Burundi + 4 more

IRIN Update 830 for the Great Lakes

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UNITED NATIONS
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RWANDA: Interahamwe militia strikes in Gisenyi

A Hutu Interahamwe force on Thursday crossed from the DRC and attacked Tamira camp in Mutura Commune, Gisenyi Prefecture, leaving 20 people dead and eight injured, Radio Rwanda reported at the weekend. After the attack, the militia retreated to the DRC with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in pursuit, the report said. Local leaders cited by Rwandan radio condemned what they called a "barbaric act by the genocidal forces" while military officials described it as "an isolated but unfortunate incident given that such raids have not been heard of in the country for the past year and a half."

A group calling itself the Armee de Liberation du Rwanda (ALIR) on Saturday denied that the attack had targeted civilian resettlement camps, claiming instead that its militia had occupied and ransacked a military camp, killing Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) soldiers and seizing arms and ammunition. "We never attacked civilians; the truth is that we attacked Bigogwe military camp," the ALIR said Saturday.

RWANDA: Minister resigns over mismanagement of funds

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Forestry Laurien Ngirabanzi resigned on Friday after accepting political responsibility in the mismanagement of World Bank education funding in 1994 which caused the loss to the exchequer of millions of Rwandan francs, Radio Rwanda reported. Ngirabanzi was due to appear before parliament on Friday to explain the mismanagement of the World Bank schools rehabilitation project but resigned beforehand - becoming the first minister in the history of Rwanda to resign for political irresponsibility, the report stated. Prime Minister Pierre-Celestin Rwigema, who was Minister for Education at the time, last Wednesday survived a no-confidence motion in parliament over allegations that he misappropriated millions of dollars in project loans during the same period in 1994.

BURUNDI: Rebel group to boycott Mandela talks

The leader of the main Hutu rebel group CNDD-FDD (Conseil national pour la dÚfense de la democratie-Forces pour la dÚfense de la democratie (FDD) Colonel Jean-Bosco Ndayikenurukiye said he would continue to boycott the Arusha peace talks, despite the appointment of former South African president Nelson Mandela as mediator. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Monday quoted him as saying his group had evidence that the Mandela administration had helped the current government in Burundi with arms sales, despite a regional embargo. Ndayikengurukiye said he wanted direct talks with the government and the army instead of the planned 18-month peace process. He warned of looming disaster in government 'regroupment' camps, which he described as "Nazi-style concentration camps", and said the CNDD-FDD would not consider a ceasefire until they were dismantled.

BURUNDI: Split in parliament over status in Arusha process

Burundi's deputy speaker of the national assembly Augustine Nzojibwami said at the weekend the parliament must take part in the Arusha peace process as "one among warring parties". The Tanzanian 'Guardian' newspaper reported that Nzojibwami's statement contradicted that of the speaker Leonce Ngendakumana that the assembly would be taking part in the process as "a mere observer". The paper said Nzojibwami's stand was rejected by Judge Joseph Warioba during the consultations of committees last month in Arusha. It also quoted sources as saying Ngendakumana's letter had already reached the Nyerere Foundation mediating the Arusha talks, so that "no fresh stand" could be made by his deputy, Nzojibwami.

BURUNDI: Consultations to resume in January

Meanwhile, the four committees in the Burundi peace process tasked with drafting the accord to end the country's six-year conflict are set to resume consultations on 15 January 2000, the 'Guardian' reported on Monday. It quoted sources from the opposition Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) as saying the talks would go ahead in the absence of the newly-appointed mediator, Nelson Mandela. The report said the January consultations should shed light on the possibility of reaching a solution to the conflict by March.

BURUNDI: FRODEBU demands arrest of MP's killers

Meanwhile, FRODEBU chairman Jean Minani has called on the government for the immediate arrest and trial of the killers of Gabriel Gisabwamana, a member of parliament for the party who was shot dead last week after reportedly refusing to show his identity papers to security forces. Minani, national chairman of the party in exile in Tanzania, said any failure to arrest Gisabwamana's killers would be tantamount to "deliberate provocation of FRODEBU members" and that if no single were arrest it would quit the Arusha peace process, news media reported.

UGANDA: 14 reported dead after ADF attacks

Twelve people were reported killed and six Ugandan soldiers captured in a Christmas Eve raid by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces on Hakiitara village in Bundibugyo District, western Uganda, the semi-official 'New Vision' newspaper reported on Monday, quoting military sources. The dead included six of an estimated 150 ADF attackers, it said. The rebels capture of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers was the first occasion in some time on which they have taken soldiers as prisoners of war, the report added. The paper also reported that suspected ADF rebels killed two people and injured two others in an attack on Kiboota, Buheesi sub-county, Kabarole District, on Christmas Day.

DRC: Wamba sacks Ituri governor

Leader of the rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie - Mouvement de liberation (RCD-ML) Professor Ernest Wamba dia Wamba has sacked the governor of Ituri province based in Bunia, Lotsove Adele. In a letter circulated among the Congolese rebel groups after their recent 'unity talks' in Uganda, Wamba accused Adele of insubordination and sabotage of his development efforts for the district, the Ugandan 'New Vision' newspaper reported. It said Wamba had replaced Adele with former Kisangani administrator Olingi Padol, and had also dismissed her three top executive officers. Adele had been appointed governor of Ituri by Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) Chief of Staff, and former commander in the DRC, Brigadier James Kazini. Adele - who attended the rebel's unity meeting in Kabale, Uganda - was reported to have been taken on by Jean-Pierre Bemba's Mouvement de liberation du Congo (MLC) as secretary for social affairs after her dismissal by Wamba, the 'New Vision' added.

TANZANIA: Police detail refugee arms problem

The Tanzanian police confiscated a total of 1,016 guns and 5,650 rounds of ammunition in refugee regions of the country between January 1998 and September 1999, the 'Guardian' reported at the weekend. Most of the arms were brought into Tanzania by refugees and seized in the western regions of Kigoma, Kagera, Rukwa and Tabora - which host tens of thousands of Burundian, Rwandan and Congolese refugees - the paper quoted Director of Criminal Investigation Abadi Rajabu as saying. The weapons, which did not include illegally held arms already surrendered to the police, were being used by bandits in their criminal offenses and threatened not only the lives of innocent civilians but the development of the whole affected area, Rajabu added.

Nairobi, 28 December 1999, 13:00 gmt

[ENDS]

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