Burundi: IRIN Summary of Main Events, 9/11/96

Burundi: IRIN Summary of Main Events, 9/11/96


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IRIN Summary of Main Events in Burundi 11 September 1996

Sources for the information below include UN agencies, NGOs, other international organisations and media reports. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.

# Monsignor Joachim Ruhuna, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Burundi, is believed to have been killed after the discovery yesterday of his burnt out car. His vehicle was found in a valley near Bugendana town in Gitega province with the archbishop, a nun and a driver all missing. Traces of blood and burnt clothing, including the archbishop's mitre, were found beside the car. The army will continue to search for their bodies.

Announcing the discovery army spokesman Longin Minani blamed Hutu rebels for his death, while today Major Buyoya called for calm on Burundian national radio, saying "let nobody use this unhappy event as a pretext to perpetrate acts of vengeance or extremism". Jerome Ndiho, the CNDD's spokesman, today denied that Hutu rebels were responsible for the killing, saying "we have no interest in the disappearance of such a constructive personality". The CNDD claims that the army were responsible. Monsignor Ruhuna, a Tutsi, was regarded as a force for moderation in Burundi and had been an outspoken critic of violence by all parties to the conflict.

# UN officials have welcomed the decision by the Regional Sanctions Coordinating Committee to exempt certain classes of relief items from the sanctions on Burundi. The decision last Friday followed concerns from humanitarian agencies that the sweeping sanctions would bring the whole emergency relief effort in Burundi to a halt. Michel Sidibe, head of UNICEF in Burundi, was quoted in media reports as saying, "I am pleased because everything UNICEF was requesting has been accepted. Now we can save our vaccination programme for 1996". Jean-Luc Siblot, head of WFP in Burundi, said that the agency was concerned about agriculture because neither seeds nor fertilizers were exempted in last Friday's meeting. The full Sanctions Committee statement, which includes details of which relief items have been exempted, is available from IRIN.

# Jean-Luc Ndizeye, Pierre Buyoya's spokesman, yesterday urged regional governments to think again and lift sanctions completely, saying that "the total lifting of the embargo is necessary to restore peace". He also expressed optimism that regional governments would be persuaded to lift the sanctions in time, saying that Major Buyoya's regime was convinced "misunderstandings would be cleared up". The Sanctions Committee state- ment, however, implies that the sanctions will be "strictly maintained" until the Buyoya regime agrees to the conditions laid down in the Arusha II summit of 31 July, namely the restoration of parliament, the unbanning of political parties and `immediate and unconditional negotiations with all groups within and outside the country.'

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From: UN DHA IRIN <> Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 17:17:28 +0300 (GMT+0300) Subject: Burundi: IRIN Summary of Main Events for 11 September 1996 96.09.11 Message-Id: <>

Editor: Ali Dinar,