Rwanda Monthly Information Report
Fighting in North and South Kivu displaces hundreds of thousands of refugees. UN Secretary-General appoints Ambassador Raymond Chrétien as Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region. Numerous diplomatic initiatives are undertaken to address conflict in eastern Zaire. Mr. Faustin Nteziryayo appointed as new Minister of Justice.
I. GENERAL SITUATION
Armed conflict which began in South Kivu during September engulfed much of eastern Zaire in October. By the end of the month, the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) held all of the major cities in eastern Zaire - Uvira, Bukavu and Goma - and controlled the main airports. Several thousand Rwandese and Burundian refugees fled the area around Uvira beginning on 13 October following an attack on Runingo Camp. By 21 October an estimated 250,000 refugees had fled camps in South Kivu. Attacks on several refugee camps in the Goma area later in the month resulted in the displacement of an additional several hundred thousand refugees. Although at the end of October the region remained closed to UN Agencies, NGOs and the international press, reports of starvation and disease among refugees in Mugunga Camp were widespread. 1. Numerous diplomatic initiatives were undertaken to avert a humanitarian disaster in the region. Proposals for the deployment of a multinational force to open humanitarian corridors to the camps and allow for the return of refugees were advanced by regional and world leaders.
A. Political Developments
On 30 October, UN Secretary-General, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, appointed Ambassador Raymond Chrétien as Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region. Currently Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Chrétien has also served as Ambassador to Zaire. He was expected to arrive in the Great Lakes region in early November after stops in France and Egypt. Ambassador Chrétiens mandate calls upon him to confer with regional leaders in order to explore options for resolving the conflict in eastern Zaire, including the possibility of convening a regional conference. In a speech to UN delegates, Ambassador Chrétien said his first priority would be to negotiate a cease-fire in eastern Zaire.
Various diplomatic initiatives to resolve the conflict in eastern Zaire and prevent a humanitarian disaster were undertaken during the month. UN Secretary-General Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali dispatched his Special Envoy, Mr. Ibrahima Fall, to the Great Lakes region in late October. The U.S. State Department called upon all parties to end the fighting in eastern Zaire and expressed its view that the majority of Rwandese refugees could return home safely. The French Government called for an international conference to address problems in the region and advocated the creation of an international intervention force. The EU Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Emma Bonino, urged action by the international community and warned that a genocide could be taking place in eastern Zaire due to the inability of humanitarian personnel to gain access to refugees. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel on 27 October called for an immediate halt to fighting in eastern Zaire and for talks between the Rwandese and Zairian and Governments. Mr. Aldo Ajelo, EU Special Envoy, arrived in Kigali on 29 October for talks aimed at resolving problems in the Great Lakes region. The OAUs Conflict Resolution Organ issued a statement on 31 October calling for a cessation of hostilities and urging respect for the territorial integrity of Rwanda and Zaire. On 1 November, the UN Security Council called for a cease-fire and an end to trans-border incursions saying they were a threat to the stability of the Great Lakes region.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Political Advisor and Envoy for the Acting Director General in Geneva, Mr. Jan De Wilde, visited the Great Lakes region from 28 October to 2 November. Mr. De Wilde met with President Bizimungu, Prime Minister Rwigema, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anastase Gasana, members of the diplomatic corps and heads of UN Agencies. Mr. De Wildes visit was aimed at assessing the unfolding political and humanitarian situation in the region. Before departing on 2 November, Mr. De Wilde visited IOM-supported resettlement sites in Gisenyi and Butare Prefectures.
On 21 October, UNESCO Director General, Mr Federico Mayor, awarded the first UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence to a Rwandese NGO collective, Pro-femmes Twese Hamwe. The organisation brings together 35 associations dedicated to furthering womens rights, promoting cooperation among women and increasing womens participation in society. Pro-femmes Twese Hamwes ultimate objective is to achieve sustainable human development, peace and social justice. The Director General selected Pro-femmes Twese Hamwe on the recommendation of a four-person jury chaired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This US$ 40,000 prize is awarded in recognition of intense activity in favour of tolerance and non-violence in the fields of science, art, culture and communication. During the award ceremony, Mr. Mayor declared that the prize is a chance for us to draw the attention of the international community to these womens courageous and visionary work for the benefit of tolerance.
According to Agence France Press, the Government of Israel offered to help build a monument to victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Rwandese Vice President and Minister of Defence, Major-General Paul Kagame, accepted the offer of Israel technical assistance for its planned monument during a visit on 15 October to the Yad Vachem memorial to Jews killed during the Holocaust. During his visit to Israel, Vice-President Kagame also met with Israeli President Ezer Weizman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel also offered to provide pesticides and fertilisers to Rwanda as well as technical aid and training for irrigation projects.
The President of Rwanda, Mr. Pasteur Bizimungu, ministerial and prefectural authorities and representatives of UN Agencies gathered in Mushubati Commune (Gitarama Prefecture) on 23 October to celebrate World Food Day. In addition to speeches by dignitaries and performances by singers and dancers, the event included exhibition stands where UN Agencies and NGOs displayed information about their food activities.
The GOR announced the appointment of Mr. Faustin Nteziryayo as the new Minister of Justice. In addition to serving as a university professor, Mr. Nteziryayo was a consultant to the International Monetary Fund on a project to set up commercial courts. He replaces Ms. Marthe Mukamurenzi who resigned in September. The appointment coincides with the start of an information campaign on new legislation designed to facilitate trials of genocide suspects.
B. Security Situation
In October, the four western prefectures continued to be the site of attacks by insurgents and infiltrators. There were at least 25 killings attributed to insurgents possibly including members of the former Rwandese Armed Forces (ex-FAR) and Interahamwe militia.
Eleven genocide survivors and persons associated with genocide survivors were reportedly killed in October. The majority of the killings were attributed to insurgents. Threats, intimidation and attacks on genocide survivors, particularly in Gitarama Prefecture, were also reported. At least two local government officials, including a bourgmestre in Cyangugu Prefecture and a nyumbakumi in Ruhengeri Prefecture, were reportedly killed during the month.
On 2 October, a civilian was killed in Gishoma Commune (Cyangugu Prefecture) in crossfire, reportedly by members of the ex-FAR from Zaire. Between 3 and 5 October, 21 civilians are reported to have been killed in crossfire during confrontations between the RPA and insurgents in Ramba Commune (Gisenyi Prefecture). On 16 October, five individuals, including two civilians, were reportedly killed during an exchange of fire between an RPA patrol and members of Interahamwe militia in Giciye Commune (Gisenyi Prefecture).
During the night of 27 to 28 October, a group of approximately 40 alleged infiltrators attacked the communal office of Nyakabuye Commune (Cyangugu Prefecture) and released and took with them approximately 100 detainees. Two detainees and two attackers were found dead at the communal office.
On 13 October, an anti-personnel mine exploded in a football field in Kivu Commune (Gikongoro Prefecture) injuring one person. On 18 October, an anti-tank mine exploded on a road in Mubuga Commune (Gikongoro Prefecture). There were no reported casualties.
C. Human Rights Situation
(1) Justice, Legal Reform and Institution Building
On 11 October, the National Awareness Campaign on the Judicial System was officially launched. Its main purpose was to raise awareness about the Rwandese judicial system and to explain the new law on the prosecution of the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity. Training on the law was provided to judges, judicial police officers (OPJs), judicial police inspectors (IPJs) and lawyers from 21 October to 2 November at the Centre de Formation des Cadres in Murambi (Gitarama Prefecture). In addition, campaign teams comprised of ministers, members of parliament, and parliamentary counsel visited seven prefectures to explain the law to local authorities and to detainees in the central prisons. In preparation for the prosecution of persons under this law, prosecutors across the country began to categorise case files according to their level of completion and the perpetrators alleged level of participation.3
Courts throughout the country continued to hear trials, some for the first time since April 1994. Many courts, however, were still not operational. Of the four Courts of Appeal, two convened during the reporting period: the Kigali Court of Appeal, and the Nyabisindu Court of Appeal (Butare Prefecture) which heard cases for the first time.
