Burundi + 5 more

IRIN-CEA Weekly Round-up 134 covering the period 27 Jul - 02 Aug 2002

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrated Regional Information Network
DRC-RWANDA: Kabila, Kagame sign peace pact

Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) signed an agreement on Tuesday to end the conflict between their two countries. A memorandum of understanding and a timescale for the implementation of the accord were signed in Pretoria, South Africa, in the presence of South African President Thabo Mbeki, chairman of the African Union; Malawi President Bakili Muluzi; South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma; South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini; Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the DRC Lena Sundh; and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to South Africa.

Speaking on the South African Broadcasting Corporation from the ceremony at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria, Kabila said, "Today must be considered as a great day for the whole of Africa, one step more towards the sustainable development of the continent." [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)092]

DRC: Volcanologists say risk exists of Nyiragongo eruption

Volcanologists monitoring seismic activity in two volcanoes in eastern DRC have urged a continued high state of vigilance on Mt Nyiragongo where fractures have appeared on its flanks, rendering them weak and "increasing the risk of another eruption", the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. Scientists said earlier reports of huge amounts of volcanic ash emanating from Mount Nyamuragira had not been confirmed by US National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite photographs and data, nor by the situation on the ground. "There is, however, a lot of sulphur-gas and acid-rain emission that could pose a threat to livestock," OCHA said. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)096]

DRC: UN begins training police instructors

The UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) began training 54 civilian police instructors on human rights in the eastern city of Kisangani, capital of Orientale Province, on Monday. This would be the first of two five-week courses, UN News reported. MONUC's civilian police commissioner, Gen Gerardo Chaumont, told IRIN that the phase would be a "trial balloon for phase two", when another 54 instructors would be trained. "If we succeed, we will extend this training to other cities," he said. Once trained, the instructors will train the policemen who will subsequently serve throughout Orientale Province and also facilitate the withdrawal from Kisangani of the pro-Rwandan rebel group, the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD-Goma), which controls the province, including Kisangani. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)081]

DRC: US announces US $5 million reward for arrest of genocide suspects

US Envoy-at-Large for War Crimes Pierre-Richard Prosper announced on Monday an up to US $5-million reward for information leading to the arrest of any of nine genocide suspects thought to be living in the DRC, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday. Prosper, who was visiting the DRC capital, Kinshasa, where he met senior government officials, told reporters that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda wanted the nine suspects. "A key to the end of the suffering lies in ending the war. The key to ending the conflict consists in sending the fugitives to the Tribunal to be judged," Prosper said, according to AP.

DRC Human Rights Minister Ntumba Luaba said the government backed the effort to bring the guilty to justice. "We cannot sacrifice the lives of six million Congolese in the name of nine people," AP quoted him as saying. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)089]

DRC: RCD-Goma refuses Kinshasa free reign to disarm Interahamwe

Tension has again risen between the government in Kinshasa and the RCD-Goma, this time over the freedom of movement of Kinshasa's armed forces in territory controlled by RCD-Goma in order to disarm exiled Rwandan Hutu fighters. "We will not let the government forces manoeuvre in the territory under our control unless it is done within the context of a national army that includes armed factions of all Congolese belligerents [RCD-Goma, Mouvement de liberation du Congo, and Kinshasa]," the RCD-Goma leader, Adolphe Onusumba, told IRIN on Thursday, in response to a Kinshasa government declaration that most of the Rwandan armed groups to be disarmed and repatriated were in RCD-Goma-controlled territory. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)133]

ROC: 66,000 displaced in Pool region

About 66,000 people are currently displaced in the Pool region, just northwest of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo (ROC), since fighting broke out in late March, the UN country team reported on Monday. It said the UN and partner agencies had registered and helped the one-third of this number, who was now living in Brazzaville and the surrounding districts. The remaining two-thirds, the team reported, were "most probably" living in Pool. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)085]

