo Province. The UNDP has sent a letter to the Burundian government requesting a full disclosure and investigation of the incident. Evaluations by UNHCR are to take place this week to determine if the Burundian government is capable of providing adequate security to allow UNHCR to return to Kirundo Province. There are two possible scenarios for the assassination. One is that Mr. Herrera was investigating too closely the mass grave of over 100 Rwandan Hutus found in Kirundo Province and he was targeted in addition to the communal administrator (the reason the assassination took place in the clearly marked compound of the UNHCR), the second is that Mr. Herrera just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and that it was only the communal administrator who was targeted. MSF/France has also reduced its operations in Kirundo. Expatriates have been recalled to Bujumbura and the program is currently being run by local hire employees. On 8/25 MSF/France will return to Kirundo to assess the situation. CRS/Caritas have continued operations but the expatriate worker finished his contract 8/22 and he was to be replaced sometime this week. (Mike Junge, HRDO/Bujumbura, 8/24)

Art McGee []
No problem distributing the USAID CRR -- we developed it for public

From: "Arthur R. McGee" 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 94 7:28:32 EDT
From: Rwanda Information Center 
Subject: Consolidated Rwanda Report

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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