on Ethnic Relations / Rapports sur les relations
following section is mainly consisted of part, full or summaries
of articles taken from newspapers.
La section suivante est essentiellement constituée d'exraits,
de la totalité ou de résumés d'articles
issues de journaux .
02 / 04 / 2003
Article: "AU focuses on conflicts"
African Union summit came to an end late Monday night with several
pledges by the continent's leaders to try tackle crises blighting
heads of state pledged to tackle conflicts in at least seven states
on the continent, during the summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis
the first ever AU summit was to resolve technical sticking points
on the fledgling organisation's constitution, attentions soon
turned to war.
in Burundi, the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Comoros and Liberia
all fell under the spotlight.
AU's conflict resolution body – which was attended by the
heads of state – spent most of Monday focusing on the crises.
In Madagascar, it called on the AU to recognise Marc Ravalomanana
as the legitimate president of the country.
AU reiterated that African peacekeepers would be sent into Burundi
and that it would re-double efforts to ensure peace in strife-ridden
the end, it took just 20 minutes for the AU to resolve the technical
hiccups that had overshadowed the launch of the organisation in
Durban in July 2002.
28 heads of state and six prime ministers agreed to six main amendments
which included issues such as the role of women and the importance
of the African Diaspora.
like its much-criticised predecessor, the Organisation of African
Unity, money again looks set to be an issue that could strangle
has yet put a price on what running the AU will cost the continent'
s population. Even senior officials differ starkly in their estimates.
told IRIN that US $100 million a year would suffice to run four
‘organs' - the Assembly, the Executive Council, the Permanent
Representatives' Committee and the Commission. Another claimed
that the AU would need an annual budget in the region of US $500
million if it were to be taken seriously.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Foreign Minister of South Africa, told
journalists on Tuesday that despite an obvious cash flow problem,
the AU would push ahead.
organisation is functioning but of course we are putting a new
structure into place, a new commission, that will have different
needs and therefore we may need more resources," she said.
"Mugabe slams political interference"
President Robert Mugabe has urged African leaders to resist attempts
by the international community to interfere in the continent's
at the opening on Monday of a two-day African Union (AU) Heads
of State Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Mugabe
said Africa was becoming more united and looked forward to the
day of a United States of Africa.
want to see these countries firmly united and recreating a United
States of Africa – that is what we want to see and that
is what is coming," Mugabe said.
institutions are now evolved," he said during a break in
the Heads of State meeting at the UN Conference Centre where the
talks are being held.
Mugabe spoke Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
went on trial for treason. Tsvangirai and two senior colleagues
in the Movement for Democratic Change pleaded not guilty to treason
charges over an alleged plot to kill Mugabe.
Addis Ababa talks, the first extraordinary summit of the AU, was
called to resolve constitutional sticking points among leaders
after the birth of the organisation in Durban, South Africa, in
a veteran nationalist and vocal critic of colonialism, warned
that Africa must still fight for its economic freedom. "We
have decolonised the continent and that political position of
the sovereignty of the African states and the greatness of Africa
has got to be maintained," he said.
have got to prevent any interference in the domestic affairs of
African states," Mugabe added. "But we must work also
for our economic development – that is where we are still
urged a common market for the entire continent adding that it
would help lift Africa out of poverty.
"Protect children during conflicts, UN official urges"
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children
and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu on Friday urged countries affected
by armed conflicts to draw inspiration from Sierra Leone, where
the conclusion of a peace agreement paved the way for a programme
focusing on the demobilisation and reintegration of about 7,000
former child soldiers.
a result of the programme, Otunnu told African leaders at the
26th summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),
which ended on Friday in Dakar, Senegal, a national commission
on war-affected children was set up. He added that a special court
established last year would pay special attention to crimes committed
said a powerful network of civil society organisations had developed
throught Sierra Leone for the protection of children. In this
they are assisted by 'The Voice of the Children', a radio station
set up by and for children. Members of the UN Mission for Sierra
Leone, UNAMSIL, also receive training in child protection and
law, he added.
the other hand, Otunnu was worried about the plight of children
in the war situations in Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia, despite efforts
by UN agencies and NGOs to protect them.
called for a concerted subregional policy geared toward peace
so that children displaced within or outside their countries are
no longer deprived of schooling and health care, and are no longer
raped or mutilated.
Otunnu noted that ECOWAS had set up a service for the protection
of children caught up in conflicts. The service was created in
April 2002 after a series of visits to regional countries during
which Otunnu had urged parties not to recruit child combattants
and to refrain from attacking places frequented by civilians,
such as schools and hospitals.
urged African heads of state and parties to conflicts to return
to traditional norms and values which used to prevent warriors
from attacking children, women and the aged during ethnic conflicts.
He also reminded the heads that, once war broke out it was the
duty of states to protect children, rehabilitate them and reintegrate
them into society.
than 120,000 children are caught up in wars in Africa. Many of
them are in West Africa.
02 / 04 / 2003
"Government, rebel faction meet to discuss ceasefire
from the transitional government of Burundi and Jean-Pierre Nkurunziza's
faction of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces
nationales de liberation (CNDD-FDD) are meeting in the Tanzanian
commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, with a view to reaching an
agreement on the implementation of the Arusha ceasefire accord
signed in December 2002.
meetings, which began on 30 January, between the political and
the defence and security technical commissions from the two sides
are scheduled to last a week. They would focus on ways of implementing
the ceasefire that, so far, has been largely ignored, sources
close to the talks told IRIN on Tuesday.
