DHA-GENEVA SITREP (Rwanda)- 8/26/94

DHA-GENEVA SITREP (Rwanda)- 8/26/94

                        CIVIL DISTURBANCE
                          26 AUGUST1994
         Information for this report is provided by the
              UN Rwanda Emergency Office in Kigali

DHA-GENEVA 94/0279

This Sitrep is produced three times every week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The information is compiled from inputs by organisations working in Rwanda including UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR, WHO, FAO, IOM, UNAMIR, US-JTF and NGOs. This document is intended to represent the best available information as of 12h00 26 August 1994.


A WFP/FAO survey suggests only five million people are still living in Rwanda from a pre-war population of 7.9 million. With 1.9 million refugees, this means that up to one million people perished in the genocide. Half the remaining population (2.5 million people) in Rwanda face food shortages over the next few months and malnutrition rates are rising. Increasing numbers of people are asking to be brought home. Cyangugu is calm with reduced numbers of displaced persons; the international strategy to place the people in camps within Rwanda rather than allowing them to move to Zaire appears to be working. However, there are reports of intimidation of crowds of relief workers by FAR elements. Violence is increasing in the camps and NGOs are concerned about deterioration in security, especially in the Goma region. Tensions remain high in Burundi.


2.5 million people in Rwanda will face grave food shortages for the next five months according to a WFP/FAO assessment mission. Initial estimates of food aid needs until the next harvest in December total 165,000 tonnes - 140,000 tonnes of cereals, 17,000 tonnes of pulses and 7,000 tonnes of vegetable oil. The most affected areas are Byumba, Gikongoro, Ruhengeri and Kigali.

The mission reported that only five million people are still in Rwanda out of an estimated pre-war population of 7.9 million. Other estimates of population movements would concur with this assessment. It is estimated that there are perhaps some 1.9 million refugees with up to 1 million killed during the war. Of the five million still living in the country, some 800,000 are classified as Displaced Persons.

A SCF/UNICEF report also notes that malnutrition rates are increasing in the South West. Normal rates of malnutrition in the country are between 5-10 % of children less than 80% weight for height (WFH). MSF-France have screened all children in one camp in Gikongoro and report 15% malnutrition. This situation could deteriorate because October and November are traditionally the worst months of the year for food supply in Rwanda. A survey carried out in 1992 showed that over 40% of the population suffered some food shortage during these months.

The conclusion is that despite the harvest in some areas not being as badly affected as originally predicted, there is still an extremely serious food shortage that needs to be addressed and seeds and tools are in short supply. According to FAO the last day for planting crops in Rwanda this season is 1 October.


The situation in Cyangugu is reported as calm; HCR reported declining numbers of people arriving from Kibuye and Gikongoro. There are still some 2000 people waiting to cross into Zaire across Rizizi 2 bridge as of 25 August. ICRC has established a mobile clinic at Ruzizi 2. On 24 August 140 people were returned to their homes in Gitarama and Kigali by HCR and the British Army contingent of UNAMIR. On 26 August Rwandese Immigration Officers began operations at Rizizi 1, charging 4000RwFr for a visa to people travelling from Zaire to Rwanda. Similar operations are scheduled to begin at Rizizi 2 as of 27 August in a bid to collect revenue.

UN agencies and NGOs have been continuing in their efforts to convince the displaced population to move to camps in Rwanda rather than cross into Zaire. Local authorities are helping the international community to identify possible sites.

The camp at Mururu (5km from Ruzizi 2 crossing) is filling up rapidly with some 500 arriving every day. Latest count (25 August) is 4,000 out of 10,000 total capacity. This filling has prompted the opening of a second site at Kimbogo which will have a capacity of 5000.

The apparent success in finally persuading the displaced popoulation to remain in Rwanda has caused a backlash from the FAR. Although many people appear keen to transfer to the Rwanda sites rather than cross into Zaire the UNREO field office in Cyangugu reported on 25 August incidents of intimidation of the crowd by people trying to prevent the displaced persons staying in Rwanda and moving to Mururu camp. The intimidators are presumably RGF supporters who want to bring the displaced population into Zaire. Staff from HCR and IOM were also intimidated with sticks and so they returned to their base.