Eleven first instance courts heard cases in October, the exception being the Kibuye First Instance Court which lacked sufficient court clerks. In September, 103 judges were nominated to the first instance courts; not all of these judges had assumed their posts by the end of October, however. In Gisenyi Prefecture, for example, 15 of the 19 judges nominated to the Court of First Instance assumed their posts. The Byumba First Instance Court heard both civil and penal cases although its work was severely constrained by shortages of material resources including transportation for IPJs. The First Instance Courts of Nyamata and Rushashi Sub-Prefecture (Kigali Rural Prefecture) convened for the first time but only heard civil cases during the reporting period.
Many of the cantonal courts were still not sufficiently staffed to function. In Byumba Prefecture, for example, only one cantonal court convened. In Cyangugu Prefecture, the cantonal courts in Gishoma, Gafunzo, and Gisuma Communes convened for the first time. In Gisenyi, Kigali Rural and Gitarama Prefectures, a number of cantonal courts did not have the necessary quorum of three judges. In Kibungo Prefecture, only two of the 11 cantonal courts had a sufficient number of judges to convene although neither met because both lacked other essential personnel. None of the cantonal courts in Umutara Prefecture were operational. In Ruhengeri Prefecture, nine of the 12 cantonal courts had sufficient judges to function, although none convened; HRFOR and UNHCR conducted a joint assessment mission to determine the material needs of seven cantonal courts in Ruhengeri Prefecture.
In several communes, the lack of judicial police inspectors (IPJs) continued to impede the completion of case files and other judicial work at the communal level. In certain communes, the work of IPJs was severely constrained because they lacked means of transportation to conduct investigations. In Butare, Byumba, Cyangugu, Gitarama, Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, and Umutara Prefectures, a shortage of IPJs continued to hinder work at the communal level. In Kibuye, each of the communes had an IPJ; the central office of the prosecutor had only two IPJs.
The functioning of the justice system was also constrained by shortages of defence lawyers. According to one estimate, there were only 20 lawyers working throughout the entire country. Prior to the genocide, there were approximately 50.
For the most part, prefectural-level commissions de triage (screening commissions) remained ineffective during the reporting period. With the exception of the Kibungo Prefectural Commission de triage, which conducted bi-weekly meetings, most prefectural commissions de triage either did not meet during the reporting period or met only infrequently. Communal-level commissions de triage operated with varying degrees of effectiveness. In Kibungo Prefecture, several communal commissions functioned without major hindrance, while others were unable to meet because its members were not available. In Umutara Prefecture, only one commission functioned. In Kibuye Prefecture, none of the commissions functioned.
A majority of those released by the screening commissions were detainees accused of common-law crimes. HRFOR was aware of the release of 36 detainees accused of genocide by commissions de triage, 25 of which were from Kigarama Commune (Kibungo Prefecture).
In most prefectures, arrest-and-detention practices continued to contravene Rwandese legal procedures. A majority of arrests continued to be carried out by government officials who have limited or no authority to arrest or detain (bourgmestres, conseillers de secteur, and responsables de cellule) and by members of the armed forces.4
Conversely, HRFOR has noted improvements in several prefectures. In Musasa Commune (Kigali Rural Prefecture) a reduction in the number of arrests carried out by unauthorised agents was noted. In Mbogo and Rubungo Communes (Kigali Rural Prefecture) HRFOR noted what appeared to be a new practice of interrogating complainants prior to arresting suspects. HRFOR also noted an improvement in arrest procedures in Byumba Prefecture.
In some prefectures, HRFOR noted that increased numbers of detainees have been informed of the reason for their arrest. In Gikongoro Prefecture, where the gendarmerie and the parquet have been very active, this figure is estimated at 75 percent. In Gisenyi Prefecture, between 50 and 75 percent of detainees have been interrogated, with the exception of the detainees in the communal detention centres in Gaseke, Satinsyi, and Ramba. There were no IPJs in these three communes. In Byumba and Umutara Prefectures, IPJs have made considerable progress in completing the case files of detainees; in Muhura Commune (Byumba Prefecture), for example, case files have been completed for most detainees accused of genocide or murder and these persons have been transferred to Byumba Central Prison.
(2) Human Rights Incidents
During the month of October, HRFOR received information that 94 persons were killed in 30 incidents:5 the victims included a bourgmestre in Cyangugu and a nyumbakumi in Ruhengeri Prefecture, 11 genocide survivors and persons associated with genocide survivors, five old-caseload returnees, and 23 detainees. Of these, four were killed during alleged escape attempts. There were 15 women and nine minors among the reported victims. This figure was comparable to the month of September, when HRFOR received reports of 105 killings. This represents a marked decrease in killings compared to the months of July and August, when HRFOR received reports of the killings of 365 and 284 civilians respectively.
As in previous months, the highest number of killings continued to occur in the western prefectures bordering Zaire. A total of 38 killings were reported in Gisenyi Prefecture, 16 in Kibuye Prefecture, 16 in Ruhengeri Prefecture and 11 in Cyangugu Prefecture. Elsewhere, there were eight killings reported in Gitarama Prefecture, two in Butare, one in Byumba, one in Gikongoro and one in Kigali Ville Prefecture. HRFOR did not receive reports of killings in Kibungo and Kigali Rural Prefectures.
HRFOR received reports of 25 killings attributed to insurgents opposed to the GOR, members of the former Rwandese Armed Forces (ex-FAR) or Interahamwe militia. All of these killings occurred in the western prefectures bordering Zaire. Ten occurred in Cyangugu Prefecture, nine occurred in Gisenyi Prefecture, and six occurred in Ruhengeri Prefecture. On 27 October, insurgents allegedly killed the Bourgmestre of Nyakabuye Commune, Cyangugu Prefecture.
According to reports available at the end of October, the killings of an estimated 42 persons were alleged to be the responsibility of agents of the state, members of the RPA allegedly being the primary perpetrators. In Gisenyi Prefecture, members of the RPA were allegedly the perpetrators of 29 killings. RPA soldiers reportedly killed four persons during alleged escape attempts from places of detention in Butare and Gitarama Prefectures. HRFOR also received allegations that RPA soldiers were involved in the ill-treatment of one detainee in Umutara Prefecture and one detainee in Gikongoro Prefecture that resulted in their deaths. In addition, HRFOR received allegations that the RPA killed a nyumbakumi in Ruhengeri Prefecture.
An additional five killings allegedly were carried out by persons wearing military uniforms. HRFOR did not have additional information on the identities of these perpetrators.
In October, 11 genocide survivors and persons associated with genocide survivors were reportedly killed in six separate incidents. Six killings were reported in Cyangugu Prefecture, four in Gitarama and one in Ruhengeri Prefecture. Eight killings of genocide survivors were reported in September, nine were reported in August, whereas there were 28 reported killings of genocide survivors and witnesses to the genocide in July.
(3) Prisons and Detention Centres
At the end of October, some 87,601 detainees registered by the ICRC were being regularly visited by ICRC delegates in 208 places of detention. ICRC registered 3,936 new detainees, mainly in temporary places of detention, and recorded approximately 800 releases. ICRC continued to carry out regular visits to more than 29,000 persons detained in temporary places of detention, essentially in communal cells and gendarmerie brigades. HRFOR registered some 86,200 detainees in the 192 detention centres it regularly visits.6 HRFOR recorded a total of 1,188 releases and over 3,800 new arrests during the month of October. According to HRFOR, this represented an increase of approximately 2,700 detainees since the month of September and an increase of more than 23,200 detainees since the beginning of the year. ICRC and HRFOR continued to monitor the condition of detention and the treatment of detainees.
HRFOR reported that the detainee population in the 15 central prisons is estimated to have risen from 54,790 to 56,876 during the month; the official capacity of these centres, according to GOR estimates, is 30,200. This population was comprised of 53,585 men, 1,938 women, and 1,353 minors, 80 of whom were under 14 years of age at the time they allegedly committed the offence for which they were being detained. In addition, there were 397 infants who accompanied their mothers in detention. According to HRFOR, the considerable increase in the prison population was primarily due to the transfer of detainees from communal detention centres.
The detainee population in the other places of detention visited by HRFOR was estimated to be over 29,300 detainees, an increase of 500 since the last reporting period. This figure was comprised of 27,167 men, 1,194 women, and 975 minors, 81 of whom were under 14 years of age at the time they allegedly committed the offence for which they were being detained. In addition, there were 180 infants who accompanied their mothers in detention.