South African facilitators spent the morning consulting both delegations
separately, and in the afternoon, the technical commissions began
their work," Rajabu Hussein, the CNDD-FDD secretary-general,
told IRIN. "We will negotiate each and every point, but it
is normal that there should be some things that the two delegations
don't agree on."
said that on 9 February there would be a meeting in South Africa
between Burundian President Pierre Buyoya and Nkurunziza. This
meeting would centre on issues unresolved at the ongoing talks
African diplomats in Tanzania confirmed this, saying that the
two groups would be reporting on progress made so far to the chief
facilitator of the ceasefire talks, South African Deputy President
the two groups are said to be "committed", observers
citing the recent escalation of the conflict in Burundi say there
is much yet to be agreed on if the 3 December 2002 ceasefire is
to be fully implemented on the ground.
"President Buyoya calls for African peacekeeping
President Pierre Buyoya called on Monday for an African peacekeeping
force to help resolve the bitter civil war in the tiny Central
told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, that he
welcomed the African Union's (AU) decision in January to deploy
a military mission to oversee ceasefires signed by the Burundi
government and rebel groups. Troops from Ethiopia, Mozambique
and South Africa are expected to be sent until a UN peacekeeping
force replaces them. Buyoya was in Addis Ababa for the first AU
summit that ended Monday, a day ahead of schedule.
welcoming such a peacekeeping mission, he said Africa was not
yet ready for a continental army - a suggestion that has been
floated for decades. "The single army in Africa is an objective
for the future," he said.
civil war broke out in 1993 after soldiers from the minority Tutsi-dominated
army killed the first democratically Hutu president. Hutu rebels
continue to reject a ceasefire and have intensified their attacks
since the new government was installed in November 2001.
move to send in peacekeepers came after South African Deputy President
Jacob Zuma visited the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa in January.
He is the facilitator of the Burundi ceasefire process, and has
described the situation as "very urgent".
South African President Nelson Mandela, with the support of the
international community, brokered a deal under which the Tutsi
and Hutu communities would share power so as to end the war.
/ 24 / 2003
camp identified for frightened Sudanese refugees"
Ethiopian government has identified a new camp for Sudanese refugees
in the country after over 100 Sudanese were killed in violent
ethnic attacks over the last five months.
to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the new site at Odier in western
Ethiopia can accommodate 24,500 refugees.
was chosen based on its accessibility, proximity to administrative
and security establishments, and the tribal composition of local
residents," UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said. "Most
important, the site was chosen with the consent of the refugees
themselves, who want to move from the sprawling, insecure Fugnido
attacks at the existing Fugnido refugee camp in Ethiopia's Gambella
region were sparked by increased tensions between Nuers and Dinkas
on the one hand, and Anuaks on the other.
Ethiopian government has reportedly rounded up those accused of
the killings and brought them to court.
camp, which was established in 1991, accommodates more than 28,700
refugees and is the largest of five refugee settlements in the
Gambella region, where a total of 85,000 Sudanese are sheltered.
said the government had promised that adequate security would
be provided at the new site. "At present the road leading
to the site is a 'no-go' area for UN staff due to clan tensions
in the region," Redmond said.
the Odier site is declared safe, UNHCR estimates it will cost
about US $1.8 million to turn it into a camp for 23,000 Nuers
has been a long history of antagonisms between Anuaks and Nuers,
both inside the camp and within the Ethiopian host community,"
UNHCR said in a report. "Given that the history of revenge
killings dates back to 1995, all the tribes involved agreed that
relocation of the Nuers and Dinkas was the only feasible solution."
Syed Hussain, who heads the UNHCR office in Gambella, said terrified
Nuer and Dinka refugees have already returned to Sudan, fearing
further attacks by the Anuaks.
have returned to Pochalla, a border town in southern Sudan, where
they will wait to return to Ethiopia once the new camp is established
in Odier," he said.
the worst attack, last November, 42 people were killed when the
Anuaks clashed with the Nuers and the Dinkas in Fugnido camp.
/ 26 / 2003
association des droits de l'homme critique l'introduction du visa
Commission Justice et Paix du Liberia a critiqué la réintroduction
par les autorités libériennes du visa obligatoire
de sortie pour quiconque (les citoyens du pays et les étrangers)
désirant sortir du pays.
gouvernement a introduit le visa le 18 février. D'après
le Bureau de l'Immigration et de la Naturalisation, la décision
a pour but d' "avoir une base de données complète
des personnes vivant au Liberia". La Commission a déclaré
mardi qu'elle constitue une violation du droit à la liberté
de circulation. La mesure "contrevient à l'Article
13(b) de la Constitution libérienne qui garantit aux citoyens
le droit de sortir et d'entrer au Liberia à n'importe quel
moment, sans conditions préalables", a-t-elle rappelé.
JPC a invité le gouvernement à reconsidérer
figure de proue de l'opposition, Charles W. Brumskine, a indiqué
qu'on lui avait refusé le visa de sortie lorsqu'il l'a
demandé le 21 février. M. Brumskine et d'autres
responsables du Parti de l'Unification du Liberia (LUP) devaient
effectuer une tournée dans cinq nations d'Afrique de l'Ouest
pour solliciter un appui au processus électoral libérien.
la troisième fois que le visa de sortie est imposé
sous l'administration du président Taylor. Introduit en
1997, il a été supprimé puis réinstitué
en 2002, avant d'être à nouveau aboli après
avoir été largement condamné par les organisations
locales des droits de l'homme.
