May 1, 1997 |
Rebels dumped truckloads and trainloads of sick and starving refugees on unprepared aid workers, who flew 236 children home to Rwanda on Wednesday and struggled to deal with the rest. In the squalid camps south of this northeastern Zairian city, refugees fought for biscuits, famished after days hiding in the jungle. Many were sick with cholera and malaria. A mother at a Kisangani transit camp clung to her dead child. "This is a chaos," U.N.
April 29, 1997 |
U.N. officials Monday called it an act of "utmost barbarism": In the middle of the night, soldiers burst into a hospital in eastern Zaire where 50 severely malnourished Rwandan children were receiving emergency food and threw them "like sacks of potatoes" onto the back of a truck to be driven away to an unknown fate.
April 28, 1997 |
The leader of Zaire's rebels ordered up to 100,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees out of the country Sunday, giving the United Nations two months to track them down and send them home. Laurent Kabila promised that international officials will have full access to search for the tens of thousands of refugees, whose fate remained unknown after they dispersed into the jungle when their camps allegedly came under attack last week. A few hundred refugees had been found.
April 26, 1997 |
At least 85,000 Rwandan refugees have vanished mysteriously from two camps in eastern Zaire, raising fears that they have been killed or sent on a death march that could begin a new chapter of genocide in Central Africa, aid officials said Friday. "There was a departure in panic," said Paul Stromberg, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency in the eastern city of Kisangani, where he was interviewed by telephone.
April 25, 1997 |
A United Nations team Thursday discovered that up to 55,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees are missing from a camp in eastern Zaire, and the team was blocked by rebels from a wider search. Not a single Rwandan refugee--dead or alive--could be found at Kasese camp, south of the city of Kisangani. Last week bodies draped in blankets had been laid out in lines at the camp, and many sick refugees there were too weak to walk even one step. "I'm absolutely shocked. There was a camp here four days ago.
April 21, 1997 |
A United Nations plan to repatriate Rwandan Hutu refugees, already delayed by logistics problems, disease and local opposition, was further postponed until at least May. Yagi Sitolo, governor of the eastern Upper Zaire province, said the repatriation should not start until May 5 because of a cholera epidemic. Sitolo intervened last week to delay a plan to start an airlift this weekend of up to 100,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees from two camps south of Kisangani in eastern Zaire.
April 19, 1997 |
In an ominous development threatening more than 100,000 exhausted Rwandan refugees facing starvation and disease in eastern Zaire, rebels blocked the United Nations on Friday from starting a massive airlift to carry them home. The Hutu refugees have been on the run since 1994 and are on their last legs, dying at a rate of about 60 a day, although that rate is half that reported earlier this month. Officials of the Office of the U.N.
April 6, 1997 |
Negotiators for Zaire's warring factions sounded diplomatic Saturday at the start of their first face-to-face talks, throwing out terms like "peace" and "democracy." But the rebels, who control a third of the country and are still taking ground, seemed unwilling to compromise, and government negotiators stared stonily ahead when rebels said: "We want freedom, and we shall never negotiate that."
April 5, 1997 |
At least 120 Rwandan refugees are dying every day in two camps sheltering 80,000 people in territory held by Zairian rebels, according to the United Nations. Pam O'Toole, spokeswoman in Geneva for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said tens of thousands are stranded south of rebel-held Kisangani. The crisis prompted the U.N. Security Council on Friday night to call on the rebels to grant aid workers immediate and free access to the refugees.
March 30, 1997 |
After six months and nearly 600 miles, a long-missing group of Rwandan Hutu refugees has reached the end of the road in a sad, strange odyssey. Here in Zaire's jungle gloom, where towering trees and thick foliage block the equatorial sun, most of the refugees--who fled deeper into Zaire last year instead of returning home with hundreds of thousands of their brethren--say they have been on the run long enough. Now they want to go home.