For the first time, HRFOR was granted access to Muyira Military Camp in Rutsiro Commune (Kibuye Prefecture). At the time, 243 people, including two infants, were detained there. The majority had been arrested during cordon-and-search operations in Kibuye Prefecture which began in the last week of July. The RPA also provided HRFOR with a list of 45 people who were reportedly being detained in Camp Muhoza in Ruhengeri Prefecture. HRFOR did not have precise figures on the number of people being detained in military detention centres as it has been denied access to most of these facilities.
The majority of the new arrests reported by HRFOR were carried out in Gisenyi, Gitarama, and Kibuye Prefectures for alleged infiltration or insurgency. Large numbers of people continued to be arrested for not being in possession of their identity cards.
HRFOR recorded the transfer of approximately 1,450 detainees from communal detention centres and gendarmerie brigades to central prisons during the reporting period. IOM transferred 1,259 detainees from communal detention centres in Butare Prefecture to Karubanda II Prison in Butare.
Overcrowding continued to be a serious problem in most detention centres throughout the country, in particular in the prefectures of Kibuye, Gitarama, Kigali Rural, Butare, and Kibungo. Overcrowding contributed to outbreaks of rioting, panic and illness resulting in death. In Kibuye Prefecture, 16 detainees died during a panic in an extremely overcrowded local detention centre in Gitesi Commune.
In October, HRFOR received reports of 24 deaths due to illnesses, compared with reports of 12 deaths due to illnesses in September. The most common illnesses reported were malaria, diarrhoea, stomach and skin related illnesses, dysentery, open wounds, and tuberculosis. HRFOR was concerned by reports that certain detainees were not able to receive medical assistance despite the severe nature of their illnesses. In other cases, medical assistance was not provided as a result of a lack of means of transport.
Shortages of food and water continued to aggravate difficult living conditions in many places of detention. Access to water was reported to be a severe problem in a number of communal detention centres in Byumba, Gitarama, Kibungo, and Gikongoro Prefectures. Food was generally reported to be a problem in communal detention centres and brigades where detainees were dependent upon their families for food. Improvements were reported in Gitarama Prefecture where an NGO continued to provide food to 3,567 detainees in six different communal detention centres. Lighting and ventilation were reported to be particularly severe in a number of communal detention centres in Cyangugu, Gikongoro, and Gitarama Prefectures.
D. Regional Developments / Repatriation
With 7,133 returnees arriving in Rwanda during the month of October, the rate of return more than doubled over September when 2,398 Rwandese repatriated. Some 4,085 new caseload refugees returned from Zaire, 1,026 from Uganda, 305 from Tanzania and 59 from Burundi. The number of old caseload returns was relatively lower, with 1,630 from Zaire, 1,013 from Uganda, 28 from Tanzania and none from Burundi. Between January and October 1996, a total of 132,303 Rwandese refugees returned to Rwanda. New caseloads returnees numbered 106,714; old caseload: 25,580; spontaneous returns: 27,370; and organised returns: 104,933.
PANA news agency reported on 1 November that 1,000 Rwandese refugees fleeing camps in eastern Zaire had entered Zambia, mainly by boat on Lake Tanganyika, since September.
Throughout the month, UNHCRs Mass Information Unit continued to produce Commune Profile Videos on the situation in Rwanda, including new productions on Rutongo Commune (Kigali Ville Prefecture), Kagitumba Commune (Umutara Prefecture) and Karago Commune (Gisenyi Prefecture). A video in Kinyarwanda was produced on UNHCRs Shelter Programme, as well as special features on Rwandas Muslim and Batwa communities. By 1 October, over 1 million people had watched MIU videos in Goma alone.
UNICEF organised a meeting of all its representatives in the sub-region (Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire) as well as the representatives to the OAU and to Kenya on 24 October. Discussions with the donor community and other UN Agencies centred on the political analysis of the current crisis in the Great Lakes region. After meeting for one day with all participants, the UNICEF team continued for an additional day and a half looking at sub-regional preparedness and internal mechanisms to ensure rapid response in the case of an expanded emergency.
Agence France Press reported that more than 15,000 Burundians returned from refugee camps in eastern Zaire to Burundi between 28 October and 2 November. The refugees fled camps in the Uvira region following the outbreak of fighting between Banyamulunge militias and Zairian forces in the region
The Regional Sanctions Coordinating Committee (RSCC) agreed at a meeting on 21 October in Arusha to exempt, on humanitarian grounds, a variety of relief items from the embargo placed on Burundi. The items, in sufficient quantity to supply 250,000 displaced people, are: food, bean seeds, water purification agents, blankets, plastic sheeting, jerrycans and buckets, cooking materials (pots and utensils), sanitary facilities and mats. UN Agencies and NGOs are required to clear shipments with the RSCC prior to importation.
Events in eastern Zaire dominated regional news during the month. Fighting displaced hundreds of thousands of Rwandese and Burundian refugees and Zairian nationals in North and South Kivu. An attack during the night of 25-26 October emptied Kibumba Refugee Camp near Goma of its estimated 194,000 residents, with the majority fleeing south to Mugunga and Lac Vert Camps. Other camps in the region were also attacked. Since the beginning of the fighting in Uvira on 18 October, UNHCR has expressed concern for the safety of Zairian civilians and Rwandese refugees in Zaire. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, issued several statements in which she encouraged the refugees to repatriate to Rwanda, urged officials in the region to open humanitarian corridors for the safe passage of civilians and refugees and called for an immediate end to the fighting. The ICRC suspended activities in Uvira on 22 October and withdrew its last two delegates from Bukavu on 28 October. Almost all UN and NGO expatriate staff left Bukavu on 26 October due to the deterioration in security in and around the town. Security conditions had degenerated to the point where any movement was extremely dangerous. Looting and vehicle theft were widespread. Mortar fire was exchanged intermittently between Bukavu and Cyangugu on the evening of 29-30 October. At the end of October, the whereabouts and fate of thousands of refugees was unclear. Pillaging of property and other violence directed against Rwandese citizens were reported at the end of October in Goma and Kinshasa. Several hundred Rwandese fled Kinshasa to Brazzaville on the other side of the Congo River. On 26 October, approximately 40 Rwandese students were refused access to a plane scheduled to bring them back to Rwanda. The Rwandese Ambassador to Zaire, Mr. Antoine Nyilinkidi, and his Attaché who accompanied the students were also held by Zairian authorities. Agence France Press announced on 2 November that Rwandas Ambassador to Zaire had resigned.
(3) Refugees in Rwanda
Although the main focus of WFPs operation in Rwanda is to meet emergency and rehabilitation needs resulting from the 1994 war and genocide, the Country Office continued to provide regular food assistance to all Zairian and Burundian refugees in Rwanda.
The main concern of WFP during the month was to provide prompt assistance to 4,400 refugees who came recently, fleeing fighting in eastern Zaire. These refugees were lodged in a new camp at Mudende University in Gisenyi Prefecture. Other refugees in Rwanda, namely Zairians in Umubano Camp in Gisenyi Prefecture (15,000 persons) and Bugarama Transit Centre in Cyangugu Prefecture (600), and Burundians in Bugarama Camp in Cyangugu Prefecture (3,100) and Kigeme Camp in Gikongoro Prefecture (1,600) were also given regular food-aid rations. Food distributions were implemented in collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross, Concern World-Wide Ireland and Caritas Rwanda. Additional supplementary feeding was provided to malnourished refugee children with the assistance of MSF Belgium.
II. REHABILITATION, RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
A. Capacity Building
The UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS/Habitat) continued efforts to enhance the operational capacity of the GOR at the sub-national level through the rehabilitation of communal buildings and accommodations for bourgmestres in 145 communes. The project also provides communal administration buildings with office equipment, furniture and supplies. During the month of October, bidding offers for the rehabilitation of public buildings in Cyangugu Prefecture were analysed by the UNCHS staff in Rwanda and sent to UNCHS Nairobi. Calls for bids were completed for the rehabilitation of public buildings in Ruhengeri Prefecture and bidding documents for Kibungo were submitted. Bidding documents for the purchase of equipment for communal buildings in 45 communes were completed and authorisation for the purchase of 15 pick-ups was received.
