IRIN Update 401 for 22 Apr 98.4.22

IRIN Update 401 for 22 Apr 98.4.22

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. 401 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 22 April 1998)

RWANDA: First 23 genocide perpetrators to be executed on Friday

The first executions of people convicted of carrying out Rwanda's 1994 genocide will take place on Friday at 10:00 a.m. local time, state radio announced yesterday (Tuesday). The number announced in Radio Rwanda's first broadcast on the issue was initially 33, but the Rwandan News Agency later reported Justice Minister Faustin Nteziryayo explaining that: ''only 23 will be executed, because the files of other convicts who have requested presidential clemency have not yet been completed.'' The radio report said 34 genocide convicts were originally affected by the impending executions, but one of them had reportedly died in prison. Five locations have been selected for the public executions. They are as follows: Nyamirambo Soccer Stadium in the capital Kigali, Nyamata in Kigali Rural, Cyasemakamba in eastern Kibungo prefecture, Murambi in northeastern Umutara prefecture, and Gikongoro in Gikongoro prefecture. All those to be executed had applied for the presidential clemency, but the latter was refused.

Annan likely to visit UN Tribunal in Arusha

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to visit the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in Arusha, northern Tanzania, Fondation Hirondelle quoted ICTR President Laity Kama as saying. He said the visit was set for 6-7 May during Annan's upcoming tour of Africa. Fondation Hirondelle quoted Kama as saying this visit "symbolises the importance attached to the ICTR within the UN organisation."

Meanwhile, the weekly 'EastAfrican' has reported that the ICTR could move out of Tanzania if requests for more space and adequate security are not granted. It said a UN report complained of a lack of cooperation from the Tanzanian authorities and recommended the transfer of the Tribunal, adding Nairobi was considered as a possible new location. Tribunal officials are reported to be holding talks with government officials and are seeking to meet with President Benjamin Mpaka before Annan's visit.

In Geneva yesterday, the UN Commission on Human Rights expressed concern at delays in the proceedings of the Rwandan genocide tribunal and fears that guilty parties were evading justice, news agencies reported. In a unanimous decision, the 53 member states urged full cooperation with the ICTR and with the Rwandan government to ensure that guilty parties were brought to justice. The resolution expressed worry both at "the slow rate of progress in the proceedings" and that "perpetrators of the genocide and other gross violations of human rights continue to evade justice."

Missiles delivered via Belgium - 'Le Soir'

The missiles that downed the plane of Rwanda's Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994 transited through Belgium and former Zaire, the daily 'Le Soir' paper claimed in a report yesterday. Sourcing its report to DRC army intelligence, 'Le Soir' stated that a batch of ground-to-air missiles was shipped to former Zaire after being stocked at the Zairean embassy in Brussels.

AFP quoted the paper as saying the devices used to shoot down the plane were transported just beforehand from the Belgian port of Ostende to Goma in eastern Zaire on the Rwandan border.

Health ministry announces action plan over malaria outbreak

In response to an increasing malaria epidemic in Rwanda, the Ministry of Health has prepared an Emergency Action Plan to respond to the problem. It is estimated that the average number of malaria cases per month is 80,000, a substantial increase over figures for the same period in previous years. The epidemic is explained in part by climatic changes which have allowed the mosquito vector to increase in number. The Emergency Action Plan focuses on the supply of anti-malarial medicine and mosquito nets together with public information campaigns. The total cost of the Emergency Action Plan is US $1.45 million.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: DRC, Rwandan authorities meet on border security

DRC radio reported a meeting took place in Bukavu this Monday between the Congolese authorities from South Kivu and their counterparts from Cyangugu prefecture in southwestern Rwanda to look at ways of improving security on their common border. The meeting was chaired by South Kivu Governor Jean-Charles Magabe. The meeting agreed that in future people crossing at Ruzizi-one, Ruzizi-two and Bugarama border points would need special travel documents in addition to identity papers. At all other crossing points, travellers will only need their identity papers which, according to a communique from the meeting, "they will deposit at the border and then be given a slip valid for not more than 24 hours." The meeting also agreed that from now on Congolese authorities travelling to Uvira or Bukavu via Rwanda in government vehicles would be allowed to cross the border without any other documents apart from a mission order. Meanwhile, Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame returned to Kigali today after a short trip to Angola where he told reporters he had discussed the issue of the return of Rwandan refugees from that country.

