1. Assistance to the CNDD-FDD rebels (Pierre Nkurunziza)
The first food distribution to 14,000 CNDD-FDD rebels (Pierre Nkurunziza) was conducted on Sunday 29 December by GTZ IS (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH) at Kayange site, Musigati Commune (Bubanza Province). A coordination meeting was held December 31 at Musigati to look at the appropriate ways to deliver the food. Attending the meeting: were representatives of the GoB, CNDD-FDD (Pierre Nkurunziza), US Embassy, EU, AU and GTZ IS. It was decided that food would be delivered three times a week. Another food delivery was expected on Tuesday 31 December at Karindo site in Nyabitsinda Commune (Ruyigi Province) but could not be conducted due to "military occupation", said CNDD-FDD Spokesperson, Mr Gélase Ndabirabe. According to Captain Adolphe Manirakiza, Deputy Army Spokesperson, "The military occupied the site before the Musigati coordination meeting (31 December) deemed it a food distribution point". "The military are ready to move from the place provided there is a military patrol in the area", added Captain Adolphe Manirakiza.
2. IDPs - Kabezi Commune, Bujumbura Rural Province
Almost 10,000 people from Gitenge and Masama Collines (Kabezi Commune) fled fighting between the military and the FNL-Palipehutu (Agathon Rwasa) Thursday 26 December. Affected people are now displaced among families at Migera, Mutumba and Kabezi.
3. Health-USAID Grant
On Tuesday 31 December, USAID, through its Office of Private and Voluntary Cooperation in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian assistance, awarded a US$3 million, four year grant to Population Services International (PSI) and CARE Burundi to increase the capacity of the local health sector. "The US is seeking to develop the capacity of Burundi's non-governmental sector", said Roger Winter, USAID Assistant Administrator.
4. Congolese refugees
After fighting between the armed forces, RCD-Goma, and the Mayi Mayi (northeastern DRC) at least 2,000 Congolese crossed the Burundi-Congo border (31 December 2002) to take refuge in Rugombo Commune, Cibitoke Province (northwest Burundi).
5. Returnees as at 31 December 2002
UNHCR (Burundi) report 31,421 facilitated and 21,432 spontaneous returnees.
6. Ceasefire delayed
A statement issued Monday 30 December by the Burundi Foreign Minister, Terence Sinunguruza, announced the delay in the implementation of the ceasefire brokered on 3 December with the CNDD-FDD, led by Pierre Nkurunziza. Mr Singunguruza said implementation was contingent upon the arrival of an African Mission to monitor the application of the ceasefire accord and set up cantonment camps, and the establishment of a joint ceasefire commission. There are also remaining "military and political questions" that need to be discussed. "The government is ready to start the debate at any stage," Sinunguruza said. He added that: "there was no doubt" that the African Mission would arrive in the early days of January 2003.
7. Former President Bagaza's house arrest
Former President Bagaza house arrest has been extended for thirty more days by the Minister for Interior Mr. Salvator Ntihabose (3 January).
8. CNDD-FDD membership
Politico/Military authorities from Bubanza Province denounced the recruitment by CNDD-FDD (Pierre Nkurunziza) of secondary school pupils and teachers in all communes, including Bubanza town, neighbourhoods and schools in Musigati. Over forty young people have reportedly joined the CNDD-FDD (28 December). Colonel Lazare Nduwayo, Regional Military Commander (Bubanza and Cibitoke) charged that the CNDD-FDD are breaching the ceasefire accord. CNDD-FDD Spokesperson, Mr Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe, denied the assertion and referred to it as "gathering" their members for the forthcoming containment.
9. Ceasefire negotiation/implementation
In President Buyoya's New Year message to the nation he urged the remaining rebels to drop opposition to peace-talks: "We call on this recalcitrant group (FNL) to finally, and without delay, join other Burundians who have decided to bury the hatchet of war". With regard to ceasefire accord implementation: "We will change the organisation of the defence and security bodies in line with the Arusha Agreement and the recently signed ceasefire". To the serving members of the military and police force, President Buyoya reassured them they: "will be given the possibility to be useful to themselves and the country".
Message of President Buyoya to the nation on New Year's Day: "2003 is a year of hope based on the achievements of 2002".
Fighting was reported between the army and Palipehutu-FNL (Agathon Rwasa) in Kabezi (26 December). The Palipehutu-FNL reportedly lost five people and had eleven wounded (Mr Pasteur Habimana). The army reported four soldiers wounded and one rebel (chief) killed.
The army and Palipehutu-FNL (Agathon Rwasa) fought (30 December) in Kabezi Commune. The army reported 21 dead (including twenty rebels and one soldier) and six wounded, according to Captain Adolphe Manirakiza, Deputy Army Spokesperson. According to Mr Pasteur Habimana, Spokesperson for FNL (Agathon Rwasa), two rebels were wounded.
Armed robbers in Kamenge Zone, Gikizi quarter, looted a shop on Tuesday 31 December.
Palipehutu-FNL (Agathon Rwasa) attacked a neighborhood in Musaga Zone (30 December) where they killed two people and looted one house.
Three wounded and livestock stolen in an FNL attack (Wednesday evening, 1 January) at Ijenda Zone, Mugongomanga Commune (Bujumbura Rural Province).
11. Latest Events
The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Louis Michel, made a short visit in Burundi (6 January) and was given an audience with President Buyoya.
On Saturday 4 January a new Minister for Finance (Mr Athanase Gahungu) was announced, replacing Mr Edouard Kadigiri, who has held the post since 1 November 2001. Mr. Gahungu is a member of Ambassador Terence Nsanze's Abasa (pro-Tutsi Burundi African Alliance for Salvation). Various sources indicate Mr Kadigiri's first sought his own replacement more than seven months ago suffering continued ill-health.
Appointment of new commune administrators and heads of zones (Bujumbura Mairie): "The process will continue; the Government's second phase of replacements will avoid giving the impression of manhunt and for security reasons", said Mr Salvator Ntihabose.
Following the EU donation to CNDD-FDD rebellion the anti-genocide Tutsi movement PA-Amasekanya (Auto-Defence Power) issued a press release (Thursday 2 January) claiming that the "aid" is evidence that the EU "supports and encourages genocide by terrorists, which has been going on for about ten years against the Tutsi."
A new political party was formed by Mr Déo Ndayishimiye, "SONOVI-Remesha" (Party for a Non-Violent Society). It is the 21st registered political party in Burundi (30 December).
12. Contact Group Meeting (for the Minutes access: www.ochaburundi.org)
The next contact group meeting will be held 8 January 2003.
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