Through its sub-offices in seven prefectures, WFP remained in constant contact with local authorities and planned, executed and monitored all food interventions jointly with them. This strategy is important as all actions undertaken by WFP target the grass-roots level of the community. Local food-aid committees which include WFP, local authorities, implementing partners and beneficiaries are starting to play an important role in co-ordinating equitable food-assistance in several prefectures and communes.
As a result of the 1994 genocide and war, an estimated 65 percent of the Rwandese population is female. Women, often widows and orphans, suddenly found themselves heads of families. Several womens associations have been founded to provide material, moral and intellectual support to Rwandese women. A survey undertaken by Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe revealed that a major shortcoming of womens associations in Rwanda was lack of knowledge and experience in project design, which prevented them from benefiting more fully from international assistance. In response to this need, UNESCO proposed a training programme to help participants analyse their environment and identify the needs of the target population in order to present to donors a framework for action. The training programme, attended by 16 women, lasted from 30 September to 5 October and was conducted by UNESCO Communication Specialist, Mr. Bruno Mpondo Epo.
(1) International Tribunal / International Justice
On 30 September, Judge Richard Goldstone gave a press conference on his last day in office as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Serious Violations of International Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. As regards the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Goldstone said the main problems had been getting started and obtaining funding. Nevertheless, some countries had contributed in cash and in material goods such as computers and personnel, including lawyers. There had been problems such as the United Nations rule requiring 13 percent cash from countries making any sort of contribution, whether material or in personnel. Judge Goldstone also noted that there were four points of control for his office: the Hague, the Prosecutors office in Kigali, the Registrar and judges in Arusha, and UN Headquarters which did all recruiting.
Justice Goldstone said that as an African, he had been particularly sensitive to any imbalance between the Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He said if anything, the ICTR had been treated a little better and had received US$ 2 million more than asked for. The Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia got US$ 5 million less than it requested. The problem was not money, but getting people to work in Kigali and in Arusha. He said there were many vacant posts.
The trial of Mr. Jean-Paul Akayesu, former mayor of Taba Commune (Gitarama Prefecture), scheduled to begin on 31 October, was postponed for a second time after the defendant dismissed his attorney. The trial has been rescheduled for 9 January 1997. As of the end of October, four defendants awaited in prison in Arusha and another 17 Rwandese in exile had been indicted by the ICTR.
The New York Times reported on 30 October that the United Nations chief inspector (the Office of Internal Oversight Services) plans to carry out an investigation of the ICTR. According to the article, several ICTR staff members complained of victimisation of staff, unexplained delays in procuring equipment and obstruction of efforts to publicise genocide trials.
(2) Assistance to the Judicial System
UNDP continued its activities with MINIJUST, HRFOR and UNDDSMS to strengthen the judicial apparatus in Rwanda. UNDP awarded a grant of US$ 20,000 to MINIJUST for use by the inter-ministerial structure to support the national information campaign on the genocide law. The objective of the campaign is to inform local authorities, local prosecutors offices, the Rwandese population and detainees themselves on the new law and its functioning.
During the month of October, UNDP and MINIJUST supported the Commissions de triage through the distribution of equipment, including computers, printers, photocopiers, vehicles, motorcycles, helmets and spare parts. The equipment is being distributed to prosecutors offices for use by prefectural and communal commissions de triage. The delivery of an additional 32 vehicles is still awaited. Equipment received at an earlier stage by various commissions de triage has improved their functioning to some extent. However, in addition to the lack of material means to carry out their daily investigations and other duties, a major constraint to their functioning is irregular attendance by some of their members.
In order to increase motivation of employees in the judicial sector and attract qualified individuals, a UNDP/UNDDSMS and a UNDP/MINIJUST project both include provisions for providing salary incentives to a number of judicial personnel, including members of the commissions de triage. As many persons are reluctant to work in the judicial sector due to security risks, the enhanced salary appears to be a necessary incentive. The 50 percent salary increase recommended by the Council of Ministers is being considered by MINIJUST, which had requested a higher increase.
Under the same UNDP/UNDDSMS project to rehabilitate the judicial system, international judicial advisors continued to assist prosecutors and the commissions de triage in Gikongoro, Gitarama, Kibuye and Kigali Ville Prefectures. Another advisor pursued his work as counsellor in the Judicial Police headquarters in Kigali. The focus of the advisors work during October was to help in the preparation of trials by assisting prosecutors in interpreting the genocide law, providing support to the commissions de triage and compiling statistics on detainees held in communal detention cells. The same UNDP/UNDDSMS project distributed computer equipment to the prosecutors offices during the month.
In October, UNHCR contributed US$ 55,000 to the Ministry of Justice to support a training workshop for IPJs, lawyers and magistrates and an on-going sensitisation campaign for the general population. The campaign, which UNHCR plans to fund in 1997, was launched by MINIJUST during an inaugural ceremony in north Kigali on 10 October. Through Africa Humanitarian Action, UNHCR is funding a property survey in Kigali to assess the extent of house occupation; the survey will allow the authorities to better prepare for future repatriation through the establishment of clear policies related to property. On 23 October in Butare Prefecture, the first in a series of training workshops was held with local officials, as part of a nation-wide training programme funded by UNHCR (US$ 60,000). Implemented by a Rwandese association, Haguruka, the training focuses on the rights of women and children, particularly as regards property and inheritance.
(3) Assistance to Prisons and Detention Centres
In an effort to improve conditions of detention for vulnerable groups, the construction of improved sanitation facilities in Rwandex temporary detention centre (Butare Prefecture) continued in October under a UNDP/MINIJUST project. When completed, the centre will have an additional capacity of 1,000. Priority will be given the transfer of sick detainees from severely overcrowded Butare Central Prison. Construction on an extension for women in Nyanza Prison is also underway. Work includes rehabilitation of the administrative building to convert it into an area for housing detained women and their accompanying babies who are currently living in a dark, damp and dramatically overcrowded annex of the central prison. Under the same UNDP project, work began on improving sanitation facilities at Gikondo detention centre (Kigali Ville Prefecture).
In collaboration with MINIJUST, UNDP pursued construction work on the extension of Cyangugu detention centre and on improving the sanitation facilities and the perimeter wall at Onatracom centre in Remera (Kigali Ville Prefecture). The work on both sites, which will provide an additional capacity of 2,000 and 5,000 places respectively, is nearing completion.
ICRC maintained its emergency support to the 15 prisons run by MINIJUST, distributing food and non-food items such as blankets, plates and buckets. The ICRC is covering about 40 percent of basic needs (cereals, oil, beans, salt) and almost 100 percent of the nutritional supplements required (vitamins, etc.) for the more than 57,000 detainees in Rwandas prisons.
(4) Police and Gendarmerie
The GOR seeks to provide the Gendarmerie the means to play a more important role in the areas of law enforcement and criminal investigations, thus decreasing the predominant role played by the RPA. A more reliable and professional Gendarmerie is a crucial step in reviving the judiciary and providing a greater sense of security in the country. Currently, approximately 5,000 Gendarmes are deployed throughout Rwanda, of which less than one third has received formal training.
Renovation of the National Gendarmerie training centre in Ruhengeri (EGENA) continued under a UNDP-financed, MINADEF-executed project. The construction of a boundary wall at the school was completed in October. The centre is now fully operational and the training of an additional group of 500 Gendarmerie officers is currently in progress. EGENA also hosted the training of a group of Gendarmerie and Communal Police instructors by German counterparts from Rheinland-Pfalz. Two of these German instructors undertook the specialised training of 25 VIP protection officers in October. The EGENA Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bagabo, has emphasised the need to increase of the capacity of the school in order to accelerate the training of currently deployed Gendarmerie officers who have not yet received specific training, as well as to organise specialised training sessions for specific security needs. This would necessitate an extension of classrooms, but also of administrative and staff housing facilities.
Under a UNDP-financed, MININTER-executed project, the Communal Police Training Centre in Gishari continued to host the training of an additional group of 750 future Communal Police officers. Topics covered in the programme include, inter alia, law enforcement techniques, guarding sensitive areas, human rights observance, statement taking, police report filing and administration. Their graduation is scheduled for the end of the year, after which they will join the first 750 Communal Police graduates who have been deployed in all communes throughout Rwanda since April 1996. Training is conducted by six Ugandan and 11 Rwandese trainers, who are responsible for different parts of the curriculum.