/ 25 / 2003
accuses Guinea to Security Council for aiding LURD"
has filed a nine-count complaint at the UN Security Council against
neighbouring Guinea for "supporting a terrorist organisation"
namely the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy
(LURD) to destabilise it.
a letter addressed to the President of the UN Council dated February
18, President Charles Taylor said "the government of Guinea
facilitated the establishment of LURD by permitting the recruitment,
training and arming of Liberian refugees living in refugee camps
in the territory of Guinea"
further said: "LURD combatants have been permitted to freely
move in and out of Guinean territory carrying arms, ammunition
and other supplies into Liberia, and to retreat into Guinea for
refuge and medical care. The support to the LURD has been facilitated
by a close working relationship between the Guinean Army and LURD
officers and contacts at the highest level of the Guinean Government."
to the Liberian government, Guinea's support to the LURD had "significantly
contributed to the displacement of over a third of the Liberian
population, which resulted into a major humanitarian crisis in
Liberia". The LURD, it added, "committed atrocities
resultinginto the killing, maiming, rape abuse and abduction of
Taylor's letter cited instances of LURD presence in Guinea as
indicated in a report of the UN Panel of Experts of 11 April,
2002; the report of the ECOWAS Security Assessment Team of 14
June, 2002; the Human Rights Watch report Vol. 14 no.4(a) of May
2002; the International Crisis Africa report No. 43 of 24 April,
2002 as well as news reports.
Liberian government said Guinea was in violation of several regional
treaties and international resolution including Security Council
resolutions 1343(2001) and 1408(2002), the Mano River Union Non-Aggression
and Security Cooperation Treaty signed between Liberia, Guinea
and Sierra Leone in 1986, the ECOWAS Protocol on Non-Aggression,
the African Union and the UN charters.
requested "the Security Council to take necessary urgent
measures to end this destabilisation and destruction of Liberia
in keping with its responsibility for international peace and
Foreign Minister, Francois Lonseny Fall, in an interview with
Radio France Internationale on Wednesday however denied that his
country supports LURD rebels.
was quoted as saying "We are not backing the LURD at all.
The LURD's headquarters is in Voinjama, in Liberian territory.
The LURD is not the only group that is against President Taylor...85
per cent of Liberian politicians are in exile. We wish all Liberian
politicians return home so that political life returns to normal."
02 / 24 / 2003
threatens planned talks, warns civil society"
Civil Society Movement of Liberia has warned that renewed armed
hostilities between rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation
and Democracy (LURD) and government troops in the west of the
country threatens to mar planned peace talks.
talks on Liberia are scheduled for Bamako, Mali next month under
the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States
Philip Joe, the Civil Society Movement president told reporters
onFriday that the movement would like both the government and
the rebels to halt the fighting as a demonstration of their sincerity
towards the restoration of peace and stability in the war-ravaged
movement has 48 member organizations including the Teachers Association,
the Press Union of Liberia and the Liberian Federation of Trade
and Labour Unions.
that Liberians desire now is total peace during this crucial time
when the country prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections
on October 14, 2003," Joe said.
January, a delegation of ECOWAS parliamentarians met with representatives
of the LURD in Freetown, Sierra Leone and convinced the rebels
to accept dialogue with the government of President Charles Taylor.
The LURD reportedly accepted to hold talks and also dropped their
earlier demand for Taylor's resignation.
ECOWAS team later met Taylor, who also announced he had agreed
to talks with the rebels, but ruled out any power-sharing agreement.
LURD who have fought to topple Taylor since 1999, stepped up their
attacks at the start of February against government troops and
took control of strategic western towns including the provincial
headquarters of Tubmanburg, about 60 km west of Monrovia and Bo-Water
side, along the Liberia-Sierra Leonean border.
of thousands of people have been displaced, causing a fresh major
influx into existing internally displaced persons' camps and stretching
the capacity of the humanitarian community. Recently the government
said it was seeking more land to set up temporary camps for the
Liberian refugees, government urges Cote d'Ivoire"
Liberian government on Friday again expressed its concern about
a reportedly increasing wave of brutalities and inhumane treatment
against Liberian refugees in Cote d'Ivoire.
foreign ministry statement said Liberia was protesting the illegal
acts of some Ivorian security personnel and mobs "for maltreating,harassing,
intimidating, beating which in some instances resulted into deaths
and raping Liberian refugees".
Liberian government, the statement said, urges its Ivorian counterpart
"to ensure the protection and safety of Liberian refugees".
It added that about 40,000 Liberian refugees were caught up in
the Ivorian conflict.
last month, Liberia's Justice Minister, Lavela Koboi Johnson,
had protested what he said were credible and reliable reports
that Liberians were being attacked and killed by Ivorian security
personnel and mobs.
minister said the reports were "disturbing", adding
that under international agreements, the Ivorian government had
an obligation to protect Liberian refugees both during periods
of peace and in times of conflict.
02 / 04 / 2003
flee renewed fighting in Kley district"
of civilians, mainly women and children, fled fighting on Tuesday
in Kley District, 37 km west of Liberia's capital, Monrovia, between
Liberian government forces and members of the rebel Liberians
United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).
fighting occurred three days after President Charles Taylor reported
that LURD had attacked government troops in the northwestern provincial
town of Bopolu, about 100 km from Monrovia.
who fled to Monrovia with their belongings on their heads told
IRIN on Tuesday that they had heard the sound of sporadic gunfire
and bombardments coming from the direction of Kley. They said
that on Monday, they had heard heavy gunfire from Tubmanburg which,
like Kley, is in Bomi County.
was a heavy buildup of government troops on Tuesday at the Po-River
bridge, about 15 km west of Monrovia. Police ambulances could
be seen transporting wounded government soldiers to Monrovia.
There was, however, no official comment from the government.
remained calm. The National Human Rights Center, whose membership
includes nine local human rights organizations, said in a statement
on Monday that the humanitarian situation resulting from the renewed
fighting was "disturbing". It called on the LURD to
cease hostilities, saying that fighting did not augur well for
democracy in Liberia.
Tuesday afternoon, Reuters reported that the rebels had fought
a fierce battle with government troops at Cheesmanburg, 18 km
north of the capital, and had advanced within striking distance
and Tubmanburg were captured by LURD in February 2002 but were
retaken by government soldiers after two months of fighting. Bopolu,
once a stronghold of LURD rebels, was recaptured by government
troops in September 2002.
rebels have been fighting since 1999 to overthrow Taylor.
