Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 479 for 12 Aug 1998.8.12

Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 479 for 12 Aug 1998.8.12

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. 479 for Central and Eastern Africa (Wednesday 12 August 1998)

DRC: Hate radio re-emerges

As the DRC rebellion appears to be gaining momentum, hate radio broadcasts have re-emerged in the northeast region, where rebels are said to be pushing towards Bunia town. Unlike former hate radio stations, these broadcasts are being made over government radio. Radio Television Nationale Congolaise in Bunia on Saturday ordered Congolese people to arm themselves with "a machete, spear, arrow, hoe, spades, rakes, nails, truncheons, irons, barbed wire, stones and the like" to "kill the Rwandan Tutsis" in Ituri district.

The rebellion, whose name according to Reuters was today (Wednesday) given as the Congolese Movement for Democracy, was comprised of 19 battalions amounting to about 15,000 men, rebel commander Sylvain Mbuki told journalists in Goma. [For detailed information, refer to separate IRIN item today headlined "Hate radio re-emerges as rebels push towards Bunia"].

RWANDA: 15,000 displaced by recent fighting

Military operations in northwest Rwanda have created 15,000 new displaced, WFP reports. The displaced are fleeing towards Ruhengeri prefecture and are staying in Nyamutera commune.

TANZANIA/KENYA: OAU condemns terrorism

OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim has appealed to the international community to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. On a visit to the bombed US embassy in Dar es Salaam today, he said the OAU was willing to participate in an international effort to combat terrorism, Tanzanian radio reported. Meanwhile, the death toll in the Nairobi blast has risen to 253. President Daniel arap Moi led religious leaders to the site of the bomb explosion as the rescue effort drew to a close. Kenyan radio reported the regional Preferential Trade Area bank has set up a fund to assist small business owners affected by the bomb attack. The bank signed a 1 million Kenya shilling cheque today towards the Small Business Recovery Fund. Grants will be given to deserving victims who lost their businesses in the blast.

Somali Islamic party backs bombing

The Somali Hizb al-Islam (Party of Islam) has described the US embassy bombings as "appropriate", the Somali newspaper 'Ayaamaha' reported on Monday. The party said the US government was a thorn in the flesh of the Islamic world. Other Islamic groups in the region have condemned the bombings.

BURUNDI: Food production forecast to rise

Food production in Burundi is expected to be 15 percent higher than last year, according to the latest UN assessment. Total output, according to a FAO report on the crop and food supply situation, is equivalent to "pre-crisis" levels. However, production is insufficient to meet domestic needs, and FAO says 111,000 mt may need to be imported in 1998. Of that, about 61,000 should be met by food aid, FAO estimates.

The report says the 1998 "B" season enjoyed generally good rainfall patterns, but yields will be limited by the poor quality of available seed supplies and limited fertilizer. The area cultivated by farmers has increased, thanks to a reduction in the number of people living in displaced peoples' camps compared to last year. Also, more of those who are still in camps had access to their land, FAO reports. Recent (24 July) OCHA figures indicate that 552,515 Burundians are displaced and living in sites. Coffee and tea production provide 89 percent of the country's export earnings. Coffee production was is expected to decline from 33,000 mt in 1997 to 26,000 mt in 1998. Tea, which benefited from heavy rains earlier in the year, is expected to increase from 6,900 in 1997 to 9,800 mt this year.

Rebels kill 10

The state news agency ABP reported the massacre of 10 people by "assailants" in southwestern Burundi on Monday. Before the killings in Nyanza-Lac communne, Makamba province, the raiders attacked the Kigwena military camp in Rumonge commune. Thirty of the group were killed in an army ambush over the weekend ABP, monitored by the BBC, said.

Nairobi, 12 August 1998 15:30 gmt


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From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: Central and Eastern Africa: IRIN Update 479 for 12 Aug 1998.8.12

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

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