IRIN Update 473 for 4 Aug 1998.8.4

IRIN Update 473 for 4 Aug 1998.8.4

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. 473 for Central and Eastern Africa (Tuesday 4 August 1998)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Rwandan troops seen moving into Goma, Bukavu

Fighting appeared to escalate in eastern DRC today (Tuesday), with heavy shooting reported in Uvira, Kisangani and Bukavu. Numerous reports spoke of Rwandan troop movements. Reliable humanitarian sources told IRIN today there was a "peaceful entry" of Rwandan military units into Goma and Rwandans were also seen moving towards Bukavu. Rwandan Foreign Minister Anastase Gasana has denied any Rwandan involvement in the rebellion. The Rwanda News Agency quoted eyewitnesses in the border town of Gisenyi as saying Goma was quiet today.

Kisangani reportedly in rebel hands

Unconfirmed reports said Kisangani had fallen to the rebels, while aid workers in Bukavu told IRIN the situation there was unclear and there had been no radio broadcasts today. [For more information refer to separate IRIN story headlined "Heavy fighting in continues in east, casualties reported"].

Army rounding up Tutsis in Kinshasa

Humanitarian sources in Kinshasa today told IRIN ethnic Tutsis still in the city are being rounded up and arrested by the army. Humanitarian sources said dozens of people had sought refuge in foreign embassy compounds and four people were arrested. Some parts of Kinshasa are still under the control of Rwandans or Banyamulenge, the sources added.

Rebels hijack plane in DRC

The DRC authorities today announced rebels hijacked a plane owned by the domestic carrier Congo Airlines and flew it to the southwest garrison town of Kitona in Bas-Congo province. The announcement by President Laurent-Desire Kabila's cabinet director Abdoulaye Yerodia said the plane was seized by "lost soldiers" who "won't succeed."

ADFL politicians come out in support of rebellion

Goma radio, monitored by the Rwanda News Agency (RNA), last night carried a statement by members of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL) expressing support for the rebellion. RNA said nine ADFL politicians representing all ethnic groups in North Kivu accused Kabila of "making freedom fighters, senior politicians and army commanders regret their contribution to the liberation war". The statement added that the rebellion "will lead to the unity of all Congolese and all Africans".

RWANDA: Senior rebel leader killed

A second top Hutu rebel leader Lieutenant-Colonel Frodouald Mugemana has been killed in a military operation in northwestern Rwanda, news agencies reported today. Details of the overnight battle in Nyarutovu commune, 80 km north of Kigali, are yet to be disclosed. But the military authorities said other rebels were killed and equipment captured in the strike. Mugemana was the aide de camp of Rwanda's late president Juvenal Habyarimana. His death follows the killing of Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Nkundiye, another senior commander of the rebel Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR), and 250 militiamen on 23 July.

SUDAN: SPLA official criticises Khartoum ceasefire offer

A Sudanese rebel official has dismissed a unilateral ceasefire declared by the government as a "manoeuvre" ahead of peace talks in Ethiopia today. Daniel Kodi Angelo of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) said in Cairo that the timing of Khartoum's announcement suggested it was a negotiating tactic, AP reported. The government declared a ceasefire throughout southern Sudan on Monday to allow humanitarian relief to reach an estimated 1.5 million people threatened by famine. It expands the scope of a truce agreed last month to cover the hardest-hit Bahr al-Ghazal region. Sudanese officials said the new ceasefire should aid negotiations with the SPLA and urged the rebels to respond with a similar declaration.

The British government has welcomed Khartoum's ceasefire announcement, according to an AFP dispatch from London. "It is crucial that both sides should respect the ceasefire and negotiate seriously in Addis Ababa to bring this long-running conflict to an end," Foreign Office Minister Derek Fatchett said today.

Clashes between SSDF factions

Meanwhile, a Khartoum daily has reported clashes between pro-government southern Sudanese factions near oil fields at Bentieu in Al Wihda state. 'Al Rai al Aam' said the fighting broke out yesterday (Monday) when a breakaway faction of the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) headed by Paulino Mateb attacked SSDF positions at Bentieu. Mateb's men, who had resisted an earlier order by government armed forces to withdraw from the state capital, said they were defending the oil fields. The Al Wihda state governor had been mediating in the conflict between Mateb and the SSDF's Riek Machar, AFP said.

TANZANIA: Main crop forecast favourable - FAO

Despite crop damage caused by torrential rains in some parts of the country, El-Nino-related conditions have generally been favourable for Tanzania's main crop season, according to an FAO report. Aggregate production of foodcrops in 1998 is forecast at some 32 percent above last year's reduced volume and 13 percent above the average output for the past five years. Aggregate food supplies in the 1998/99 marketing year are expected to exceed requirements for most food crops, except sorghum/millet and wheat, the report says. Exportable surpluses are predicted for rice following a bumper harvest, and to a limited extent for maize. However, although an overall increase in food production is projected, much of central Tanzania and parts of northern and coastal areas are likely to experience considerable food deficits, FAO says. Some 30,000 people will require food assistance, although no external food aid is expected to be required.

Foreign minister slams "arrogant" donors

Tanzania's Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete has slammed "arrogant" aid donors for belittling government leaders, the local 'African' newspaper reported on Thursday. "The constant open criticism by envoys and heads of international organisations [is] irresponsible and undemocratic," Kikwete told the Tanzanian parliament. Kikwete said government leaders were being reduced to the status of "mere errand boys". According to AFP, Tanzania has come under strong criticism from donors over allegations of corruption, human rights violations and the failure to settle the political crisis in the semi-autonomous Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.

UGANDA: New LRA number two appointed

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) secretary for political and diplomatic affairs David Nyekorach Matshanga has been promoted to the rebel group's number two slot, replacing Powell Onen p'Ojwang. The state-owned 'New Vision' reported that Matshanga had coordinated the LRA's political wing in London following Onen's arrest on fraud charges allegedly committed in the United States. The newspaper, quoting rebel sources, said yesterday his appointment will diffuse the "Acholisation" of the LRA. They said the LRA's agenda is to liberate Uganda, and not only the Acholis. Matchanga's selection ends the rift that had been developing between Onen and LRA leader Joseph Kony over the finances and administration of the political and military wings of the rebel group, the daily added.

Nairobi, 4 August 1998, 15:30 gmt


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Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 18:35:46 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 473 for 4 Aug 1998.8.4 Message-ID: <>

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

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