02 / 03 / 2003
"L'Envoyée humanitaire visite des centres
humanitaire pour la crise en Côte d'Ivoire, Carolyn McAskie,
a conclu ce lundi une visite de trois jours au Liberia, durant
laquelle elle a visité de nouveaux centres de transit établis
pour les milliers de personnes ayant fui les combats dans le pays
voisin, la Côte d'Ivoire.
McAskie, accompagnée des chefs des agences onusiennes au
Liberia, a visité le centre de transit Saclepea, que le
HCR projette de transformer sous peu en un camp de réfugiés.
Situé à Saclepea, une localité libérienne
de l'Est, le centre héberge actuellement quelque 200 réfugiés
ivoiriens. Le HCR et ses partenaires – incluant Médecins
sans frontières et le Programme alimentaire mondial –
ont indiqué que le site pourrait accueillir jusqu' à
3 000 déplacés. En tant que camp de réfugiés,
il pourrait héberger environ 10 000 personnes.
McAskie, qui a visité des abris, des installations sanitaires
et des centres d'alimentation thérapeutique, a interrogé
les réfugiés sur leurs conditions de vie, sur les
difficultés auxquelles ils ont à faire face, et
sur ce que l'ONU et la communauté internationale pourraient
faire pour leur venir en aide. Les représentants des réfugiés
ont lancé un appel pour qu'ils puissent retourner en Côte
d'Ivoire de sorte que, comme l'a exprimé une jeune femme,
ils puissent être "avec leurs familles" là-bas.
Ils ont également évoqué leurs besoins en
matière alimentaire et non alimentaire.
McAskie leur a déclaré qu'elle s'est rendue auprès
d'eux pour écouter leurs histoires et pour " amener
leurs souffrances aux yeux du monde". Elle s'est engagée
à intervenir auprès de l'ONU et d'autres instances
au nom des réfugiés ivoiriens, des rapatriés
libériens et des ressortissants de pays tiers affectés
par la crise.
21 janvier, 69 370 réfugiés et rapatriés
avaient été enregistrés et "leurs nombres
continuent d'augmenter", a signalé le HCR. Le chiffre
inclut 39 204 rapatriés libériens, 25 081 réfugiés
ivoiriens, et 5 445 ressortissants de pays tiers, dont la grande
majorité est issue du Burkina Faso.
nombres réels des rapatriés et des réfugiés
pourraient être bien plus élevés car il est
impossible de contrôler tous les points d'entrée",
a rapporté dans une note d'information le Bureau de Coordination
des affaires humanitaires de l'ONU (BCAH/OCHA).
des villages le long de routes accidentées et poussiéreuses,
la mission s'est rendue à Karnplay, à 76 km au nord
de Saclepea, où vivent des Libériens, des Ivoiriens,
des Burkinabè et des Sierra Léonais ayant récemment
fui l'ouest de la Côte d'Ivoire. Karnplay est l'un des quatre
centres de transit ouverts par le HCR depuis le déclenchement
du conflit ivoirien.
représentants de chaque communauté ont raconté
à l'Envoyée de l'ONU l' attaque du 28 novembre à
l'ouest de la Côte d'Ivoire, qui les a forcés à
fuir. Ils ont sollicité des vivres et d'autres produits,
notamment des médicaments pour les femmes enceintes et
celles qui allaitent, et ont déclaré qu'en définitive,
ils voudraient retourner dans leurs pays d' origine.
McAskie, qui était accompagnée du président
de la Commission libérienne pour le rapatriement et la
réinstallation des réfugiés, a assuré
les déplacés que les agences onusiennes au Liberia
feront tout ce qu'elles peuvent pour les aider, et qu'elle lancera
un appel pour leur venir en aide.
de l'ONU a également eu des entretiens avec de hauts responsables
publics, des ONG et des délégations étrangères,
comme l' ambassade des Etats-Unis dans la capitale, Monrovia.
son arrivée samedi, à l' issue d'une visite de 24
heures au Burkina Faso, Mme McAskie a rencontré l'Equipe
de l'ONU dans le pays [les représentants de plusieurs agences
onusiennes travaillant dans le pays], qui ont exprimé leur
inquiétude pour le Liberia, et ont insisté sur la
nécessité pour la communauté internationale
de rester centrée sur le pays, où de nouveaux problèmes
pourraient surgir avec les élections présidentielles
et générales prévues en octobre prochain.
représentant du HCR, Moses Okello, a déclaré
que la crise ivoirienne avait créé "l'existence
de la tentation d'oublier le Liberia" qui, avec 80 pour cent
de sa population vivant en-deça du seuil de pauvreté
et un nombre de chômeurs encore plus élevé,
reste un acteur déterminant pour la paix et la sécurité
de l'Afrique de l'Ouest. "Le Conseil de sécurité
doit recentrer ses efforts sur le Liberia d'une manière
soutenue", a insisté le directeur par intérim
du Bureau de l' ONU de construction de la paix au Liberia.
Mme McAskie a discuté avec l'Equipe de pays de l'ONU au
Burkina Faso de l'impact de la crise ivoirienne sur ce pays. Elle
a rencontré le président Blaise Compaoré
qui lui a fait plusieurs recommandations, qu'il faudrait notamment
que l'ONU appuie l'accord que les parties ivoiriennes ont signé
à Paris à la fin janvier.
McAskie, qui voyage avec Besida Tonwe, directeur du Bureau d'OCHA
d' appui régional, sis à Abidjan, est attendue lundi
/ 24 / 2003
déplacés rentrent chez eux malgré le manque
personnes déplacées à l'intérieur
de leur pays, originaires de Bozoum (à 384 km au nord-ouest
de la capitale, Bangui) ont commencé à rentrer chez
elles après que le gouvernement, soutenu par les forces
alliées, ait repris cette ville le 13 février, a
rapporté, le 22 février, la station officielle Radio
A l'heure où nous parlons, un calme précaire règne
à Bozoum, » a déclaré à la station
Jean-Pierre Sacko, sous-préfet de Bozoum.