Around Kibuye the situation is described as being generally calm with a significant reduction in the numbers of people in the camps. The population of three camps visited by UNREO on 24 August has dropped from 10,000 each over the previous week to 2-3,000. UNAMIR are assisting with the repatriation effort.

However, there are confirmed reports of an incursion of a small detachment of armed RPF troops near Mabanza. The troops penetrated approximately 20km into sector 4 before being turned back by Senegalese troops of the UNAMIR contingent. Although only an isolated and minor incident, the local population were reportedly distressed by their presence. There is no information at present wether the incursion was an accident or deliberate. The Rwandese Government has officially announced that it will not move into the former French zone in a civilian capacity until UNAMIR gives it's consent to a military presence.

Around Gikongoro there are reports of people moving home from Cyanika camp (5km from Gikongoro) aided by UNAMIR transport. The UNREO Field Office also reports adequate food supplies in the camp for the moment. However, sanitation continues to be of major concern and will present a serious risk to public health as the rains continue. Recent UNAMIR surveys of the area south of Gikongoro estimated some 345,500 displaced persons in 14 camps as of 24 August. Some 400 were returned to their homes by HCR/UNAMIR 23- 24 August.

The UNREO Field Office in Gikongoro reported two recent destabilising incidents where a hand grenade exploded at a Cyanika camp on 25 August, injuring several, and two grenades exploded at Ngaro camp, also on 25 August, killing 2 and injuring 4.


There are increasing reports of further deterioration in camp security in the Goma area with escalation in violence and intimidation once again. The Zairean Government has asked to meet for the first time the Rwandese Government to discuss the refugee problems. A three day meeting is being held over the weekend 26-28 August.


UNAMIR continue to be faced with increasing reports of unexploded ordnance and booby-traps. UNREO maintains an updated map identifying sites where unexploded ordnance in the city. The British Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team report the USD 4 million is needed to start a comprehensive bomb clearance programme.

The restoration of power supplies has been recognised as a prime need for the rehabilitation of the country; it is estimated that six weeks and USD 2 million would be required to restore powersources.

The western half of Kigali now has a working telephone system; a complete city network is expected to be ready shortly.

General Marcel Gatsinzi, former commander of the Rwandan army, is in Kigali having discussions with the new Government. He was broug to the capital from Bukavu by UNAMIR at the request of the Government.

Salaries for local staff is a major issue that needs addressing; with no business, no banking and no revenue, payment for work becomes critical to the rehabilitation of the country. Workers want cash rather than food and with the need for large numbers of workers to rebuild the economy, a solution is required to pay them. UNDP are in close discussions with the Government and the relief community to identify possible solutions. The Rwandese Finance Minister is in Washington discussing funding options with possible sources of funding.


A UNREO assessment mission in Bujumbura reported increasing tensions in the city on 25 August as discussions about power sharing continue. There have been some 230,000 refugees arriving in the Kirundo area from the south of Butare in the last six weeks; however, itappears that the tension in the country is primarily of internal cause rather than being directly related to the refugee exodus.Many trees in the city have been observed as being half-cut through to enable rapid creation of roadblocks should thesituation deteriorate further.


Desk Officers: Michael Gaouette and Deborah Saidy
Direct Telephone: 788.7020 / 788.7019
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY ONLY - Telephone: (41 22) 917.2010
Press to contact: Ms Mounira Skandrani
Ms Skandrani Direct Telephone: (41 22) 917.3114
Telex: 414242 DHA CH
Fax: (41 22) 917 0023
Electronic Mail: DIALCOM 141 : DHAGVA

Art McGee []

From: "Arthur R. McGee" 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 94 05:42:57 -0700
Subject: DHA-GENEVA SITREP (Rwanda)

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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