August 24, 1994 |
Thousands of Rwandan refugees packed their bags and headed out of Bukavu on Tuesday as tempers in the increasingly filthy and congested Zairian town became more and more frayed. From early morning, there was a steady flow of Hutus out of the city center going toward Hongo, a new campsite opening up for 80,000 people on the wind-swept shores of Lake Kivu. "People are clearing out of town incredibly fast," said Jane Pope of the CARE charity's Canadian branch.
August 23, 1994 |
Rwanda's ousted Hutu government has regrouped here on the Zairian border and is feebly rattling its rusty bloodstained saber. Even as more Rwandans continue to file out of their country into semi-permanent refugee camps in Zaire, their shadowy, besieged, seldom-seen president and Cabinet are meeting and aspiring to a comeback. Maybe soon. Maybe in 30 years. Who can know? "It is a good thing the population has come along with the government.
August 19, 1994 |
The mountain forests of Central Africa rise steeply from the banks of Lake Kivu at this remote, run-down resort town. The 200,000 or so residents here prefer to lift their eyes from the seedy streets and proclaim it the "green city." But now, under the unstoppable pressure of another Rwandan refugee migration, Bukavu is being reduced hour by hour to another squalid cesspool of misery.
August 18, 1994 |
On this day, there are only 20,000 to 30,000 of them on the road out of southwestern Rwanda: children carrying babies on their backs, old women trembling on weak knees, mothers carrying reed mats for sleeping--and perhaps dying--on. All have the same wide-open, fearful stare. For 100 mountainous miles to the east and 75 miles to the north, long columns of refugees are traveling the two roads out of the U.N.-protected "safe zone" in Rwanda and toward the remote Zairian border town of Bukavu.
August 14, 1994 |
A new refugee exodus appeared under way after 5,000 Hutus crossed into Bukavu, Zaire, from the Rwandan border town of Cyangugu. U.N. officials said that, in the coming week, a million Hutus could stream out of the French-protected zone in southwestern Rwanda and into eastern Zaire. International relief workers in the French "safe zone" distributed food, shelter and medical supplies--as well as leaflets urging people not to leave--in a desperate effort to avert a new tragedy.
August 7, 1994 |
Morning arrives swiftly in equatorial Africa. There is hardly a sunrise before a gray-white glow illuminates the sky like a dirty fluorescent bulb. But the sky itself is barely visible. Right now, Zairian farmers are burning brush lands so the grass will grow green in the coming rainy season. Not far from the highway, the flat-topped volcano Nyiragongo spews its gases. Powdery dust rises with every relief convoy, every footstep.
July 24, 1994 |
Desperately needed food and water finally arrived at this nightmarish camp for 150,000 sick and weakened Rwandan refugees Saturday, but the living literally had to walk over and around the dead to reach it. Corpses of cholera victims, many of them uncovered and rotting in the hot African sun, piled up on this desolate volcanic wasteland.
June 23, 1993 |
An estimated 111,000 people have abandoned their homes amid continuing clashes between ethnic Rwandans and Zairians in northeast Zaire, an aid agency said. The Dutch branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres said at least 1,000 people were killed and many more wounded in the fighting.