The UNDP project also seeks to support the establishment of an administrative and management structure at different levels. Brigadiers had already been appointed in all of the communes, as well as sub-prefectural police commanders. A group of 12 demobilised military personnel was selected as prefectural police commanders/administrators and followed a Junior Management Command Course in Kampala (Uganda). They graduated on 11 October 1996, and have subsequently been deployed in all prefectures.
Plans moved ahead for the construction of living facilities for Communal Police officers in communes. A public call for bids was launched in early October. A technical committee, including representatives of MININTER, MINITRAPE and UNDP, examined and advised on the bids. These will now be submitted to the Ministerial Committee at MININTER which will take a final decision on the choice of subcontractors for construction in each of the prefectures. Financing for the project is provided by the Governments of the Netherlands and Japan.
During October, two British police training consultants visited Rwanda to assess the training needs of Rwandese Communal Police trainers and to recommend on UK assistance to the training of trainers for 1997, with special focus on the transfer of methodology and training skills.
C. Social Sectors
(1) Health and Population
Due to the events of April-July 1994, the national health system was severely compromised, resulting in a severe deterioration of health services. Several surveys carried out after the war indicated that the crisis led to physical damage of health facilities and an acute shortage of health care personnel and essential medicines. These factors, among others, have had a far reaching impact on the health status of the entire population and led to the suspension of several activities which were key for national health programmes. Although by October 1996 the situation had improved dramatically, numerous problems remain, such as damaged health centres, lack of medicines and human resources, and weakness of the coordination capacity at all levels of the health system.
Within the framework of United Nations coordination, WHO decided to support the GOR in relaunching all priority health programmes in the country. A principal objective has been to strengthen MINISANTEs management capacity to plan health activities for the control of major causes of morbidity and mortality. The pre-existing district health system - a more or less self-contained segment of the national health system based on primary health care - has been an important element in this endeavour. Each health district in Rwanda comprises first and foremost a well-defined population, living within a clearly delineated administrative and geographical area, whether urban or rural. Each health district includes all institutions and individuals providing health care in the district, whether governmental, private or traditional. The district health system, therefore, consists of a large variety of interrelated elements that contribute to health in homes, schools, work places and communities, through the health and other sectors.
To implement the national health policy though the district level, MINISANTE has defined the following framework: 1) at the central level is the general health service, the health care service, the epidemiology and public hygiene service, and the pharmacy service; 2) at the intermediate or prefecture level, is the regional health team and; 3) at the commune level, the health district team.
In the framework of its programme to strengthen district health services which were devastated after the war in Rwanda, WHO assisted the regional team leader of Gisenyi Prefecture to prepare and conduct a planing workshop for all partners in the health field operating in the prefecture. WHO also assisted the district health team of Bugesera in conducting refresher courses on the control of communicable disease such as measles, malaria and tuberculosis, among others, for all health auxiliaries in the health centres of Bugesera district health district.
Cases of meningitis in north-east Burundi were reported to WHO on 10 October. In response to this outbreak, which could spread to Rwanda, WHO provided case-detection and case-treatment equipment and expertise to MINISANTE. WHO also assisted health centres Kibungo and Bugesera (Kigali Rural Prefecture), near the Burundi border, to put in place an active epidemiological surveillance system and immunisation strategy against meningitis.
Many Rwandese women and girls continue to face numerous difficulties resulting from rape and other sexual crimes they endured during the genocide. Consequent to sexual and gender-based violence are the special health problems posed by the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, post-traumatic stress syndrome and social ostracism. In response to this dramatic situation, WHO provided technical support to MINISANTE and MIFAPROFE to elaborate a joint project addressing problems faced by female victims of violence. In order to strengthen this effort, WHO financed the recruitment of a project director for 12 months. The project aims to increase the capacity of MINISANTE and MIFAPROFE to better respond to individual and community-wide trauma and promote the institutionalisation of reproductive health care at the central and community levels.
As the result of the recent development of the crisis in eastern Zaire, WHO joined UNICEF and UNHCR in a mission to Cyangugu. The mission met with all relief partners operating in various sectors. Before the meeting, WHO, UNICEF and UNHCR met with the Préfet of Cyangugu and discussed different points of view regarding the regional situation and the planned actions.
On 24 October, UNFPA handed over 17 vans and nine motorcycles to MINISANTE. The vans are to be distributed to district hospitals all over the country and are primarily intended to serve as transport facilities for medical emergencies, especially for women with acute pregnancy-related complications. The motorcycles are to be used for supervision of reproductive health activities at the district level. At the handover ceremony, MINISANTE and UNFPA representatives stressed in their speeches the importance of effective transfer systems to help decrease maternal mortality and other problems resulting from childbirth.
During the last two weeks of October, a statistician from the UNFPA country support team in Addis Ababa worked with MINIPLAN and the UNFPA team on a socio-demographic survey. Apart from conducting field visits and reviewing the pilot study, sampling methods were reviewed and refined. During the same period, a workshop was held for 150 supervisors and census takers who will conduct interviews in the field. The campaign starts on 4 November and will last until the end of the month.
UNFPA sponsored two Rwandese parliamentarians for participation in the Regional Conference of African Women Ministers and Parliamentarians held in Dar-es-Salaam from 25 to 28 October. The women leaders called upon all African women to stand up unanimously for peace on the continent. They demanded that the international community and the UN system, in particular UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP pay due attention to the situation of women and children in Rwanda, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia and Zaire. At the closing of the conference, Dr. Sadik, executive director of UNFPA, said that increased funding of development efforts was essential for a prosperous future in Africa.
The Programme alimentaire nutritionnel (PAN), a joint development project undertaken by the GOR, WFP, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank, continued to provide regular food assistance to 4,370 unaccompanied minors, 27,786 malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, and 700 families affected by AIDS, cared for by 119 specialised institutions. Despite its expansion in recent months, the PAN still covers only 56 percent of the nutritional feeding needs in Rwanda. WFP continued to complement the programme with additional food-aid deployed from emergency stocks; an additional 5,585 unaccompanied minors, 17,458 malnourished women and children and 1,873 hospital patients were assisted. Overall during October, WFP provided regular food distributions to 249 institutions which care for 57,072 highly vulnerable Rwandese.
As the humanitarian crisis deepened in eastern Zaire, UNICEF undertook preparations to receive refugees who may require medical and nutritional care intervention. In-country, UNICEF has 77 tons of high-energy biscuits and can provide emergency rations to 154,000 people if necessary. Six tons of high-energy milk are in storage and another 55 tons are expected to arrive at the end of November, making it possible to feed 244,000 severely malnourished children. Fifteen health kits are also available in-country to provide basic health care to 150,000 people for three months. One million measles vaccines are on stand-by with MINISANTE. Finally, 290 tons of UNIMIX to provide dry rations to 145,000 people have been ordered and is en route from Kenya.
The 5,000 Zairian refugees who arrived in Gisenyi via Mutovu were assisted by UNHCR at the Adventist University in Mudende, where they underwent medical screening, a nutritional assessment and measles vaccination for those aged 6 months to 15 years. Thirteen refugees who had suffered injuries in Zaire were treated in Gisenyi Hospital. The 730 Rwandese returnees who arrived from Kibumba Camp through Mutovu received medical screening before returning to their home communes. To meet the temporary health needs of the 15,000 Zairian refugees to be transferred from Gisenyi to Kibuyes Mabanza and Gitesi Communes, UNHCR is setting up a mobile health clinic to navigate between the new sites. At the transit centre, UNHCR will establish a basic health centre, while severe cases will be transferred to Kibuye Hospital by a UNHCR-donated ambulance. During the reporting period, MINISANTE made public its approved model for the construction of health centres in 1996 and 1997. The new centres will have room for 16 beds, and include housing for the director and medical personnel. In Kigali Rural Prefecture, (Ngenda Commune), UNHCR continued construction on the transformation of an existing health centre into a hospital.
