IRIN Update 395 for 14 April 98.4.14

IRIN Update 395 for 14 April 98.4.14

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. 395 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 14 April 1998)

UGANDA: Food shortages to continue - survey

A food assessment survey has confirmed that food shortages in most parts of western and northern Uganda are expected to persist this year. The survey, carried out by the FAO, WFP, the Famine Early Warning System and Uganda's labour ministry, estimates over 800,000 Ugandans are affected by severe food shortages, according to a report in the Kenyan 'Daily Nation' today (Tuesday). Uganda's food crop sector is not producing the surpluses of three years ago, and a combination of drought, floods, market disincentives and rebel insurgency has severely affected production in a quarter of the country's cultivable land. The report adds that some 563,600 refugees and displaced people will be dependent on food assistance this year, including supplementary and therapeutic feeding.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: UN force to be deployed this week

Units of a UN peacekeeping force will be deployed in CAR later this week, news reports said. The 1,350-strong force, known as MINURCA (UN Mission in Central African Republic), will be tasked with training police officers and providing technical assistance for elections due in September, in addition to peacekeeping activities. AFP pointed out this is the first UN peacekeeping mission in Africa since UNAMIR was deployed in Rwanda in 1993. MINURCA takes over from the French-backed MISAB force which had been monitoring compliance with the Bangui accords, aimed at ending a series of army mutinies.

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Calm returns to clash-hit region

Calm has returned to southwest Congo's Bouenza region after clashes broke out this month between security forces and militiamen loyal to ousted president Pascal Lissouba, AFP reported. The security forces intervened in Mouyondzi and other towns in Bouenza after the militiamen, known as Cocoyes, reportedly went on the rampage, looting and extorting from residents. Three police officers and a local official from Mouyondzi were killed, local sources said.

KENYA: Security to be reinforced in west

Security reinforcements are to be sent to the troubled Pokot-Marakwet area of western Kenya, the Kenyan media reported today. Fighting between the Pokot and Marakwet communities, triggered by cattle rustling, has left at least 10 people dead over the past week. Sources cited in the media claimed Pokot raiders, armed with guns, bows and arrows, were attacking villages in the area and the violence was spreading. Hundreds of villagers have reportedly fled the Keiyo district. Opposition Democratic Party leader Mwai Kibaki has accused the government of responsibility for the killings by allowing the Pokot to possess guns while those of the Marakwet have been withdrawn, the 'Daily Nation' reported today.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: 'Le Palmares' editor released

The editor of 'Le Palmares' daily has been released from detention, according to a BBC report today. Michel Ladi Luya was arrested last Saturday, reportedly in connection with his newspaper's publication of a statement by veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

CENTRAL/EAST AFRICA: OAU refugee mission to visit

An OAU commission on refugees will visit countries in need of emergency assistance to assess the situation of refugees, displaced people and returnees. Wherever possible, assistance will be provided to the victims, according to an OAU statement. Countries to be visited in the Central and East African region include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania and the Horn countries of Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The mission kicked off in West Africa on Saturday.

Oxfam says debt relief initiative failing needy countries

Oxfam has warned that the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) debt relief initiative is failing because funds are not being injected quickly enough into flagging economies. In a report received today, Oxfam International called on rich countries to breathe new life into HIPC or "watch it whither away". It singled out the case of Tanzania where debt repayments are nine times more than government spending on basic health and four times more than spending on primary education. Oxfam pointed out that because of strict interpretations of HIPC rules, Tanzania will have to wait for its debt relief and its population will still be very poor at the end of this decade.

AFRICA: Recruiting child soldiers should be war crime - UNICEF

UNICEF said today people who recruit child soldiers should be tried for war crimes. In a statement, reported by AFP, UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy said a permanent International Criminal Court "should give a clear signal that atrocities committed against children will not go unpunished". UNICEF wants to see the legal age for recruiting soldiers raised from 15 to 18.

Nairobi, 14 April 1998, 14:00 gmt


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Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 17:09:03 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 395 for 14 April 98.4.14 Message-ID: <>

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

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