IRIN Update 392 for 8 Apr 98.4.8

IRIN Update 392 for 8 Apr 98.4.8

U N I T E D N A T I O N S Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa

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IRIN Update No. 392 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 8 April 1998)

RWANDA: Bizimungu urges Europe to help genocide survivors

President Pasteur Bizimungu yesterday (Tuesday) pointed out it was Europe's duty to help genocide survivors because it had failed to stop the slaughter in 1994. In a speech in the western prefecture of Kibuye to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the genocide, Bizimungu said Rwanda bore no grudge towards Europe. "When we evoke the responsibility of some European countries, we don't want confrontation," he said. But, he added, Europe and the UN were "primarily responsible for the type of chaos we have here". "These people, victims of the atrocities...need assistance and this is their right because Europe is responsible for these atrocities." He said he was pleased European countries were admitting their role in the massacres, but noted that many genocide suspects were still at large in Europe and appealed that they be brought to book. During the genocide, some 50,000 people were killed by Hutu extremists in the hills at Bisesero, where yesterday's ceremony was held.

French missiles downed Habyarimana's plane, expert says

A Belgian academic yesterday stated that French missiles were responsible for bringing down the plane that killed Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira on 6 April 1994. AFP said Philippe Reyntjens told a French parliamentary investigation his information was based on military sources from Belgium, Britain and the US. On Monday, former French cooperation minister Bernard Debre had alleged the missiles were from US stocks and had been supplied by Uganda, a claim strongly denied by Kampala. "France in principle knows, or has the ability to know, who was behind the attack," Reyntjens said.

TANZANIA: Interahamwe training camp reportedly set up

The Agence burundaise de presse reports that a camp has been established in northwest Tanzania housing mainly Interahamwe and ex-FAR refugees. The camp, situated at Mbuba in the Rurenge area, reportedly houses some 1,200 such refugees who are undergoing paramilitary training. They had been hiding in remote villages to avoid returning home to Rwanda, ABP said. Humanitarian sources recently told IRIN there were reports of a new rebel group forming in Kibungo in southeast Rwanda.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila visiting Ethiopia

President Laurent-Desire Kabila arrived in Addis Ababa on a three-day visit to Ethiopia yesterday, Ethiopian television reported. His Ethiopian counterpart Negaso Gidada expressed his country's support for the revolution in DRC, stressing that both countries had managed to eliminate oppressive regimes. Kabila noted that DRC had not received the expected response from the international community, but he would continue to talk to donors to try and resolve the country's economic problems. According to the Ethiopian News Agency, Kabila also announced that an international conference on the Great Lakes region would soon be held in Kinshasa.

UNICEF expresses surprise over Kabila's accusations

UNICEF has expressed "great surprise" over Kabila's accusations that it is helping rebels in eastern DRC. During a visit to Goma this week, Kabila accused UNICEF of "serving as a mailbox" for the Mayi-Mayi rebels. A UNICEF spokeswoman told IRIN today (Wednesday) the agency was holding high-level negotiations with the DRC authorities. She said that on 4 March, the military had arrested a UNICEF local staff member in Goma who is still being detained. Later, UNICEF-Goma's communication equipment was also confiscated, she added. "These regrettable incidents come after UNICEF has been working in this country for more than 36 years," she said. The Belgian daily 'Le Soir' yesterday reported the arrest of the local staff member. "Relations are tense because the UN agency is concerned over the existence of some 18,000 child soldiers and would like them to be rapidly demobilised," 'Le Soir' wrote.

Belgium accused of "insulting" DRC

The DRC foreign ministry has issued a press release accusing Belgium of "insulting behaviour". The statement, broadcast by DRC television yesterday, expressed "deep indignation" over comments by Belgian Foreign Minister Eric Derycke after Congo had accused Belgium of stashing weapons at its consulate in Lubumbashi. It deplored Belgium's "constant will to interfere in the DRC's domestic affairs", adding that Congo wanted to pursue cooperation with Belgium and hoped it would continue to finance its three-year development programme.

BURUNDI: Human rights report accuses both sides of killing

A report by Human Rights Watch today accused both sides in the Burundi conflict of killing civilians. According to AFP, it said Hutu rebels had summarily executed civilians and looted their property, forcing them to cultivate crops to feed rebel troops and leaving people without an adequate food supply. Meanwhile, soldiers had forced people into regroupment camps which were ill-equipped and where thousands of people had died, Human Rights Watch said, adding that troops were also killing people in the camps.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Insecurity continues to plague Brazzaville

Sporadic shooting, frequent looting and banditry continue to be reported in Brazzaville. According to humanitarian sources, the insecurity is largely caused by ex-militiamen who are resisting the government's disarmament and demobilisation operation. As a result, much of Brazzaville's civilian population stays indoors after the sun sets. However, some improvement in the overall security situation has been noted in the city over the past couple of weeks.

Human rights group protests summary executions

A Congolese human rights group, L'Observatoire congolaise des droits de l'homme (OCDH) has issued a public statement to protest against summary executions and arbitrary arrests of actual or supposed supporters of the defeated Pascal Lissouba regime. The human rights violations are being committed by armed men in military uniform, the OCDH said.

New oil production facility to boost output by 20 percent

Meanwhile, President Sassou Nguesso inaugurated a new AGIP oil production facility last month at Kitina near Pointe-Noire. The facility, run in association with Chevron and Hydro-Congo, is expected to increase Congo's total oil production by about 20 percent according to local media. The country now produces about 10.3 million mt of oil a year.

SUDAN: People fleeing fighting in Eastern Equatoria, Western Upper Nile

According to the latest WFP Emergency Report, people in Sudan's Eastern Equatoria province are leaving their homes for refugee camps in Uganda and Kenya. Fighting has also increased in Western Upper Nile, displacing large numbers of people, and resulting in parts of the province remaining inaccessible to WFP and Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS).

WFP warns funds needed to purchase food

The report adds that last week's clearance by Khartoum for an expanded number of delivery sites adds to the urgency for further funds to purchase food and non-food supplies and to support additional aircraft to airlift the supplies. WFP has received only US $7.3 million out of a total of US $58.8 million requested under the UN Inter-agency Consolidated Appeal for Sudan, launched in February, which seeks a total of US $109 million to meet the emergency needs of more than four million drought and war affected Sudanese.

UGANDA: Kampala bombing on eve of Clinton's visit - minister

Ugandan rebels exploded a small home-made bomb in central Kampala on the eve of US President Bill Clinton's visit, Minister of State for Internal Affairs Tom Butime told AFP on Wednesday. He said the bomb exploded on 23 March at Platinum House, less than a kilometre from the Sheraton Hotel, where Clinton stayed. The government had attributed the explosion, which caused no casualties, to faulty electrical wiring. The bomb "went off as planned, but it was very mild," Butime said. He said the device was planted by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). He accused the rebel group of being behind a series of explosions in Kampala, including Saturday's attack on two hotel cafes. US diplomats have denied that the explosion at Platinum House was a bomb.

Nairobi, 8 April 1998, 13:20 gmt


[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to Mailing list: irin-cea-updates]

Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 16:25:48 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: UN IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 392 for 8 Apr 98.4.8 Message-ID: <>

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

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