000 habitants de Bozoum ont fui leur domicile pour se cacher dans
le maquis depuis le 19 décembre 2002, lorsque les rebelles
fidèles à François Bozizé, ancien
chef d'état-major de l'armée régulière,
ont occupé la ville.
lors, le manque d'accès à cette population déplacée
a rendu impossible l'apport de toute aide humanitaire.
Sacko a, par ailleurs, ajouté que ces personnes déplacées
sont rentrées chez elles alors que la sécurité
n'est pas encore rétablie dans la ville. Il a demandé
au gouvernement de dépêcher des forces de police
et de gendarmerie pour garantir l'ordre public et la sécurité.
Il a précisé que quelques rebelles, qui ne connaissent
pas la région, continuent de se cacher dans des habitations
abandonnées ou encore dans les montagnes environnantes.
M. Sacko a indiqué que ses services, des organisations
de jeunesse ainsi que la Croix-Rouge locale réfléchissent
aux moyens d'enterrer les corps qui jonchent les rues de la ville
afin d'éviter la propagation d'épidémies.
sur le massacre présumé de Tchadiens et de musulmans
par les forces gouvernementales et leurs alliés du Mouvement
de libération du Congo, faction de la République
démocratique du Congo, M. Sacko, qui s'est rendu à
Bozoum le lendemain de sa libération, a affirmé
n'avoir constaté aucune trace de ces présumés
il a confirmé l'existence de tensions entre les Tchadiens
et les habitants indigènes de Bozoum. Il en a attribué
la cause aux rebelles qui, lors de leur occupation, ont protégé
les Tchadiens mais maltraité les indigènes. Il a
indiqué que des rencontres avec la population sont actuellement
organisées en vue de dissiper les tensions.
/ 21 / 2003
gouvernement rejette les allégations liées aux violations
de droits humains"
porte-parole du gouvernement de la République centrafricaine
(RCA), Gabriel Jean Edouard Koyambounou, a rejeté ce jeudi
les allégations selon lesquelles les troupes loyalistes
et leurs alliés congolais ont perpétré des
violations des droits de l'homme en reprenant aux mains des rebelles
des villes du nord du pays.
un communiqué lu sur les ondes d'une station de radio officielle,
M. Koyambounou a déclaré qu'il fallait faire une
distinction entre les personnes déplacées à
l'intérieur de leur pays, citoyens innocents, et les jeunes
drogués recrutés par les rebelles fidèles
à François Bozizé, l'ancien chef d'état-major
de l'armée centrafricaine. Dans une déclaration
antérieure, M. Koyambounou avait précisé
que les victimes étaient des complices rebelles.
troupes du gouvernement ont lancé, le 13 février,
une contre-offensive contre les rebelles, reprenant les villes
de Bozoum (à 384 km au nord-ouest de la capitale, Bangui),
Sibut, Kaga Bandoro et Grimari (respectivement à 184 km,
342 km, et 305 km au nord-est de Bangui), et Bossangoa (à
305 km au nord de Bangui). Bossangoa, le lieu de naissance de
Bozizé, était le fief des rebelles avant d'être
repris mercredi par l'armée régulière.
la reconquête de ces villes, le gouvernement et les forces
alliées auraient commencé à faire la chasse
aux Tchadiens, aux Musulmans et à tout citoyen centrafricain
soupçonné de complicité avec la rébellion,
selon grand nombre d'informations. Des milliers d'habitants auraient
fui les combats en direction du sud du Tchad.
Koyambounou a affirmé que ces opérations ne visent
« aucune ethnie, moins encore une communauté étrangère
vivant sur notre territoire ».
gouvernement a réfuté ces accusations quelques jours
après qu'une association française de défense
des droits de l'homme, la Fédération internationale
des droits de l'homme, a porté plainte auprès du
Tribunal pénal international contre le président
de la RCA, Ange-Félix Patassé, Jean-Pierre Bemba
(le chef du Mouvement de libération du Congo, un mouvement
rebelle de la République démocratique du Congo combattant
aux côtés du gouvernement de la RCA) et Abdoulaye
Miskine (ancien chef rebelle tchadien présumé, aujourd'hui
partisan de Patassé), les accusant de crimes de guerre
et de crimes contre l'humanité.
micro de Radio Centrafrique, le ministre des affaires intérieures,
Jacquesson Mazette, s'est efforcé jeudi de rassurer les
communautés tchadienne et musulmane vivant en RCA, leur
garantissant une totale protection de la part du gouvernement.
Il a, ensuite, enjoint à l'ensemble des autorités
administratives dont les zones ont été libérées,
de réintégrer immédiatement leurs fonctions.
/ 25 / 2003
troupes loyalistes reprennent une ville au nord-ouest"
gouvernement et les forces alliées étrangères
ont repris le fief rebelle de Bossangoa, à environ 300
km au nord-ouest de la capitale de la République centrafricaine
(RCA), Bangui, a annoncé le président Ange-Félix
Patassé au micro de Radio France Internationale.