Insecurity reported in Butembo area

Humanitarian sources in Goma reported to IRIN that rebels attacked Butembo in North Kivu at the beginning of last week. The road between Goma and Butembo was closed by local authorities on 14 April and military reinforcements were deployed in the area. The sources said the road was reopened last Saturday, but added that an operation to remove local populations living along the borders with Rwanda and Uganda was ongoing. DRC authorities have frequently denounced rebel activity in North Kivu, which is believed to emanate from a combination of Mayi-Mayi and Interahamwe elements. A local NGO source said the town of Butembo had been surrounded by DRC army since the 13 April and house-to-house searches had been carried out.

BURUNDI: At least 49 dead in fresh fighting - AFP

AFP reported that rebels in Burundi had killed at least 15 people and wounded many others in attacks on the villages of Rubingo and Bandagura, near Bujumbura, at dawn today. Quoting government officials, the agency said another 34 people - 30 rebels, two soldiers and two civilians - were killed on Friday in the southwestern Lake Tanganyika town of Rumonge in a clash between army soldiers and rebels. Army spokesman Isaie Nibizi was quoted as saying dozens were killed in Wednesday's attacks, but he could confirm only 15 dead and 10 wounded.

KENYA: Cholera kills 1,571, Rift Valley fever outbreak said over

WHO Kenya told IRIN today that Kenya's cholera outbreak was declining, but that 1,571 people had died in an epidemic lasting nine months. Figures from the Kenyan Ministry of Health indicate 41,126 reported cases of cholera between June 1997 and March 1998. The Coast and Nyanza provinces were the worst affected, accounting for over 30,000 cases. The national case fatality rate was 3.8 percent. Medical guidelines suggest that only one percent of cholera victims need die, given proper treatment.

Floods in Kenya contributed to the cholera epidemic, as well as an outbreak of a haemorrhagic disease thought to be Rift Valley Fever. A study by the Center for Disease Control, WHO, the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the South African Institute for Virology and other specialists discovered that, of a sample of patients thought to have suffered Rift Valley Fever, only 40 percent tested positive for the disease. Malaria, cholera and malnutrition are thought to have contributed to the mysterious disease outbreak which killed over 400 people, and led to the deaths of large numbers of livestock.

Pokot, Marakwet in peace agreement

Members of the Pokot and the Marakwet ethnic groups who for the past two weeks have been involved in violent cattle raids, yesterday passed a peace resolution to restore order in the two districts, according to the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. A peace and reconciliation meeting held in Kitale and chaired by the Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner was attended by political, administrative and church leaders from the region, the state broadcast organisation reported. The two communities agreed that stolen cattle would not be pursued by the owners, but by security personnel aided by leaders selected from both sides. The cattle rustling which broke out late last month has left at least 17 people dead though other media sources have put the figure much higher.

KENYA-UGANDA: Plans to ease congestion at Mombasa Port

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has taken action to ease congestion at Mombasa port, a KPA official told IRIN today. This came after a visit to the port last week by a Ugandan delegation led by Minister for Trade and Industry Abel Rwendeire to complain about the delay to cargo and goods destined for Uganda. The official, who declined to be named, said the issues raised by the Ugandan delegation included: "slow documentation, security of cargo especially vehicles, pilferage, and the possibility of allocating to Uganda a section of the port." Among the changes KPA has agreed to implement are: centralisation of documentation of Ugandan cargo, thorough checking of vehicles in the ship and after off-loading, a perimeter fence installed around vehicles, increased civilian and uniformed police at the port and the allocation of a section of the port to Uganda three months from now. Rwendeire told IRIN that he was happy with the proposed changes, but stressed: "What remains is the follow up."

UGANDA: Uganda counts cost of water hyacinth

The Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) loses at least 210 million Ugandan shillings ($180,258) every month due to water hyacinth. UEB's Managing Director Simon D'ujanga told IRIN today about $34,335 was spent "in removing the rotting weed from the cooling system of the machines and another $145,923 in lost generation." Uganda's Ministry of Natural Resources told the weekly 'EastAfrican' that about 2000-4000 hectares of Uganda's Lake Victoria territorial waters were infested by the weed.

Nairobi, 22 April 1998, 15:00 GMT


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Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 18:53:03 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 401 for 22 Apr 98.4.22 Message-ID: <>

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

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