Angola + 4 more

Southern Africa: IRIN News Briefs, 23 December

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ZAMBIA: UNHCR revises Angolan refugee influx upwards
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Thursday it had revised its contingency plans for refugees fleeing into Zambia from eastern Angola upwards as government forces pursue their drive against UNITA rebels.

In recent weeks, the refugee agency told IRIN, a total of 13,000 Angolan refugees had crossed over. It was now revising plans upwards to accommodate 30,000 new arrivals "in the near future". The influx has prompted a joint relief effort in which UNHCR has sent plastic sheeting, blankets and soap to the influx areas, while WFP has provided food. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)has delivered emergency medical kits and provided two doctors and two nurses to assist the refugees. Further relief has been provided by the government, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Dutch chapter of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF-Holland), UNHCR said.

MOZAMBIQUE: South Africa urges Dhlakama to accept results

South African President, Thabo Mbeki has urged Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambique opposition party, RENAMO to accept the results of the country's general elections held earlier this month.

Mbeki said in a statement that all parties should "respect the integrity of the democratic process and outcome of the vote." He added: "The people of Mozambique have once again demonstrated their unwavering endorsement and belief in democratic governance and this should serve as an endorsement to countries aspiring for democratic rule."

On Wednesday Dhlakama said that his party had "vowed" not to accept the results, claiming that the results had been "forged". Dhlakama added that his party would contest the results in court. On Wednesday the Mozambican Election Commission announced that President Joaquim Chissano had been re-elected as president with 52.29 percent of the vote, his ruling FRELIMO party won 133 seats in the country's parliament. Dhlakama secured 47.71 percent of the presidential vote with his RENAMO party taking 117 seats in parliament.

COMORO ISLANDS: OAU urges breakaway island to sign agreement

Ministers from the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) meeting in South Africa this week have urged the separatist island of Anjouan in the Comoro Islands to sign an agreement that is designed to keep the Indian Ocean archipelago intact.

A statement issued by the OAU said: "The ministerial meeting urged the Anjouanse side to reconsider their intransigent position and sign the agreement without further delay so the processes provided therein can be implemented." The statement said that OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim had given the separatists until 1 February next year.

OAU ministers at the meeting in Pretoria said that "serious measures" would be taken if the separatist leaders failed to sign the agreement. The agreement, according to media reports, sets out broad autonomy for each of the Comoro Islands under a national structure.

ZIMBABWE: Mugabe appoints new Vice President

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has appointed Joseph Msika as his second Vice President, Zimbabwean media reports said this week.

Msika takes over from the late Joshua Nkomo who died in July of cancer. A statement from the office of the president and cabinet said: "Msika has a long history in the national liberation struggle and played a very important part alongside the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo in the negotiations that yielded the unity between the Zimbabwean African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU - PF) led by Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), led by Nkomo." At a ZANU - PF congress at the weekend, Msika was also elected second vice president of the ruling party.

[ENDS]

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