En fait, Bossangoa est sous notre contrôle depuis ce matin,
» a précisé le chef de l'Etat lors d'une conférence
de presse qui se tenait mercredi à Paris, à la veille
de l'ouverture sommet franco-africain, à laquelle participera
reprise de Bossangoa par les forces du gouvernement et ses alliés
du Mouvement de libération du Congo, une faction de la
République démocratique du Congo voisine, est une
victoire hautement symbolique car c'est précisément
dans cette localité qu'est né François Bozizé,
l'ancien chef de l'état-major militaire, aujourd'hui à
la tête de la rébellion. Il s'agit également
de la dernière ville importante avant la frontière
tchadienne qui se trouve à environ 150 km plus au nord.
nouvelle survient quelques jours après la reconquête
par l'armée de Sibut (à 184 km au nord-est de Bangui),
de Bozoum (à 384 km au nord-ouest de Bangui) et de Kaga
Bandoro (à 342 km au nord de Bangui). Le porte-parole du
gouvernement, le ministre Gabriel Jean Edouard Koyambounou, avait
annoncé le 14 février que toutes les provinces devaient
être libérées avant l'ouverture d'un dialogue
national provisoirement prévu en mars.
lundi, la presse locale dénonce les violations de l'armée
régulière et de ses alliés congolais envers
les Musulmans des villes qu'ils ont reprises. Parmi les victimes,
figurent des Tchadiens mais aussi des ressortissants centrafricains,
soupçonnés de complicité avec les rebelles.
Face à ces contre-offensives gouvernementales, les habitants
locaux fuient vers le nord en direction du Tchad.
/ 25 / 2003
committee to monitor ceasefire accord"
international committee is being set up to monitor a shaky ceasefire
accord signed by Somali faction leaders, Kenya's special envoy
for Somalia Bethwel Kiplagat said on Tuesday.
was speaking at a plenary session to relaunch the Somali peace
talks at their new venue in Mbagathi, near Nairobi. The conference
was moved from the western Kenyan town of Eldoret for financial
Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government (TNG) boycotted
the plenary to protest against the new conference facilities,
while a number of factions were also absent.
have already contacted the United Nations, the African Union,
the Arab League, the European Union and all are now committed
to be members of the committee which will be monitoring the ceasefire
in that declaration [of 27 October 2002]," Kiplagat told
[Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] of course is a member
of that committee and also the United States of America,"
he said. "And I will be calling the committee this week to
discuss what action we need to take for those who violate what
they have signed."
to the departure of the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) from the talks,
Kiplagat said those who wanted to leave could do so.
if there are only two of us to work for Somali peace, we shall
remain only two of us," he stated.
who chairs the IGAD technical committee which is organising the
conference, stressed it was time to get back to work. The six
technical committees deliberating core issues of the conference
should resume and would not need more than two or three works
to complete their work, he said.
TNG information minister Abdirahman Adan Ibrahim "Ibbi"
said the transitional authorities were boycotting the meeting
because the conference organisers had not given sufficient consideration
to the "importance" of the TNG, and the new premises
were "not suitable".
by phone from a Nairobi hotel, he nevertheless said the TNG would
return to the conference if given suitable accommodation.
organisers are threatening to stop paying the TNG's bills at their
central Nairobi hotel.
number of faction leaders were also absent from the plenary. At
a press conference, they said they had written to Kenyan Foreign
Minister Kalonzo Musyoka listing their grievances.
included a demand that Kenya should be allowed to run the conference
alone, without "interference" from Ethiopia and Djibouti.
These three "frontline" countries make up the IGAD technical
committee which is steering the talks.
02 / 24 / 2003
leaders want Kenya to run peace talks alone"
leaders attending the Somali peace talks in Kenya have condemned
the slow pace of the conference and accused Somalia's neighbours
- the so-called frontline states - of working for their own interests.
statement, signed by 11 faction leaders, blamed "continuous
contradictions, differences and misunderstandings" between
the three frontline states - Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia - for
the "very slow progress of the process".
frontline states, the statement said, were "contesting for
their own interests in Somalia, as well as [for] the existing
political differences of those countries".
an attitude shows that there is a deliberate attempt to fulfill
a hidden unknown political agenda with the objective to wreck
the reconciliation process and consequently blame the Somalis,"
this end, the leaders said that Kenya, as the host nation, should
have sole responsibility for conducting the process "without
any interference of the Ethiopian and Djibouti governments".
statement also said that the allocation of delegates' seats was
still mired by "doubt and confusion" and called for
the immediate formation of an "Arbitration Committee"
among the Somali clans.
statement further condemned moving the venue of the talks from
the western town of Eldoret to the Nairobi suburb of Mbagathi.
The new venue, it said, lacked essential facilities and was not
suitable for hosting important events.
of the statement include Abdirizak Isak Bihi, Barre Aden Shire,
Jama Ali Jama, Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, Aden Abdullahi Nur, Osman
Hassan Ali (Atto), Musse Sudi Yalahow, Omar Mohamoud Mohamed,
Mowlid Ma'ane Mohamoud, Ahmed Omar Jess and Abdullahi Ga'al Abdi.
statement came as one delegation - the Kismayo-based Juba Valley
Alliance (JVA) - walked out of the talks on Sunday reportedly
because "Ethiopia's involvement is too much", according
to a JVA spokesman, quoted by the Associated Press.
02 / 24 / 2003
government of 'warring faction leaders', rights activists say"
human rights activists have stressed that the outcome of the ongoing
Somali peace conference in Kenya should not be a "government
of warring faction leaders".
a declaration, issued by the London-based Amnesty International
organisation, activists from 23 organisations who met in Hargeysa
earlier this month, said they would increase their struggle against
human rights abuses in Somalia.
according to the declaration, include arbitrary killings, torture,
arbitrary detention and kidnapping. The declaration asserted that
they would also work for the equal rights of all, with full protection
for vulnerable groups such as women and minorities.
statement urged the Somali political authorities to "publicly
recognise the legitimate role of human rights defenders in the
protection and promotion of human rights".
outcome of the peace talks should not be a government of warring
faction-leaders giving themselves total impunity for their gross
violations of human rights," the statement said. "Somali
political leaders who believe in peace and human rights must unite
now to stop the cease-fire violations, arbitrary killings, rape,
kidnapping and financial extortion."
