IRIN Update 477 for 8-10 Aug 1998.8.10

IRIN Update 477 for 8-10 Aug 1998.8.10

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. 477 for Central and Eastern Africa (Saturday-Monday 8-10 August 1998)


The authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday accused Ugandan troops of entering the country to assist the rebellion as the border town of Beni fell to the rebels. Information Minister Didier Mumengi claimed a "Ugandan and Rwandan military convoy" which included tanks, trucks and armoured vehicles, was heading towards Oysha and Komanda in the northeast Bunia region. Uganda flatly denied the accusations, but humanitarian sources told IRIN today the town of Beni, on the Ugandan border south of Bunia, had fallen to rebel forces which were now advancing on Bunia itself. [For detailed information, refer to IRIN item today headlined "Beni falls to rebels amid claims of Ugandan involvement"].

UGANDA: Government denies assassination attempt on Museveni

The Ugandan government has denied media reports that Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels killed 33 people, including 19 soldiers, in an attack on the western town of Kasese last week. Ugandan state radio, quoting the acting Army Chief-of-Staff Brigadier James Kazini, said that a rebel raid took place on a local trading centre on Thursday. Nine ADF members were killed. But in the confusion of the battle, two army units opened fire on each other "leaving many injured", the radio said.

An ADF spokesman claimed the attack was an assassination attempt on President Yoweri Museveni, Tanzanian radio reported. According to the rebel official, the bid failed because Museveni's arrival in Kasese was delayed. Museveni's spokesman John Nagenda denied there had been an attempt on the president's life. In an address to the Kasese district council on Thursday, Museveni ruled out a negotiated settlement to the conflict. He said the army was going to be provided with night-vision equipment "to fight the ADF day and night," AFP reported.

Anti-terrorist law passed

A new law has been approved that will declare Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the ADF terrorist organisations, the private 'Monitor' newspaper reported on Friday. Under the legislation, the onus would be on terrorist suspects to prove their innocence. The Minister of Internal Affairs Major Tom Butime told parliament that the new law, empowering his office with cabinet approval to declare an organisation a terrorist outfit, will come into force this week. "We shall now handle those terrorists fast, fairly and firmly," Butime said. He also alleged the LRA had collaborators in Kampala, and they "will be dealt with by the new law." Butime accused Sudan of "providing the training, coordination, planning, funding, equipping and all forms of facilitation to these terrorists."

RWANDA: Rebels kill 24 in weekend attacks

Hutu rebels killed 24 people and injured eight in two weekend attacks in northwestern Rwanda, the private Rwanda News Agency reported. Eleven people died and seven were wounded in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday on Kanama commune, 20 km east of Gisenyi. AFP said the scene of the attack was a displaced persons' camp. On Sunday, rebels killed 16 people in Mutura commune. Six of the dead were found burnt in their homes, military sources told the Rwanda News Agency.

Courts sentence 13 to death for genocide

Rwandan courts have sentenced 13 people to death for their role in the 1994 genocide, AFP reported state radio as saying. In hearings on Thursday, a Cyangugu court handed down death sentences on five people. Execution orders were also passed on seven people in Gisenyi and one person in Kigali. A total of six people were acquitted. Meanwhile, 72 genocide suspects were freed from Gikondo prison in Kigali.

SUDAN: New round of peace talks in Nairobi

An Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) communique on last week's failed Sudan peace talks said both sides have agreed to a further round of negotiations within six months, to be held in Nairobi. The statement said both Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) expressed a commitment to "continue with the IGAD peace process".

Garang in Egypt for talks

SPLA leader John Garang arrived in Cairo on Sunday to meet with top Egyptian officials and Sudanese opposition groups, AFP reported. He is expected to hold talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa on Tuesday on developments in Sudan. Garang is also to take part in a conference of the leadership of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) opposition umbrella group.

Meanwhile, NDA forces claim to have killed 15 government soldiers in an attack on Durdayb military camp on the main Kassala-Port Sudan road on 31 July, opposition radio said.

Khartoum condemns East African bombings

The Sudanese government has condemned the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the state news agency said on Saturday. External Relations Minister Mustafa Uthman Isma'il described the incidents as regrettable.

KENYA: Death toll reaches 197 in Nairobi blast

The death toll in the Nairobi bombing has reached 197, Kenyan radio said today. Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble of Cooperative House to reach two women who may still be alive after the blast on Friday, aimed at the adjacent US embassy. Kenyan TV said on Saturday a man "dressed in traditional Arab garments" was arrested by the police shortly after the explosion. A previously unknown organisation, the Islamic Army for the Liberation of Muslim Holy Sites, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the simultaneous car bomb attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. A Kenyan government official said 40 buildings in the city were damaged, 27 of them extensively, by the explosion. The government has appealed for international assistance. Israeli rescue teams backed by French experts have taken charge of the recovery effort. US investigators have cordoned off the US embassy and are conducting an independent search. US casualties were flown out of the country over the weekend.

TANZANIA: Authorities hold suspects over bombing

Tanzanian authorities have taken "several" people into custody in connection with the bombing of the US embassy in Dar es Salaam, CNN reported today. On Sunday the death toll from the blast rose to 10, with 70 people hospitalised, AFP said. Tanzanian radio said on Friday the government has formed a special unit to investigate the bomb attack, and promised to do everything possible to unearth the culprits.

Nairobi, 10 August 1998, 16:00 gmt


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Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 19:06:23 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 477 for 8-10 Aug 1998.8.10 Message-ID: <>

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

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