ROC: US to support human rights education for indigenous populations

A programme to educate indigenous populations in several regions of the ROC on their basic human rights will begin in August, the Association pour les droits de l'homme et l'univers carceral (Association for human rights and prison conditions) told IRIN on Tuesday. Funded by the US embassy, the US $24,000 project will target 120 indigenous people in the regions of Likouala, Sangha, Plateaux and Lekoumou over one year. "We want to encourage the education of indigenous populations both in their traditional culture and in modern ways as a means of helping them cope" with modern realities, Ruth Parent of the US embassy told IRIN. She said although these indigenous people were commonly referred to as pygmies, they referred to themselves as belonging to a particular ethnic community, such as the Ba-Aka. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)090]

ROC: US $40 million Word Bank loan for infrastructure

The World Bank will this August disburse US $40 million to the ROC for the rehabilitation of infrastructure and the raising of living standards, in an effort to re-launch the oil-rich nation onto the path of economic development after years of internal strife. The Bank's resident representative, Alassane Diawara, told IRIN on Wednesday that the project comprised several components, including the repair of roads, bridges and schools; rehabilitation of the railway; job creation; and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Others are the transport of agricultural products and the heavy reliance on local manpower. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)127]

BURUNDI: Vice-president assured on ceasefire talks date

Burundian Vice-President Domitien Ndayizeye said on Tuesday that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had assured him that ceasefire talks with two Hutu rebels groups would take place as scheduled. "He confirmed 6 August as the date when negotiations should begin and last for about three weeks," Ndayizeye said on state-owned Radio Burundi. "He also confirmed that the heads of state summit would be organised for the first week of September." Ndayizeye was speaking just hours after returning from a daylong meeting with Museveni in Kampala, the Ugandan capital. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)108]

BURUNDI: Hutu leaders condemn rebels

Leaders of the Group of Seven Hutu parties (G-7), allied under what is known as the Moshi Group, have "strongly condemned" rebels for continuing attacks on civilians and other non-military targets, a local news agency, Net Press, reported on Tuesday. In a communique, released after Hutu rebels shelled the some sections of the capital, Bujumbura, on Monday, G-7 President Gaetan Nikobamye termed the actions "criminal acts by genocidal terrorist groups". He accused them of assassinating civilians in ambushes along the nation's highways, saying this and other actions constituted "war crimes and crimes against humanity". [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)110] [For AU, UN comments visit http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)151]

BURUNDI-TANZANIA: Neighbours agree to "normalise" relations

Following a weekend of "sincere and frank" talks between the Tanzanian president and the Burundian vice-president, the two countries have agreed to "normalise" their relations after several weeks of accusations and counter-accusations over rebel attacks, a Burundian official said on Monday. "The two countries also agreed that they would talk first to each other rather than to the media, on issues of misunderstanding," Renovat Cubwa, a spokesman at the Burundian embassy in Dar es Salaam, told IRIN. Cubwa said Burundi's concerns over these attacks were the "main" reason for the vice-president's visit, and that Ndayizeye wanted to clarify the position of the Tanzanian government. Nonetheless, Cubwa added, Mkapa had reiterated that the claims were "ridiculous" and that he "could not give credit" to them. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)094]

TANZANIA: Clove smuggling report prompts heated debates in Zanzibar

Discussions about findings of a recent report into clove smuggling from Zanzibar turned into heated debates in the House of Representatives last week, as it emerged that "almost everybody" was implicated in the illicit trade, sources on the island told IRIN. The report, which was commissioned by the House, "spares no one", they said. However, during a tempestuous session, one member described the report as "full of lies", and the Speaker of the House reportedly had to intervene to restore order. Meanwhile, opposition politicians have called the smuggling "a silent protest" to show that something is wrong and there is a need for change to the clove policy. [Full report at: http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID)056]


DRC-RWANDA: Text of the Pretoria Memorandum of Understanding at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)111

DRC-RWANDA: Pretoria Programme of Implementation at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)121

DRC-RWANDA: Focus on international reaction to peace accord at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)112

DRC-RWANDA: Focus on further international, national reaction to accord at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID)131


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