(2) Water / Sanitation / Environment
To prepare for a possible influx of refugees into Rwanda from eastern Zaire, UNICEF has in place emergency water and sanitation equipment such as water bladders, construction tools, water treatment chemicals, cement and plastic sheeting. Currently stored in a MINITRAPE warehouse in Kigali, the supplies can be mobilised to reinforce transit camps near the Rwandese/Zairian border. UNICEF also has its own warehouses in Cyangugu, Gisenyi and Kigali with emergency stocks for an estimated 300,000 people.
UNHCRs water and sanitation sector began preparing for a potential influx of refugees by ordering new equipment and adapting the contingency plan in light of recent refugee movements and possible new points of entry. At mid-month, water supply work was being planned in Kibuye, in preparation for the move of 15,000 Zairian refugees from Umubano Camp near Gisenyi to Kibuye, including the rehabilitation of over 200 public standpipes and 14 reservoirs in the Mutara region (Kyombe Commune). In Byumbas Tumba Commune, UNHCRs rehabilitation of the Nyarambuga water system reached 40 percent completion, benefiting 5,000 people to date. In the construction of the 60km Rwabegeyu pipeline, some 11 km of trench were excavated, and 9km of pipe-laying activities were completed. The UNHCR-funded rehabilitation of public standpipes and reservoirs began in Kivuye and Chumba Communes (Byumba Prefecture). In Umutara Prefecture, work started on the construction of a river intake linked to the sand filtration treatment plant within the Nyabwishongwezi water supply project, which will benefit 15,000 inhabitants.
The project document, Biodiversity Enabling Activity for Rwanda was signed by UNDP and the Ministry of Planning on 29 October. The project is designed to assist the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MINETO) in developing a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP). The BSAP aims to build on and reinforce other existing national strategies and plans, such as the National Environment Strategy. It will provide a framework for parallel implementation of a Global Environment Fund (GEF) short-term response measure to control degradation in Gishwati and Nyungwe forests. The project also intends to help Rwanda meet its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity by assisting the preparation of an interim report to the Conference of Parties (COP) for June 1997 and its first national report to the COP. This project, budgeted at US$ 170,640, is financed by UNDP/GEF funds.
(3) Education / Seminars
Insufficient school infrastructure and a limited number of qualified teachers (about 40 percent compared to 60 percent in the 1991-1992 school year have been the main obstacles to the integration of former refugee children. The diverse educational backgrounds of children and teachers have presented another major difficulty to GOR ministries and UN Agencies concerned with education in Rwanda. This last problem seems to have been successfully addressed during seminars sponsored by UNDP and UNICEF, and supported by UNESCO. The training of qualified teachers, in appropriate teacher training centres, and the building of new schools remain priorities.
From 7 to 18 October , a UNICEF/UNESCO-sponsored training session was organised by MINITRASO at Saint Paul Centre in Kigali, for the benefit of 60 selected heads of literacy centres. This seminar aimed at improving popular education by providing the participants with knowledge of the history of Rwanda, conflict resolution and problem solving. Popular education, also referred to as non-formal education, consists of a number of training sessions in literacy and numeracy to which are added reflection sessions on income-generating activities, civic education, peace education and health education. It also aims to help semi-literate persons adapt to technological advances in society and to new socio-economic situations. Ten of the 60 Communal Centres for Development and Professional Training represented at the seminar were selected by UNESCO for a youth literacy programme. At the opening of the seminar, MINITRASO Director General, Mr. Straton Nsanzabaganwa, stated that no development was possible in an illiterate environment. According to Mr. Nsanzabaganwa, lack of education was the main cause of the dramatic events which occurred in Rwanda in recent years. The training programme focused on: 1) participatory methodology; 2) problems facing Rwandese women; 3) an analytical approach to oral and written news reporting; 4) peace culture, democracy and justice; 5) environmental protection and; 6) literacy/numeracy methodology.
In, October, the UNESCO printing department produced approximately 300 copies each of three textbooks for literacy, math and geography. These manuals were the result of joint efforts by MINITRASO, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNESCO.
D. Productive Sectors
WFPs primary strategy in Rwanda is to provide food-for-work to support projects relating to rehabilitation and stabilisation of local communities. In this manner, WFP expects to contribute to the creation of a climate conducive to the rapid repatriation and resettlement of refugees. The three main sectors of WFPs intervention in this field are rehabilitation of the agricultural sector, housing construction and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure. The most common activities supported through food-for-work include: swamp reclamation and management, revitalisation of rice, coffee and tea plantations, food production, seed multiplication, rehabilitation of fish-ponds, land terracing, cleaning of drainage and irrigation canals, reforestation, brick and tile making, construction of houses, schools and health dispensaries, water spring protection and reparation of secondary roads and public institutions. Particular emphasis is accorded to women, who are the exclusive beneficiaries of several such projects and represent a third of the overall labour force in WFP projects.
(1) Agriculture / Livestock
Since the end of the 1994 genocide, the food security situation in Rwanda has gradually improved. By mid-1996, the production of staple foods reached 74 percent of the 1994 production level. Despite this improvement, the 1996 production covers only 61 percent of the food requirements of the population. According to FAO and WFP estimates, the 1996 food deficit corresponds to 127,000 tons of cereals, of which 44,000 tons will be covered by commercial imports and 83,000 tons must be supplied by food aid. The average calorie intake is estimated at 1,276 kcal/per person/day representing 61 percent of internationally established norms.
In October, distributions of soybean and groundnut seeds and other agricultural inputs were completed. The distribution of horticultural vegetable seeds continues throughout the whole season. FAO distributed 41.5 tons of soybean and 15 tons of groundnut seeds purchased locally. Some 15,000 hoes were also distributed to returnee families. In October, 2,031 kg of vegetables seeds and 137 tons of fertiliser arrived in Rwanda through FAO. The vegetable seeds and the fertiliser are destined for vulnerable groups and schools.
A senior FAO officer undertook a mission in Rwanda to discuss with the GOR authorities a joint UNDP/FAO programme of assistance for management of marshlands. As a result of the high-level meetings, including discussions with the President of the Republic, a two-tier action programme will be undertaken. This programme will implement micro-projects and prepare a national master plan.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (MINAGRI) organised a national seminar on issues of land tenure, with wide participation by the GOR, NGOs and representatives of peasants and farmers. The seminar recommended that state ownership of agricultural lands be maintained and the security of production be assured by long-term land rental. It was also recommended that no new authorisation be given for dispersed settlements.
The ecological balance of Umutara Prefecture is threatened due to an overabundance of cattle in the region, while cattle herds throughout many other regions in Rwanda have been decimated. At the same time, PPCB (pneumonia) is a serious problem among the cattle population. In order to address these problems, UNDP, in collaboration with MINAGRI has undertaken efforts to improve the health of livestock and ultimately to redistribute cattle throughout the country. Under this project, the UNDP-supported programme to test and vaccinate cattle for PPCB began in October. Under a UNDP/MINIREISO project which proposes an integrated framework for the resettlement and reintegration of returnees in Gisenyi and Byumba Prefectures, the second phase of a cattle vaccination programme was implemented and an artificial insemination project for cattle was approved.
The World Bank, FAO, and UNDP are assisting the GOR in updating and finalising its agricultural policy and strategy and in identifying assistance needed in the agricultural sector. In the framework of preparations for the World Food Summit to be held from 13 to 17 November in Rome, the GOR, with FAO assistance, prepared a paper entitled Horizon 2010 on a national agricultural strategy forward.
World Food Day was celebrated in Rwanda on 23 October. The national celebration which included the participation of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister was held in Mushubati Commune (Gitarama Prefecture). On the occasion of this ceremony, an agricultural exhibition was also held. UNHCRs stand at the celebration highlighted the agencys food and seed distribution to returnees, provision of hoes and agriculture and agroforestry projects. Emphasising the important link between food and shelter, a photographic display illustrated UNHCRs activities at resettlement sites, including the provision of land for grazing and agriculture, water, brick-making machines, tools, construction materials, temporary housing and basic sanitation facilities.