regional and international sponsors of the peace talks must strive
harder to secure this commitment and see it in action as a basic
pre-requisite for any new transitional government," the declaration
in the Hargeysa meeting included the Peace and Human Rights Network,
Coalition of Grassroots Women's' Organisations, Dr Ismail Jumale
Human Rights Organisation from Mogadishu; Dulmidiid Centre for
Human Rights from Puntland; Isha Human Rights Organisation from
Baidoa; Kisima Peace and Human Rights Organisation from Kismayo;
and Nagaad Women's Coalition, Hornwatch and several others from
02 / 04 / 2003
face sanctions for ceasefire violations"
factions attending peace talks underway in Eldoret, Kenya, face
expulsion or other sanctions if they continue to violate the ceasefire
agreement, Kenyan Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka warned on Monday.
on behalf of the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
(IGAD) technical committee, which is steering the talks, he expressed
concern that since the deal was signed on 27 October, factions
and warring parties had continually violated the agreement. He
was speaking at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa. The technical
committee is made up of the so-called frontline states - Kenya,
Djibouti and Ethiopia.
the terms of the agreement, the Somali groups meeting in Eldoret
agreed to suspend all hostilities for the duration of the conference.
since then, there have been continued violations, with fighting
in the capital, Mogadishu, the towns of Las Anod in the northeast
and Baidoa in the southwest, and in the Bari, Bay, Bakol, Gedo
and Lower Shabelle regions. At least six schoolchildren were killed
in an attack on a school bus in Mogadishu in December.
said the frontline states had agreed to set up a committee to
monitor implementation of the ceasefire which would be empowered
to take action. IGAD has played a key role in bringing Somali
faction leaders and the Transitional National Government (TNG),
headed by President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan, to the negotiating
violations are causing great suffering and loss of life to the
people of Somalia as well as jeopardising the peace process and
undermining humanitarian assistance," Musyoka told reporters
in the Ethiopian capital.
are looking at everything, including perhaps making sure that
the violators are not allowed to travel to various parts of the
world," he added. "We have been able to identify, almost
with certainty, that the violators are linked to the delegates
who are now meeting in Eldoret."
also called on the international community to apply pressure on
faction leaders and not to bankroll groups still involved in fighting
and breaching October's ceasefire. "What we are telling the
international community is not to give comfort to any of the possible
factions who come knocking at their doors in an effort to try
and derail the peace process currently under way," he stressed.
delegates on Tuesday welcomed the formation of a monitoring mechanism.
"It is long overdue. This should have been in place from
the beginning," prominent civil society member Prof Muhammad
Abdi 'Gandhi' told IRIN.
said IGAD should impose a strict sanctions regime against "any
group or individual" who violates the agreement. "They
[faction leaders] must know that there will be a price to pay
for any violations. It is the only language they understand,"
Musyoka announced that the peace talks would move from Eldoret
to Mbagathi in Nairobi within two weeks, as part of a cost saving
some delegates expressed reservations over the move. "There
are too many distractions in Nairobi," one Somali delegate
told IRIN. "Also it will next be impossible to stop the large
Somali community in Nairobi from coming to the venue of the talks."
Somali peace conference underway in the Kenyan town of Eldoret
is said to have stalled for lack of a quorum by the regional technical
committee which is piloting the proceedings, a source close to
the talks told IRIN on Monday.
is happening here [Eldoret] today, and nothing has been happening
in the last few days," he said.
the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) technical
committee members "only the Djibouti delegation is in Eldoret",
said the source.
newly appointed Kenyan special envoy, former Ambassador Bethwel
Kiplagat, who is the chairman of the talks, is reported to be
away, and the Ethiopian envoy to the talks, Abdulaziz Ahmad, is
said to be in Ethiopia. The IGAD technical committee comprises
Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti.
is waiting for the technical committee to reconvene and restart
negotiations," a Somali delegate told IRIN. Some prominent
faction leaders are also absent from Eldoret. They include Mogadishu-based
faction leaders Muse Sudi Yalahow, Usman Hasan Ali Ato, Husayn
Aydid, Muhammad Qanyare Afrah and Gen Muhammad Sa'id Hirsi Morgan
of the Somali Patriotic Movement.
IGAD needs to get its act together before the talks lose momentum",
a regional analyst told IRIN. "If the talks do not pick up
momentum soon, then the best outcome may be to declare them on
hold," he warned. The absent leaders, some of whom are in
Nairobi, while others are in Somalia, must be brought back to
talks, he added.
talks, which opened on 15 October last year under the auspices
of the IGAD, have been fraught with difficulties, notably over
the allocation of seats to delegates.
the court case of faction leader Mawlid Ma'ane was mentioned on
Monday. Mawlid Ma'ane and two of his supporters are facing charges
related to an attack on a prominent member of civil society, Prof
Muhammad Abdi Gandhi, last week.
/ 25 / 2003
stresses commitment to peace"
US government has emphasised its commitment to a peaceful end
to Sudan's long running conflict.
a new report, Walter Kansteiner, the US Assistant Secretary for
African Affairs, said that bringing peace to Sudan was a key priority
of President George Bush's administration.
report, entitled "Peace, Conflict and Mediation In Africa:
An Historic Opportunity in Sudan", said bringing peace to
Sudan was also in the national security interest of the US government.
am pleased to be able to say that we have an historic opportunity
to achieve peace. President Bush and Secretary [of State Colin]
Powell are deeply committed to this effort," Kansteiner said.
said a just settlement of the Sudanese conflict would contribute
to regional stability in the strategic Horn of Africa, and help
in the US global war against terrorism.
