Burundi + 2 more

IRIN Update 876 for the Great Lakes

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UNITED NATIONS
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrated Regional Information Network
for Central and Eastern Africa
Tel: +254 2 622147
Fax: +254 2 622129
e-mail: irin@ocha.unon.org

RWANDA: France to hand over genocide suspect

The French Court of Appeal on Monday ordered the extradition of genocide suspect Francois Xavier Nzuwonemeye to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha. AFP quoted his lawyer Eric Morain as saying the court proceedings were held in camera and did not know the reasons behind the decision. He said he would appeal.

Gerald Gahima, the Rwandan prosecutor-general, told IRIN his government was happy with the French court's decision. "This action is good news because the French authorities are cooperating with the tribunal and we hope they will arrest and hand over other suspects based in France," he said. The suspect is a former member of the Rwandan Armed Forces and was arrested on 15 February 2000. Last week, the tribunal officially requested the Belgian government to hand over the former chief of Rwanda's gendarmerie, Augustin Ndidiliyima. The charges against him include genocide, rape and crimes against humanity.

RWANDA: ICTR judge orders return of documents

Judge Mehmet Guney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday ordered the return of documents confiscated from genocide suspect Jerome Bicamumpaka after his arrest in April last year. "The seizure was carried out by the Cameroonian authorities, without the documents being handed over to the prosecution," the judge said in his ruling, quoted by the Internews agency. Bicamumpaka was foreign minister at the time of the 1994 genocide.

RWANDA: Murder of presidential adviser "political killing"

Political analysts say the murder of presidential adviser Aciel Kabera in Kigali on Sunday was "clearly" a political killing. The BBC Kinyarwanda service said he was shot dead outside his house by three people in uniform. Kabera had apparently told members of his family he feared for his life as Rwandan officials had linked him with the former parliamentary speaker, Joseph Sebarenzi Kabuye, who fled the country, accused of monarchist sentiments. Like Kabuye, Kabera was a genocide survivor and observers note that survivors are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the current authorities in Rwanda.

"What is clearly coming out after the assassination of Aciel Kabera is that [Vice-President] Paul Kagame is facing opposition from different angles," Charles Onyango Obbo, editor of the independent Ugandan 'Monitor' daily and a regional analyst, told IRIN on Monday. "This includes Tutsis who survived the 1994 genocide, who consider the Tutsis from Uganda as a privileged lot ... who are just monopolising power." "This kind of situation encourages bumping people off," he added.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Kabila green light still awaited on troop deployment

The UK's representative to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, has said the UN is still awaiting President Laurent-Desire Kabila's permission to deploy peacekeepers in the DRC. "But we still want to see action on the ground that bears out peace intentions," he said, according to 'The Namibian' newspaper. "At the moment, there is no stable ceasefire on the ground." He was addressing a news conference after talks with Namibian President Sam Nujoma.

DRC: US warns over ceasefire violations

Meanwhile, the US government has warned that continued violations of the Lusaka ceasefire agreement will impede the deployment of UN military personnel. "The United States and the UN Secretary-General have repeatedly stressed that the successful deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission can only occur if the parties involved in the conflict demonstrate commitment to the Lusaka agreement by rigorously adhering to its provisions," State Department spokesman James Rubin said, according to AFP. On Monday, Jean-Pierre Odenkane, vice-president of the rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD-Goma) told IRIN his troops were fighting Congolese government forces on three fronts.

Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of regional cooperation, Amama Mbabazi, reacted by saying: "It should be the other way round - they should come in and stop what they are complaining about." Mbabazi, who chairs the political committee set up to oversee implementation of the Lusaka accord, told IRIN the implementation "depends on a number of factors, including deploying UN peacekeepers who are supposed to liaise with all the forces on the ground and stop ceasefire violations". "The occasional ceasefire violations are due to the fighting forces' proximity to one another," he added.

BURUNDI: Commissions make little progress

A senior member of the peace talks facilitation team, Mark Bomani, has said the Arusha process is "irreversible", according to the Hirondelle news agency. Speaking at the end of the commission meetings, he acknowledged however that some of the commissions had made little progress. The commission looking into the nature of the conflict remained "blocked" on the question of genocide, while the commission on democracy and good governance "required more time" as it had "the most difficult text to issue". The duties of this commission include producing a constitutional draft and defining the electoral system and transitional institutions. The third commission on peace and security still has to reach agreement on cessation of hostilities and integration of rebel forces into the national army. Hirondelle said the facilitators admitted these were tricky issues, given that the rebel fighting forces had not attended the peace talks. According to Bomani, the fourth commission on reconstruction and economic development had "almost completed" the points on its agenda. Delegation heads were due to meet again next month.

BURUNDI: Fuel "becoming rare"

A fuel crisis currently gripping Burundi has sparked a row between "traditional operators" and "illegal operators" who have no licences, according to the private Netpress news agency. It said fuel was becoming a "very rare commodity" in Burundi because countries through which the tankers transit had imposed a ceiling of 30,000 litres. Previously, Burundian transporters were able to bring in 60,000 litres and were now refusing to half-fill their lorries, the agency said. The measure was reportedly recommended by the World Bank to try and preserve the state of the roads in the region. Netpress said the illegal operators were transacting directly with clients rather than through the petroleum companies, creating much discontent in the sector. Traditional operators were urging the ministry of commerce to intervene, it added.

Nairobi, 7 March 2000, 14:05 gmt

[ENDS]

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