E. Resettlement and Reintegration of Returnees / Housing
During October, the Programme Management Unit (PMU) based at MINIREISO and financed by UNDP continued to assist the GOR in the implementation of the Accelerated Plan of Action for the Resettlement and Reintegration of Refugees and Formerly Displaced Persons. Activities were supported by Prefectural Support Units (PSUs) working in close cooperation with authorities in Butare, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kigali Rural, and Umutara Prefectures. These programmes are financed through contributions to the UNDP Trust Fund by the Netherlands and Japan. Several UNDP-supported, MINIREISO-executed projects included under the framework of the GORs Accelerated Plan of Action moved ahead during the month.
Under a UNDP-financed, MIFAPROFE-executed project to support the construction of housing for widows, some 383 homes were essentially completed in October and construction on another 600 houses progressed. The beneficiaries for all of these houses have been identified and are involved in the construction process.
A joint UNHCR-UNDP mission to Rwanda was carried out from 28 October to 4 November to study the possibilities for cooperation on rehabilitation activities, in order to promote sustainable development at officially designated resettlement sites. A UNHCR/MINIREISO mission is being planned to accelerate the site planning and demarcation of residential plots at settlement sites. By September 30, some 9,736 UNHCR roofing kits had been distributed throughout Rwanda. Within UNHCRs shelter programme, the delivery of doors and windows began in October at resettlement sites throughout Rwanda, while construction rates increased. Beneficiary participation increased due to sensitisation efforts by the GOR.
In the framework of the reinstallation of populations in urban areas, the Ministry of Planning and UNDP signed a US$ 1 million project document on 31 October, to provide financial support to the GOR for payment of persons expropriated of their land. The first operation, funded by the Dutch contribution to the UNDP Trust Fund, will be undertaken at the Gisozi I site in Kigali Ville Prefecture and will continue at other sites (Kimironko, Kagugu, Gaculiro and Kibagabaga) depending on progress made in developing sites and the availability of funds.
On 24 October, UNDP signed a Sfr 1 million agreement with the Government of Switzerland, represented by the Swiss Development Cooperation, to provide support to the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Social Integration (MINIREISO) for the implementation of the Plan of Action for Resettlement and Reintegration of Refugees. These funds will support the UNOPS-executed project which provides technical assistance to MINIREISO for reinstallation activities.
In other reinstallation projects undertaken by UNDP in collaboration with MINIREISO, plans for a water system were approved (Kigali Rural Prefecture), plots for the houses of 50 widows were demarcated (Umutara Prefecture) and a call for bids to rehabilitate five primary schools was made (Umutara Prefecture).
During October, WFP provided packets containing a two-month supply of food rations to 5,000 Rwandese who came back from exile (77 percent from Zaire). The assistance was distributed via returnee transit centres, in cooperation with UNHCR and its partner agencies there. Upon reintegration of returnees into home communes, WFP continues to monitor their food security situation and additionally assists those in need through food-for-work, targeted assistance or institutional feeding programmes, implemented in collaboration with GOR ministries, local authorities and NGOs.
Due to the escalation of hostilities in eastern Zaire, the number of returnees to Rwanda increased. In anticipation of possible influxes, WFP pre-positioned 25,000 two-month food-aid rations in Cyangugu and Gisenyi and started dispatching to Kigali an additional 50,000 rations from its regional stocks in Uganda and Tanzania. Mechanisms are also in place for further rapid deliveries of food-aid to Rwanda, should a massive influx occur.
III. HUMANITARIAN RELIEF
A. Targeted Food Assistance
During October, WFP Country Office distributed 4,961 MTS of food-aid in all prefectures of Rwanda, assisting with a monthly ration approximately 420,000 beneficiaries. WFP continued to prioritise food-for-work and income-generating activities as its main strategies in Rwanda. Some 43 percent of October distributions was channelled this way. In addition to fulfilling the basic mandate of WFP by providing food to those in need, the targeting of aid through food-for-work also continued to assist rehabilitation of several sectors of the Rwandese economy, mainly agricultural recovery and housing construction. More than 130,000 Rwandese benefited from WFPs food-for-work rations during the month.
Targeted assistance to populations at risk and vulnerable groups was very high in October, mainly due to the implementation of the Seeds Protection Programme in Butare, Gikongoro, Kibuye, Kigali Rural and Kibungo Prefectures. The programme consumed 39 percent of all WFP distributions during the month, assisting vulnerable farming families identified by joint WFP/FAO/EU/MINAGRI assessment teams. Approximately 237,000 persons received food-aid through this programme which will be concluded in early November. The Seeds Protection Programme is an inter-agency activity which also involves distributions of seeds (provided by the EU, FAO, WFP and CRS) and hoes (UNHCR). An additional 6,000 vulnerable Rwandese were assisted in October via other targeted assistance programmes. WFP remains determined to assess the vulnerability of local populations throughout the country and act promptly in cases of evolving food shortages.
In preparation for a possible large-scale influx of returnees from Zaire, UNHCR expanded sites in Gisenyi Prefecture (Nyundo Commune) and Cyangugu Prefecture (Ituze Commune) for the storage and management of transport, maintenance and material requirements. On 14 October, twenty additional trucks were pre-positioned in Butare. Some 43 vehicles were present in Gisenyi by 30 October to begin the transfer of 15,000 Zairian refugees and 200 50-person tents from Umubano Camp to new locations in Kibuye. In southeast Rwanda, a 10,000 litre fuel tank was added to Cyangugus fuel structures on 16 October, bringing the areas total fuel storage capacity to 38,000 litres. During the reporting period, five trucks and two buses were made available to the GOR, while a Toyota 4x4 was donated to the Préfet of Butare. On a cost reimbursable basis, HRFOR vehicles continued to be maintained and fuel was supplied to the ICTR, the Lutheran World Federation and a Rwandese NGO, the Rural Development Agency.
To assist with a potential return from Zaire, UNHCR maintains three transit centres in Cyangugu Prefecture and three in Gisenyi Prefecture. Some 148 trucks and buses are available to transport the returnees to their home communes, and UNHCR intends to rent an additional 100 vehicles from Uganda. In southwestern Rwanda, the agency is currently building up a stock of non-food items sufficient for 250,000 returnees. At transit centres, UNHCR distributes hoes and seeds (provided by the FAO and the European Union) to each returnee family, while the World Food Programme provides a two-month food ration. Stocks of plastic sheeting, jerrycans, blankets, medical kits and high protein biscuits sufficient for 300,000 people are available to be transported overland from warehouses in the Great Lakes region. Two emergency teams have arrived in Kigali; they will move to Zaire when UN operations commence there.
The ICRCs institutional feeding programmes in prisons and secondary schools continued during October. Approximately 70,000 persons in Rwanda received assistance. More food was distributed as food for work in the framework of shelter programmes. The ICRC continued to provide food assistance to 6,000 orphans in host families and provided help to orphanages, schools and hospitals on a one-off base.
B. Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances
Children in Rwanda constitute a highly vulnerable population and continue to endure the consequences of the 1994 genocide. UNICEF estimates that 300,000 children were killed in 1994. At the height of the emergency, around 95,000 Rwandese children - 45,000 in Rwanda alone - were believed to have been separated from their parents and relatives. A 1995 UNICEF/GOR survey on exposure to traumatic events revealed that 80 percent of children had experienced death in their family, 87 percent saw dead bodies and 60 percent were threatened with death. One third of the children who survived the genocide witnessed rape and sexual assault. In addition, some 5,000 children were enrolled in military units and around 2,000 were detained in prisons and communal cells.
Tracing programmes carried out by many organisations throughout the region continue to successfully locate family members of unaccompanied children. On 1 November, 95,213 unaccompanied Rwandese children were included in the ICRC database, of which 38,284 still had no contact with their families. Of the 44,528 tracing requests submitted by parents in search of one or more children, 37,544 remained without news of at least one child. As of the end of October, 26,710 Rwandese children had been reunited with their families, of which 4,918 by the ICRC. Of the reunifications carried out by the ICRC, 2,146 were across a national border.
As of mid-October, 1,813 youth remained in detention centres for alleged participation in the genocide. Almost 200 boys who were below the age of criminal responsibility at the time of their alleged crime - 14 years according to Rwandese law - are in a rehabilitation centre in Gitagata (Kigali Rural Prefecture). Another 191 criminally non-responsible youth are still in detention waiting for transfer to Gitagata and 566 infants and small children are accompanying their detained mothers.