Khartoum government is on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
"We have made clear to the Sudanese government that we expect
it to cooperate fully against terrorism," Kansteiner said.
about a peace settlement with a bill of rights which protects
the fundamental freedoms of all Sudanese will contribute to the
evolution of a more moderate Sudanese Government, and complement
efforts to obtain cooperation against terrorism," he added.
civil war, fought largely in the south between the rebel Sudan
People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the Islamic government
in Khartoum, is one of the longest-running conflicts in the world,
in which an estimated two million people have been killed and
four million displaced. The two sides are currently holding peace
talks in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
am convinced that a peaceful, unified Sudan can have a prosperous
future and become a lynchpin for stability in the Horn of Africa,"
Kansteiner said. "The prospect of peace remains a big if,
but is now clearly within the grasp of Sudanese leaders on both
sides if they can muster the necessary political will."
must all be hopeful that they will demonstrate the vision to seize
this historic opportunity," he stressed. "If they do
not, the world and we will have no choice but to walk away. That
is not in our interest or theirs. Let us remember that millions
of lives are at stake. They need our engagement and our prayers."
/ 24 / 2003
urges probe on security situation in Darfur"
United Kingdom-based human rights organisation Amnesty International
(AI) has expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation
in the Darfur region of western Sudan, where armed bandits have
in the past few months intensified attacks on civilians.
has urged the Sudanese government to set up an independent commission
of inquiry into the situation in the region, with a view to preventing
its possible escalation into another civil war similar to that
fought between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation
Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south of the country.
to AI, hundreds of civilians, mostly from sedentary agricultural
groups like the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawah, have been killed or
wounded, their homes destroyed and herds looted by nomadic groups
over the past few years. Sometimes dozens of civilians had been
killed in a single raid, AI noted.
bandits attacked government forces and the manager of the Jabal
Marrah Development Project based in the region. "The situation
must not be allowed to deteriorate further into another Sudanese
war. Those who commit crimes, must be brought to justice, but
international human rights standards of fair trial must be respected,"
to the rights body, which in January sent a team of experts to
Sudan to investigate human rights abuses in Darfur, the sedentary
groups have complained that government forces have failed to protect
them, and suggested that the attacks were an attempt to drive
them from their lands. "Government responses to armed clashes
have been ineffective and have resulted in human rights abuses,"
the AI statement said.
met leaders of the Fur who had been arbitrarily thrown into prison
without charge or trial, and denied communication with the outside
world for up to seven months. Leaders of nomad groups have been
similarly treated. Special courts set up in 2001 have sentenced
people to death without even the presence of a lawyer. Such abuses
of human rights will only cause more bitterness," it added.
according to a Sudanese senior diplomat in Uganda, the government
already set up a special commission to investigate insecurity
in Darfur two years ago and is currently working on strategies
to address the problems of insecurity in the region, which were
found to be largely associated with poverty and underdevelopment.
al-Din Hamid, the Sudanese ambassador to Uganda, told IRIN that
the government in Khartoum had allocated a budget to address the
basic needs of the population in the region.
is a remote area. There is underdevelopment. All development in
Sudan has been centred in the middle of Sudan and Khartoum,"
Hamid said. "But the country is so vast and resources are
scarce. The suspension of external aid to the country for the
last 13 years has aggravated the [problem]."
/ 04 / 2003
rebels sign new MOU on cessation of hostilities"
government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army
(SPLM/A) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday
to reaffirm their commitment to the total cessation of hostilities,
spokespersons from both sides told IRIN.
spokesman at the Sudanese embassy in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi,
Muhammad Dirdiery, said the MOU provided, for the first time,
for a verification mechanism to monitor all ceasefire violations.
"In case of any violations, the party will have to surrender
the area taken," he added.
monitoring team would consist of representatives from the government,
the SPLM/A, the US, the UK, Italy and Norway, and they would start
"immediately", said Dirdiery. The existing US-led Civilian
Protection Monitoring Team monitoring team would be incorporated
into the new team, he added.
means that the war which has continued for 19 years has been brought
to an end," said Dirdiery, adding that the ceasefire would
cover the entire country.
spokesperson from the SPLM/A was not immediately available for
31 January a pro-government militia group in Sudan, the South
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SSLM/A), had captured the town
of Akobo in Upper Nile State, Dirdiery told IRIN.
town had been under the control of the SSLM/A until 19 October,
he added, when the SPLM/A retook it in breach of the previous
MOU on the cessation of hostilities, signed by both sides to the
conflict on 17 October. George Garang, an SPLA spokesman, confirmed
to IRIN that the town had been taken by about 1,700 soldiers,
who were assisted by helicopter gunships.
/ 24 / 2003
protocol with Sudan extended"
Sudanese and Ugandan governments have extended the duration of
the validity of a military protocol they signed in March last
year, thereby allowing the Ugandan army to continue pursuing the
rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in southern Sudan.
however, only agreed to extend the protocol on condition that
Uganda would reciprocate by ending its support for the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), a rebel group fighting the
Khartoum government in southern Sudan, according to media and
the new terms of the protocol, signed after military talks on
21 February, Ugandan forces are allowed to pursue the LRA - which
is has been fighting to overthrow president Yoweri Museveni's
government since the mid 1980s - on Sudanese territory until 31
talks had been jointly chaired by Bakri Hasan Salih, the Sudanese
minister of national defence, and Ugandan Defence Minister Amama
Mbabazi, Sudanese TV reported.
protocol accordingly also included a provision ending Ugandan
support for SPLM/A in the form of military supplies or training,
according to a senior Sudanese diplomat.
al-Din Hamid, the Sudanese ambassador to Uganda, told IRIN on
Monday that military officers from Sudan would be deployed along
the borders to monitor the movement of supplies into Sudan. He
said the Ugandan side was so far cooperating on its obligations
under the terms of the protocol.
from Uganda is forthcoming. I believe an understanding was reached
on the issue of illicit transfer of arms to the SPLA," Hamid
said. "What we wanted was not to allow illicit transfer of
arms, or supplies other than humanitarian supplies. And this is
a very good step forward."
said the agreement had opened the door to improved bilateral diplomatic
ties and future cooperation. A joint ministerial commission is
expected to meet between 27 and 29 April to chart the way for
future areas of bilateral economic cooperation, according to Hamid.