IRIN Update 472 for 1-3 Aug 1998.8.3

IRIN Update 472 for 1-3 Aug 1998.8.3

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. 472 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 1-3 August 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Eastern rebellion against Kabila

A rebellion against President Laurent-Desire Kabila was launched in eastern DRC over the weekend, and fighting also occurred in the capital Kinshasa where two military camps were the scene of armed clashes. Kinshasa was today reported quiet and a three-day dusk-to-dawn curfew was slapped on the city. A statement read over Goma and Bukavu radios by a military commander yesterday said "government troops" had decided "to remove President Laurent-Desire Kabila from power". The statement went on to accuse Kabila of "misrule, nepotism and corruption".

Fighting was reported in Goma, Bukavu, Baraka and Kindu areas with clashes still continuing today in the latter, according to humanitarian sources. An announcement read out over Bukavu radio today by an unidentified person declared the Kivus would become an "autonomous zone, no longer part of the country". A Banyamulenge NGO source claimed 10 Banyamulenge civilians had been killed by unknown attackers while fleeing Uvira. [Note to subscribers: For detailed reports refer to separate IRIN stories headlined respectively "Fighting in east as army vows to topple Kabila" and "Situation confused as Banyamulenge take over Bukavu radio".]

Finance minister freed from detention

The security forces freed Finance and Budget Minister Ferdinand Tala Ngai on Friday, 24 hours after he had been formally arrested. AFP quoted a source close to Kabila's office as saying the minister was arrested on Thursday after three days of questioning by the National Security Council. No official reason was given for his detention. Tala Ngai had recently returned from an "awareness tour" of the east of the country to explain monetary and tax reform. He was a member of the UDPS opposition party before joining the government in March.

Meanwhile, 230 people were released from the former Makala prison in Kinshasa following a re-examination of their cases by a commission headed by the attorney-general, state TV reported on Friday. The amnesties are a bid to ease prison congestion ordered by Kabila, the TV said.

RWANDA: Hutu rebels kill over 100 in Kigali Rurale

Over 100 people were killed in a weekend rebel attack on a village in Kigali Rurale prefecture, the military commander of the area announced yesterday. AFP quoted Colonel Fred Ibingira saying a large group of rebel youths struck Rushashi - 60 km north of the capital - overnight on Friday. Most of the victims were reportedly women and children, both Tutsis and Hutus, bludgeoned to death with clubs and machetes. The commander said at least 102 people were killed. He added the attackers were from the prefecture, but appeared to have launched the raid from Hutu rebel bases in northern Ruhengeri region. The authorities in Kigali said the army was combing the area for the rebels on Sunday. Map:

According to AFP, the countryside close to Kigali has been the target of a recent wave of rebel attacks. Demands by the local population for arms to defend themselves have been rejected by Kigali on the grounds that the army was capable enough, regional administrator Wellars Gasamagera told the news agency.

Nun killed, rebel officer captured in northwest

A Roman Catholic nun was shot dead on Friday in Gisenyi, northwestern Rwanda by unidentified attackers, AP reported. Sister Valens Mukanoheli was killed in front of her mission. A church official said it was unclear if the gunmen were rebels or criminal elements. Meanwhile, Rwandan radio announced the capture on Friday of a rebel officer Lieutenant Joseph Barangerageje. He was allegedly responsible for coordinating the ambush of vehicles along the Ruhengeri-Gisenyi road.

Two genocide cases adjourned

A military court in Kigali on Thursday adjourned the case of Captain Isidore Bwanakweli, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, state radio said. The hearing was postponed to 5 August due to the late notification of a defence witness, a Belgian national. Bwanakweli, who commanded a battalion in Kigali during the 1994 civil war, is accused of committing atrocities in the Gikondo area of the city. A court in Butare also adjourned a genocide case involving Emile Budara until 16 November to give witnesses enough time to prepare. Budara is accused of killings in his Runyinya commune in the south of the country.

UGANDA: LRA rebels killed in SPLA offensive, paper says

At least 19 Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) gunmen were allegedly killed in southern Sudan's eastern Equatoria region by Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels, the state-owned 'New Vision' reported at the weekend. The Uganda paper said the LRA soldiers were killed during SPLA attacks on Torit, Magwi and Kapoeta on the Ugandan border. The 'New Vision' quoted security sources as claiming that 1,000 LRA rebels are encircled along the Juba-Torit road. The LRA is believed to operate out of bases at Jubelein, 60 km south of Juba, the southern capital. The paper said the SPLA have been battling government forces for a week in eastern Equatoria. Khartoum has claimed that the offensive is being assisted by the Ugandan army. Kampala has countered that two other Ugandan rebel groups, the West Nile Bank Front and the Former Uganda National Army, are supporting the Sudanese military.

ADF bases overrun, 25 rebels dead

The Ugandan army killed 25 rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and rescued 56 abducted people in the western district of Bundibugyo last week, the 'New Vision' said. It quoted the army Chief-of-Staff Brigadier James Kazini as saying the rebels were killed on Tuesday and Wednesday when their hideouts were overrun near the Sindira river. Six government soldiers and an abductee were killed in the operation, AFP reported. Among those rescued were 13 old women and 43 children aged between one and 10 years. They were citizens of both DRC and Uganda, the news agency said.

BURUNDI: Belgium promotes international peace effort

Belgium has announced an international effort to promote peace in Burundi. Belgian Foreign Minister Erik Derycke said on Sunday that Canada is to host a meeting in Ottawa on 19-20 August to evaluate progress in peace talks "and the methods of an eventual implementation", Reuters reported. He added that any relaunch of Belgian links with Burundi would be taken in consultation with international partners after the Ottawa meeting. His statement clarified comments by Secretary of State for Cooperation Reginald Moreels on Sunday who said that Belgian cooperation would be relaunched in the coming months. Moreels said that a new policy of constructive engagement would not be a sign of approval for the government of President Pierre Buyoya.

A spokesman for the opposition CNDD told Reuters he was "astonished" by Moreels' comments as Burundi had not met the democratic conditions set by the international community.

Minister laments human cost of sanctions

Burundi's gross domestic product has fallen by seven percent as a result of regional economic sanctions, PANA reported Finance Minister Astere Yirukurigoma as saying. "We lost about 50 percent of export earnings in 1996 and import costs increased by over 25 percent," the minister said on Friday. The price of fuel has risen by 300 percent. He added the figures failed to adequately describe the human impact of the embargo, which has affected access to healthcare and schooling.

DISPLACED PEOPLE: "Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement" published

Guiding principles on rights and guarantees relevant to displaced people have been published by the United Nations. The document was drawn up by Francis Deng, the UN Secretary-General's representative on internally displaced persons and legal experts over several years. The 30 principles aim to provide protection against arbitrary displacement, offer a basis for protection and assistance during displacement, and set forth guarantees for safe return, resettlement and reintegration. Although they do not constitute a binding instrument, they "reflect and are consistent with international human rights and humanitarian law and analogous refugee law". The move has been endorsed by the world's major humaniatarian agencies, represented by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee. UN figures suggest twenty million people are displaced within their own countries. The full document is available from ReliefWeb:

Nairobi, 3 August 1998, 14:00 GMT


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Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 19:02:48 -0300 (GMT+3) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 472 for 1-3 Aug 1998.8.3 Message-ID: <>

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

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