A conservative estimate puts the number of children living without an adult in child-headed households at 3,000, although the number may be much higher. Without any other means of survival, children have also been compelled to live and work in the streets. Some are orphans, and others are working to support a surviving parent or have run away from abusive families and relatives. Finally, the GOR estimates that 200,000 children are living with foster families. As most Rwandese homes have been hard hit by the economic and social crisis following the genocide and war, families live in poverty, often unable to adequately look after their own or foster children. All 186 countries that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), including Rwanda, are required to submit yearly reports on its implementation. The 1993 uncompleted report submitted by the former Rwandese Government was rejected. In 1997, the current GOR will be required to present its first report. To help Rwanda fulfil its reporting obligations, UNICEF, with assistance from the Prime Ministers Office, organised a conference on the CRC from 30 October to 1 November. Among the topics covered was the history of the CRC, how to use the Convention in the formulation of policies and programmes, the use of the CRC as an advocacy tool for raising community awareness and the reporting process.
Having ratified the CRC, Rwanda is obliged to enforce non-recruitment of children in the armed forces and is required to ensure that every effort is made to reunite children with their families. In this respect, Rwanda is living up to its obligations - the RPA has no policy to recruit children and has no intention of retaining them. Of the children who were accommodated at the Kadogo School for demobilised child soldiers in Butare, 355 have been reunited with their relatives since the beginning of the year and 779 have been placed in secondary boarding schools, in effect completing their demobilisation. Another 1,700 boys remain at Kadogo, a UNICEF-supported project.
To assist widows with foster children, UNICEF has been working through local NGOs to set up income-generation projects with these vulnerable families. Between May and October 1996, over 2,000 women with a total of 6,000 children throughout Rwanda have benefited from agricultural and livestock rearing enterprises.
Candidates for a new team of trauma advisors were interviewed by the National Trauma Centre. The final selection, which aims to achieve gender balance, will be made in November. The team will then be ready for training and will eventually join the existing group of 11 specialists active in all prefectures. Trauma advisors, part of the GOR/UNICEF joint Trauma Recovery Programme, sensitise communities about the impact of traumatic exposure on survivors and teach those who work directly with children about basic trauma alleviation methods. They also act as gatekeepers to identify and refer severely traumatised children and their families to the National Trauma Centre for more intensive counselling.
Following consultations between the Ministry of Labour (MINITRASO) and UNICEF regarding submission of NGO proposals for UNICEF funding, it has been decided that all project proposals for vulnerable children must first be reviewed and approved by MINITRASO. As a National Coordinating Team has been set up at the Ministry, it will convene a tripartite review of proposals.
In October, UNHCR transferred unaccompanied children to Rwanda from asylum countries, and made preliminary preparations for the repatriation of other vulnerable groups from host countries. The agency has also been studying various ways to address the particular needs of certain categories of returnees, including pregnant women, the disabled, the elderly and those with health problems. UNHCR continued to register vulnerable individuals at transit centres. It also funded co-operatives, vocational training, livestock projects and income-generating activities. Several contacts were made with other UN Agencies to discuss collaborative activities.
A high level of uncertainty reigned in the Great Lakes region during the month of October due principally to events in North and South Kivu. The Government of Rwanda, UN Agencies and other members of the international community carefully monitored the situation in eastern Zaire, its humanitarian dimensions, and the potential implications of the conflict for Rwanda. UN Agencies operating in Rwanda prepared for a possible large-scale influx of returnees and/or refugees from Zaire. At the end of the month, the situation in North and South Kivu was fluid and the outcome highly unpredictable.
During October, there were a number of important developments in the judicial sector. The national awareness campaign on the judicial system was officially launched and the new Minister of Justice was sworn into office. A large number of judges appointed in September assumed office and increased numbers of courts began to hear civil and criminal cases. Activities to strengthen the judicial system and promote human rights were undertaken throughout the country. However, while considerable progress has been made in rebuilding the judiciary, courts throughout the country did not convene because they lacked judges, other essential court personnel, office space and equipment, and legal texts.
As in previous months, UN Agencies continued to assist the Government and people of Rwanda in rebuilding their country. Progress was made in rehabilitating vital infrastructures and reviving productive and social sectors, including agriculture, health and education. Efforts to address the needs of returnees, genocide survivors and vulnerable groups also advanced during the month.
1. This information appeared to be largely invalidated in November, at least as regards North Kivu, when some 500,000 to 600,000 refugees crossed into Rwanda at Gisenyi by foot from 15 to 21 November. However, as the UN Situation Report goes to press, the fate of an undetermined number of refugees in North and South Kivu remains uncertain.
2. Information for this section was provided principally by the United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (HRFOR).
3. The law classifies offenders into four categories: 1) planners, organisers, instigators, supervisors, persons in position of authority who perpetrated or fostered the crime, notorious murderers, and persons who committed acts of sexual torture; 2) other perpetrators, conspirators or accomplices of intentional homicide or of serious assault causing death; 3) persons whose criminal acts or acts of criminal participation make them guilty of serious assaults; 4) persons who committed offences against property.
4. In many cases, HRFOR could not ascertain whether arrests were carried out by authorised officials as HRFOR did not always have access to the register for detainees, where this information is contained, and detainees were often unable to distinguish between officials who are authorised to make arrests and those who are not.
5. Excluded from these figures are those killings which appear to have been carried out by private individuals and killings that occurred during military skirmishes which do not appear to have violated international humanitarian or human rights law.
6. The figure does not include persons detained in military detention centres or other places of detention to which HRFOR does not have access.
7. See attached annexes for information on refugees and returnees. Returnees are categorised by country of asylum (Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire or other) by caseload (new or old), and by nature of return (spontaneous/non-assisted or organised/assisted).
GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS
Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
Conference of Parties
Catholic Relief Services
Ecole de la gendarmerie nationale
ex-Forces Armées Rwandaises
Food and Agriculture Organisation
Global Environment Fund
Government of Rwanda
Human Rights Field Operation
International Committee of the Red Cross
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Organisation for Migration
Inspecteur de Police Judiciaire
Ministry of Family and Women in Development
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Interior
Ministry of Planning
Ministry of Rehabilitation and Social Integration
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Water
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Mass Information Unit
Organisation of African Unity
Officier de police jugiciaire
Programme Alimentaire Nutritionnel
Programme Management Unit
Peripneumonie contagieuse bovine
Rwandese Patriotic Army
Regional Sanctions Coordinating Committee
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
UN Department for Development Support and Management Services
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
Programme for Education for Emergencies and Reconstruction
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Office for Project Services
World Food Programme
World Health Organisation
Matar Camara, WHO
André De Clercq, UNFPA
Laurent Gashugi, FAO
Randall Harbour, UNDP
Curt Lambrecht, HRFOR
Patrick Lemieux, UNDP
Rebeka Martensen, UNHCR
Ngomba Mbella, IOM
Zlatan Milisic, WFP
Michelle Morris, HRFOR
Laura OMahony, ICRC
Jean-Baptiste Rusine, UNESCO
Tamara Sutila, UNICEF
Peter Vandor, FAO
The United Nations Situation Report for Rwanda is published by the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System's Operational Activities for Development in Rwanda. This publication may be reproduced for free distribution and may be quoted provided the source is mentioned. Publication date: 2 December 1996 Kigali, Rwanda
This report has been prepared by the Office of the Resident Coordinator, Kigali, Rwanda 10 December 1996 If you have any queries or would like to receive more information on the situation in Rwanda, please contact the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) in Geneva or New York.
Office of the Resident Coordinator
Mr. Omar Bakhet
Tel.: (250) 75 381 / 73 316
Fax: (250) 76 263
Inter-Agency Support Branch (IASB)
Geneva Ms. Deborah Saidy
Ms. Maria Keating
Tel.: (41 22) 788.6384 / 788.6385
Fax: (41 22) 788.6386
Complex Emergency Division (CED) New York
Mr. Yvon Madore
Tel.: (1 212) 963.1627
Fax: (1 212) 963.1388
Press to Contact-Geneva:
Ms. Madeleine Moulin-Acevedo
Tel.: (41 22) 917.2856
Fax: (41 22) 917.0023
Telex: 414242 DHA CH