WFP Emergency Report No. 39 of 1997: East Africa

from World Food Programme
Published on 26 Sep 1997
Issued weekly by the United Nations World Food Programme

Report No. 39 of 1997 Date: 26 September 1997

This report includes: A) Democratic People's Republic of Korea B) West Africa: Sierra Leone C) East Africa: Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia D) Central Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) E) Resourcing update.

From J.-M. Boucher, Chief, Programming Service. Available on the Internet at WFP Home Page or by e-mail from (fax 39 6 6513 2837). For information regarding resources, donors are requested to contact or at WFP Rome, telephone 39 6 6513 2504 or 6513 2004.

(Details below in Part II)


1. Rwanda

a) Military escort now necessary for WFP trucks travelling to Gisenyi from Kigali.

2. Burundi

a) WFP holds discussions with authorities in Kayanza, where reinstallation programme recently halted.

3. Tanzania

a) Several donors show interest in WFP request for 76,000 metric tons of food for distribution to drought affected population.

4. Uganda

a) Security improves in Bundibuguyo and nearby areas, where 71,000 displaced Ugandans receive food from WFP. Some of the displaced return to their villages as planting season begins.

b) Security situation remains precarious in Gulu district.

c) Transfer of Sudanese refugees from Ogujebe to Palorinya halted because of scarcity of potable water and uncertain security situation.

5. Ethiopia

a) Two WFP staff members killed south of Degeh Bur in the Ogaden region, when their vehicle stopped by armed men in a case of attempted robbery.



1.1 WFP continues to closely monitor the situation in the camps for Congolese refugees who fled from the Masisi area of eastern DR Congo. Some 360 metric tons of food have been delivered by WFP to Mudende since the beginning of August, and rations to cover needs for three months has recently been sent to Kiziba. Nkimira transit centre has also been provided with rations for displaced persons.

1.2 Military escort are now accompanying WFP trucks travelling to Gisenyi from Kigali. This measure follows the increased reluctance of truck owners and drivers to travel without escorts, due to the unstable situation in the prefecture. In the latest security incident reported, a school was attacked in Rubavu commune, and three students were killed and seven injured.


2.1 WFP is holding discussions with the provincial authorities in Kayanza regarding security in the province, particularly in the communes of Ranfo and Buranganzwa, where the reinstallation programme was recently halted by the governor of the province.

2.2 Security problems continue to persist elsewhere in the country as well; at the Rumonge displaced camp in Bururi province, an attack reportedly killed seven people and left 13 injured. A further six people were killed in two more incidents in the province. Several deaths were also reported in the Gitaza area of Bujumbura Rural, where at least 19 people were killed and 30 injured in an attack on a military post.

2.3 In Bujumbura city, electricity was cut for two days last week when electrical poles were reportedly burned by rebels in Bubanza province.

2.4 Emergency distributions continue in Karuzi province, where 360 metric tons of food were provided to 24,780 beneficiaries at three sites.

2.5 A total of 245 refugees were repatriated to the Gatumba transit site in Bujumbura Rural from DR Congo. A further 158 refugees from DR Congo were repatriated to Burundi through the Butare, Rwanda, transit site.


3.1 Various donors have indicated support for WFP's request for 76,000 metric tons of food for distribution to drought affected populations in Tanzania. This new WFP emergency operation, presently under preparation, follows the Government's declaration of a national food emergency in the country. Relief food approved under the previous WFP drought emergency operation continued to be distributed in Mwanza, Mara and Dodoma areas.

3.2 Burundian refugees are still entering Tanzania. Between 15 and 21 September, 247 new arrivals were registered in Mtabila II camp, 143 arrived and were registered in Nduta camp and 130 were registered in camps in Ngara.


4.1 The 71,000 displaced Ugandans in Bundibuguyo and nearby areas have so far received 676 metric tons of WFP food commodities. Security during the week was relatively good. It appears that a number of these displaced are returning to their homes, a move that is being encouraged now that the planting season has begun.

4.2 In Gulu, 15,624 displaced beneficiaries received approximately 100 metric tons of WFP rations of maize, pulses and vegetable oil. The distribution took place in three different sites in Opit and was somewhat disrupted by the reported presence of rebels near the area. A military escort was made available which permitted the distribution to be completed successfully.

4.3 The security situation remained precarious in Gulu during the past week with 14 attacks reported, targeting military detachments and local defence units, to which displaced camps are attached. These attacks cause movements of displaced persons, rendering registration data completely out of date.

4.4 The transfer of Sudanese refugees from Ogujebe transit centre to the Palorynia settlement in northern Uganda has now been halted. In addition to problems related to the scarcity of potable water at the site, the security situation has become uncertain. On 19 September, there was an attack on one of the settlements in Palorinya during which food and other items were looted from the refugees.


5.1 WFP strongly condemns the brutal murder of two national staff members in Ethiopia's central Ogaden region, in what appears to be a case of attempted robbery.

5.2 Three WFP personnel were travelling late on the afternoon of 19 September from Kebre Dehar to Jigiga after a field mission when their vehicle was stopped by armed men, 55 kilometres south of Degeh Bur. One of the three staff members managed to escape and fled by foot to the nearby town of Birkot where he reported the incident to the authorities. After days of searching, the two bodies were discovered only on 24 September. Both staff had been shot.

5.3 This particular area of central Ogaden has been increasingly insecure over recent months due to tensions on the Somali-Ethiopian border.